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Grateful for turns on Thanksgiving

Skiers and riders make it down Spar Gulch for some Thanksgiving Day laps on Aspen Mountain. The mountain reported about 2 inches of new snow. (Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

What were Aspen skiers thankful for this Thanksgiving? A light dusting of snow to ease the pain of early-season conditions. 

Some Thanksgiving go-getters favored turns on Aspen Mountain over a turkey trot today, and folks out on the mountain had runs nearly to themselves. Lift lines were nonexistent on this bluebird holiday. 

The Royer family skis Aspen Mountain every Thanksgiving since they moved to Aspen from New Jersey in 2009. Between laps, they stopped for refreshments at Sundeck Restaurant.



“As soon as we could stand, (our dad) had us in skis,” said Lily Royer. She goes to school in Boulder but made sure to come back home for the family Thanksgiving skiing tradition.

“It’s such a treat to have the whole family back because they’re off at college, and we’re not always together,” added Will Royer, a senior at Aspen High School.




Their brother Kip Royer also joined the family fun. He attends Miami University in Ohio. 

When asked if they had any unique family dishes they planned to cook for their Thanksgiving meal later that day, dad Chris Royer chimed in, “I think we’re the only ones in town having turkey!”

That dad joke elicited a chorus of groans from his kids.

Skiers get in a few Thanksgiving Day laps Thursday on Aspen Mountain. (Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

They said that sometimes they have elk on Thanksgiving like a true mountain family, but no one had been hunting yet this year, so they will stick with the poultry classic.

Not just locals were out on the mountain for some laps before stuffing their faces. The Clyde family was visiting from Dallas, taking advantage of their daughter’s Thanksgiving break from her second-year residency at Vanderbilt. They arrived in town on Wednesday and are enjoying a stay at The Little Nell until Sunday.

Father and son, who happen to share the name Andrew Clyde, were pleasantly surprised by the state of snow on Aspen mountain. 

The senior Andrew Clyde grew up enjoying Snowmass in the summers with his family. But, this is one of their first times as a family in Aspen for Thanksgiving. 

“I think last night did the trick for us,” he said, referring to the two-inch dusting Aspen got Wednesday night. 

His son said he was enjoying his first time skiing Aspen. “I think it’s pretty good,” he said. “This is the earliest (in a season) I’ve ever been skiing.”

They have no plans to cook tonight and will enjoy a Thanksgiving meal at The Little Nell. No dishes — but also no leftovers. Too bad Big Wrap’s Thanksgiving wrap is only available on Thursdays … not to mention they are closed through the weekend.