Numbers do lie | AspenTimes.com

Numbers do lie

Nate Peterson

If you live in a resort town like Aspen, it seems natural to keep track of the number of days you make it up onto the mountain each season.Lots of locals do it, so why shouldn’t you? Here’s a good reason: It’s pointless.Most people keep a tally of their days because they feel like it proves something to others.If you finish the season with more than 100 days, and one of your co-workers has only 40, obviously you’re the superior ski bum, right?Well, not really. What if you only skied two runs on average for each of those 100 days and your co-worker actually skied six?You can do the math on that one. Keeping track of the number of on-mountain days you log each season proves nothing, really, other than the fact that you can count.It’s like saying you’re a better driver than someone because you logged more miles in your car than they did over the course of four months. Or that you’re a superior chef because you cook more meals during a week.Truth is, some people can hit the mountain 100 times a year and still suck at skiing or snowboarding. The opposite can be said for some people who make it up on the lifts only a handful of times each season.But that’s not the point, either. The real reason as to why counting days is stupid is that it takes away the significance of each individual day. If you’re just aiming for a number, that’s all you’ll get – a bunch of insignificant days that run together to form a trivial digit. If your aim is to make each day count, whether it’s seven or 20 or 110, then you get the point.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the central mountains near Aspen is considerable near and above treeline on northeast and southeast aspects and cross-drifted slopes and gullies. It is moderate elsewhere near and above treeline. Below treeline the danger is moderate.Winds and fresh snow will put a fresh soft slab layer in avalanche starting zones. With a weak snow surface and some deep instabilities, there could be a better chance for more triggered slides on steep terrain.Avalanche danger details provided by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche

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