Sign up for the 2023-24 Boot Packer List:
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Aspen Highlands Boot Packing Program 2023-24
During the Fall of 2023, the Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, will be accepting volunteers to assist the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol with pre-season snow disruption efforts in the Highland Bowl and on the frontside of the Aspen Highlands Ski Area. The Highland Bowl is a unique place for skiing and riding and would not be open without the dedicated efforts of our community volunteers. Here are the details:
Some days, boot packing at the ski area involves long days spent outside in severe winter conditions at high altitude, marching up and down in the steep avalanche starting zones. The work is extremely strenuous and is comparable to mountaineering. All the inherent risks of that sport are here also, including falls or possible avalanche involvement.
Other days bootpacking is much less extreme. When the weather is calm and sunny, and we ride the lifts back up the top Loge after each lap in Temerity, Steeplechase and Oly Bowl, the bootpacking may not be as strenuous.
- During the early season (pre-Highlands opening) we may be working Monday through Saturday from 8am until 4:30pm, weather permitting. Boot packers choose whichever days they want to join us.
- Packing will begin when there is sufficient snow in the starting zones. Due to this requirement, dates of operations may begin or end at any time. In the past the schedule has varied widely. We have begun as early as October 21st and as late as December 7th. Mid-November is the most common starting date. We try to finish packing by the end of December. In some years, bootpacking ends by Highlands opening day in mid-December.
- Assuming favorable weather conditions, the job will last 6 to 8 weeks. It is up to the individual to fit their volunteer days into the days available for packing. There is no guarantee how many days will be available for boot packing.
- Some days, we will not pack while ski patrol performs annual training of staff, OR performs Avalanche Mitigation work.
The Voucher Credit
¨ Volunteers are not employees of Aspen Skiing Company or the Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation and are required to sign releases acknowledging that fact. There is no Workers’ Compensation coverage or similar disability insurance coverage for volunteers participating in this boot packing program.
Voucher Guidelines: (revised for 2024-25 season)
- Every volunteer packing day earns voucher credit. (There is no three or five day minimum in order to qualify for voucher credit.) Voucher credit is based on the total number of volunteer packing days. Voucher credit can be applied toward one of three choices:
- One approved ASC Season Pass, (boot packers may not mix and match multiple season pass products.)
- One transferable Season Parking Pass for Highlands and Two Creeks.
- Daily Lift Tickets (one day packing earns one Daily Lift Ticket). Daily Lift Tickets may be used by family and friends. Each boot packer may earn up to a maximum of ten daily lift tickets.
- Boot packers who volunteer for 15 days will be offered a Premier Pass.
- Premier Passes offered to boot packers have all of the same Premier Benefits as a regular Premier Pass.
- Premier Benefits include an Ikon Base Pass, friends and family vouchers, discounts on lessons and rentals, and more.
- Boot packers who volunteer 12 days will be offered a Alpine 2-Day.
- Boot packers who volunteer 8 days will be offered an Alpine 1-Day.
- Boot packers who qualify may volunteer 5 days for a College Pass.
- Boot packers who volunteer 5 days may choose a Season Parking Pass.
- Boot packers who qualify may volunteer 3 days for a Valley Pass.
- Boot packers may add cash to the voucher to upgrade to the approved ASC Season Pass of their choice.
- Boot packers may only have one pass. If a boot packer purchases a season pass prior earning a boot packer voucher, they may get a refund for the previously purchased pass.
- In the case of vouchers exceeding the value of the pass choice, no reimbursement will be made
- Boot packers may choose one daily lift ticket for each packing day, (up to a maximum of ten lift tickets). These lift tickets may be used by family and friends.
- Voucher credit is transferable to family and friends. Volunteers may assign their boot packing voucher credit to family and friends. However, voucher credit may only be applied to one season pass product. Boot packers may not mix and match multiple season passes.
- Voucher credit cannot be used in conjunction with a Chamber Discount.
- Uphill passes are no longer an option for boot packer voucher credit, unless the boot packer upgrades to a Premier Pass. Uphill passes are included only with Premier Passes.
- Voucher credit is valid for the 24/25 winter season and CANNOT be saved for future use.
HOW TO REDEEM BOOT PACKER VOUCHERS
When each boot packer is done packing for the season, please contact the snow safety department (either in person or via email highlandspatrol @gmail.com) and confirm the number of days boot packed.
Check to be sure AHSP has your up-to-date profile information including your date of birth.
Request the type of voucher desired: 1) an approved Season Pass product; 2) Season Parking Pass or 3 ) Daily Lift Tickets.
Boot packers will be contacted by email when the boot packer voucher has been entered into the ticket system. After receiving the email confirming that the boot packer voucher is in the ticket system, contact any ticket office to redeem your voucher.
- Mandatory – Avalanche rescue beacon broadcasting at 457khz.
- A vibram soled boot is required. Alpine touring boots, telemark boots or stiff snowboard boots are the ideal footwear.
- Full winter clothing able to withstand entire days outside.
- Packers are responsible for their own lunch and water and must have a suitable backpack for carrying personal gear.
- Skis and boards will likely be damaged due to traveling over low snow depth terrain. Bring “rock” gear. (Ask if you don’t understand what this means.)
- An ice axe, skins and AT bindings are a plus but not necessary.
THE CHANCE OF INJURY EXISTS. AGAIN, YOU ARE NOT COVERED BY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION.