The resort chain becomes the first to design its own clothing for its employees as well as its guests.
Vertical integration on the slopes? That’s what Aspen Snowmass has in mind, as it launches its own ski outerwear line. The shells and bibs started with feedback from ski patrol and other mountain staff and evolved into the ASPENX brand, which includes the consumer-available Ajax line.
Featuring a distinctive aspen leaf logo, the new gear is ready to go for the 2021-22 season after some in-house testing.
“After listening to feedback from our employees regarding their on-mountain needs, we knew we could apply their expertise to purpose-building an apparel system,” said Erin Sprague, Chief Brand Officer at Aspen Snowmass.
“These pieces were inspired and designed by some of the best and most experienced professionals in the ski industry, and tested in iconic settings from the Highland Bowl to the Buttermilk Superpipe.”
The first resort-designed snow sports outerwear rolls out this winter at Aspen Snowmass’ four mountains. Here’s our first look.
ASPENX Ski Outerwear Inspiration and Development
Interestingly, Sprague points to interactions between staff and guests as the initial impulse for ASPENX. “Our guests often ask our Ski & Snowboard School Professionals about their gear,” she said, “so we launched the inaugural ASPENX Ajax Line.”
To get there, Aspen Snowmass turned to its own team first. According to the brand, 180 ski patrollers and 500 other employees including instructors gave input and did boots-in-the-snow testing.
That feedback resulted in purpose-built gear that shows the hallmarks of patrol and instructor gear: high visibility, purpose-specific pockets, ventilation, and adjustability.
The brand uses GORE-TEX PRO 3L for the ski patrol jackets and 2L for ski instructors and other staff. Waterproof zippers by YKK cinch everything up. Various other touches like CORDURA-reinforced cuffs and knees built with a bent-leg position in mind highlight the kit.
Ajax Line: Pro-Level Gear Available to the Public
The Ajax kit is the publicly available ASPENX gear, and it spares little functionality from the professionally informed line. The jacket, like the instructor/staff iteration, is GORE-TEX PRO 2L.
The L designation simply means layers; some say GORE-TEX 2L breathes better than 3L, but 3L should have the edge in durability.
From there, specific pockets abound for EDC essentials like cellphones and RFID passes. The whole kit keeps the waterproof zippers, ventilation, and knee shaping as the employee gear.
It adds CORDURA scuffguards to the pants for extra durability in and out of bindings. Obviously, the consumer fit leaves the high-visibility touches out. The result is a decidedly demure look.
The Ajax line also adds an insulator, made with 15% Spandex nylon ripstop and a DWR (waterproof) coating.
The ASPENX Ajax line drops to consumers on December 1, 2021. Like pretty much everything at any Aspen Snowmass resort (or anywhere in Aspen), you’re gonna pay for what you get. MSRP for the jacket is $725. The bibs cost $525, and the insulator checks in at $395.