Aspen’s just too far away to ski | AspenTimes.com

Aspen’s just too far away to ski

Janet Urquhart

I’m surprised anyone takes a ski vacation to Aspen. I’m having trouble coordinating a ski trip from El Jebel. What a hassle.I was going to ski Wednesday, but then it snowed. Who’d a thought snow would become an impediment to skiing?Now I know how people who are trying to fly here feel. I looked out at the weather Wednesday morning and bailed on my plan to drive upvalley so I could transport all the necessary gear, clothing and accessory crap required for a day – or even two minutes – on the slopes.I’ll need at least two bus trips to haul it all up, and two bus trips to haul it all home. Schlepping stuff is my new ski-conditioning program. Skiing is no longer an excursion, it’s an expedition. It’s not for the logistically challenged.Now, I don’t just pack my lunch at home the night before I come upvalley. I stuff a duffle bag full of ski clothes, too, only to discover what I’ve forgotten when I get here. This week, it was long underwear. No matter, my skis were still at home, awaiting the next day’s return trip upvalley.The Aspen Skiing Co. should be worried about the ongoing exodus of Aspenites to points downvalley. I know plenty of folks who can pinpoint the beginning of the end of their infatuation with skiing to the day they moved out of town.It’s sort of like staying on your couch because you’re too lazy to drag yourself back out of the house for a night on the town. I could maybe drag myself out to go skiing, but I bog down at the prospect of bringing everything else.I’ve toyed with the idea of launching all of my ski outings from a base camp here at the office, once I carry the gear to Aspen a piece or two at a time on the bus. That arrangement only makes sense, however, if I want to ski Aspen Mountain. If my destination is Highlands, Buttermilk or Snowmass, I’d have to ride a bus to town, collect my stuff, and then catch another bus out of town to get to the mountain. Sheesh.I might as well cross Snowmass off the list altogether, which I’d pretty much done in past seasons anyway. Snowmass might as well be in Utah. By the time I come upvalley to Aspen, walk from the bus stop to the office to change into ski gear, walk back to a bus stop to catch a bus bound for Snowmass and then wait in the lift line, the only powder left will be on the donuts. Or not. Do they even have donuts in Snowmass?I grumbled recently to a Front Range friend that I’ll never see another powder day, never again revel in first tracks, never claim another seat on the first chair up, what with the traffic and the gnarly drive up Highway 82 in bad weather and all. It’ll take at least an hour, I whined.She was incredulous in the way that only Denverites who get up at 4:30 a.m. and spend several hours crawling up I-70 in a snowstorm to go skiing can be.What do they know?Janet Urquhart is looking forward to a jump on the bicycling season in the balmy midvalley. Her e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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