ASPEN - Nearly 500 skiers and riders have qualified again this winter for the century ski club - the local souls who hit the slopes of Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk at least 100 times.
The Aspen Skiing Co. gives out a pin for the first 500 folks who make the mark. The low-key offering was first made last season, made possible when the Skico switched to high-tech gates at the chairlifts.
All 500 pins were given out last season. Just a handful remained this season as of Friday, according to Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. The 100th day of the season was March 5, and a handful of dedicated snow sliders were already eligible that day, he said.
Skiers and riders that can hit the slopes that often are usually acutely aware when they are closing in on the century mark and many of them alert lift operators when they hit 100 days. The pins are kept at base area chairlifts to be handed out. In some cases, the lifties inform the customers when they hit the century mark.
Regardless of whether or not you're close to the century mark, skiing and riding should be good at Aspen Highlands for closing weekend. Hanle said Highland Bowl has received 53 inches of snow this month and yet another winter storm warning goes into effect Saturday morning. Heavy snow could continue in the high country until Monday morning.
Festivities at Highlands will include The Great Divide Band playing at the Merry-Go-Round at noon and Big Air Saturday at 3 p.m. at the base of Thunderbowl.
On Sunday, there will be an Easter service at Out-of-Bounds base restaurant at 8:30 a.m. led by Rev. Gregg Anderson of the Aspen Chapel. The band Slightly White will play at the Merry-Go-Round at noon.
A pond skim contest is tentatively planned for one day of the weekend, conditions permitting.