Aspen Skiing Company has been touting the highly-anticipated Pandora's Expansion on Aspen Mountain, Colorado for years, but they surprised everyone when a new name was announced on September 12th, 2023.
The terrain and subsequent chairlift have been re-dubbed 'Hero's' to "honor those who brought this vision to light, especially Jim Crown."
Aspen explains the reasoning behind the sudden name change in this excerpt from their press release:
“With Jim’s unexpected passing, we took some time to reflect on the family’s and our company’s enormous loss and the naming of this historic expansion,” says Geoff Buchheister, CEO Aspen Skiing Company. “Jim’s legacy and broad impact in Aspen stretched over 35 years, alongside many others we are also choosing to honor. We felt it was meaningful and appropriate to recognize all of the heroes who are tied to this terrain as we unveil this new project.”
Crown was a managing partner of Aspen Skiing Co. He tragically passed away in a racing accident back in June.
Hero's, which still feels odd to say after referring to this project as Pandora's for so long, will add 150 acres of glades, chutes, and trails. Based on the trail map, the terrain looks to be an advanced-skier's dream with plenty of off-piste options.
The lift will serve 1,220 vertical feet.
The press release emphasizes that the Hero's terrain is north facing and above 10,000 feet in elevation. The company is touting it as a functional "hedge" against future "climate-challenged" seasons.
Aspen anticipates that Hero's will open this season when conditions allow.
Expanding up and north-facing, if you will, is never a bad bet in today's climate.
Here's hoping the new Hero's terrain is enjoyed by many skiers and snowboarders for years to come.
Matt Lorelli | Powder | September 13, 2023