Burning it up | AspenTimes.com

Burning it up

Allyn Harvey

Time to burn ’em up.

Your thighs, that is.

This weekend is one the biggest of the season in the town race series, what with the Aspen Highlands course set to a full-length giant slalom.

Instead of the normal course down Thunderbowl, this weekend’s run is about twice the length, starting at the top of Golden Horn.

According to one race organizer, the longer race draws the most interest each year, participantwise, because it gives people a feel for the big leagues of ski racing.

Ripping down a GS course as fast as possible is a challenge, especially for racers later in the draw. Speed plus distance plus a lack of experience plus ruts can put the burn in even the exceptionally athletic recreational skier’s thighs.

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The advanced division races are on Saturday, the recreational division on Sunday. Sign up is from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at the Thunderbowl Cafe at the bottom of Highlands. Anyone interested in racing is invited to sign up ” participation in previous races is not a requirement.

Warm temperatures continue to dominate the area, turning the already soft snow even softer by midmorning. The Aspen Skiing Co. was predicting a balmy 40 degrees at the bottom of its mountains yesterday, although it felt a lot warmer walking over to the gondola.

Every single acre of inbound skiing is open right now. That’s 3,045 acres at Snowmass, 790 acres at Aspen Highlands, 673 acres at Aspen Mountain and 427 acres at Buttermilk.

Whether the weather will lay a blanket of fresh powder atop all that terrain was still in question last night. At 7 p.m. last night, the National Weather Service had issued a winter storm watch for nearly all points south and west of Pitkin County.

Snow is likely today, according to the weather watchers. Snow is predicted, straight up, no chaser, on Saturday. And then it’s back to snow likely on Saturday night.

Here’s hoping for a little of that snowy, early-season magic that has made skiing here absolutely delightful, so far.

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