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Preps: Basalt High softball continues to roll with two more wins on Saturday

The Basalt High School softball team won a pair of key home games on Saturday to keep its hot play going. The Longhorns hosted Faith Christian in the first game, rolling to a 14-4 victory behind a six-run third inning after trailing 2-0.

Playing Cedaredge in their second game of the afternoon, the Longhorns led 9-2 entering the top of the fifth inning before letting the Bruins back into it with a six-run frame. The score now 9-8, BHS answered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth and that proved to be enough in a 15-9 win.

Basalt, ranked No. 6 in Class 3A this week, improved to 12-1 overall and stayed perfect in league play. BHS will host Aspen in a Tuesday doubleheader.


The Aspen High School volleyball team lost a 3-2 nail-biter to visiting Olathe on Saturday inside the AHS gymnasium. The teams split the first two sets, Aspen winning the first 25-18 and losing the second, 25-16. AHS then took the third 25-23, but Olathe answered by taking the fourth, 25-19. The Pirates took the match win by taking the fifth set, 15-13.

Olathe improved to 4-5 overall and 1-2 in Class 3A Western Slope League play. Aspen fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in WSL play. The Skiers are off until Saturday when they will host Classical Academy.

The Basalt High School volleyball team won 3-0 at Rifle on Saturday. Set scores were 25-19, 25-20 and 25-14. Now 4-5 overall, the Longhorns will host Roaring Fork on Tuesday.


The Aspen High School boys tennis team lost at Colorado Academy on Saturday, 5-2. The Skiers won at No. 3 singles behind Liam Sunkel and at No. 1 doubles behind Georges Ghali and Lukee Tralins. Aspen is off until Oct. 1 when it hosts Steamboat and Vail.

Cross country

The Aspen High School cross country team competed Friday at the Ramble at the Reservoir, hosted by Ouray High School. The AHS girls dominated the race, with seven athletes finishing in the top nine. Aspen junior Kylie Kenny won the race in 22 minutes, 29.46 seconds, beating junior teammate Kendall Clark by about 21 seconds. Caprock’s Ashleigh Gardner was third in 23:08.85, while the Aspen threesome of Bronwyn Chesner, Michaela Kenny and Eva McDonough were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Aspen’s Edie Sherlock was eighth and Leah Horning was ninth.

Telluride freshman Cole Pacosza won the boys’ race in 20:34.93. Conner Chesner was the lone AHS boy to race, finishing 15th in 23:02.49.

The Basalt High School cross country team competed Saturday at the Anna Banana Invitational, hosted by Fruita Monument. The BHS girls took fourth as a team behind another race win by junior Sierra Bower. She finished in 18 minutes, 33.4 seconds to hold off Durango senior Madeleine Burns by about 10 seconds. Basalt freshman Katelyn Maley finished eighth in 20:23.8.

Basalt is scheduled to host cross country regionals on Oct. 18 at Crown Mountain Park.


The Aspen High School boys soccer team hosted Ridgway on Saturday night, falling 5-3. The Demons, ranked No. 5 in Class 2A this week, improved to 4-0-1 overall, that tie coming to No. 3 Crested Butte. Aspen fell to 0-4 overall with a home game against Moffat County coming Tuesday.


New midvalley Vasten trail quickly becoming a favorite of mountain bikers

Several local organizations collaborated to create a new “jug handle” trail that is delighting mountain bikers in the midvalley.

The Vasten Trail on public land known as the Crown opened in mid-August. The 6-mile route ties into the Glassier Trail on Pitkin County open space on the east and the Buckhorn Traverse on Bureau of Land Management property on the west.

“Everybody who has been riding it has been very complimentary,” said George Trantow, a longtime member of the Mid Valley Trails Committee, which contributed about half the funds for the $100,000-plus project.

The growing population of the midvalley has resulted in more mountain bikers heading onto the Glassier-Buckhorn Traverse-Buckhorn trail network, which can be accessed off the Rio Grande Trail in the Emma area. Adding the Vasten Trail to the network provides more options and disperse riders better, said Mike Pritchard, executive director of the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, which helped plan and coordinate the trail construction.

The Vasten Trail was named after a family who homesteaded the area. The BLM continues to refer to a grazing unit on The Crown after the family.

The trail climbs from both access points. It’s a shorter, gentler climb from the Glassier Trail connection and that leads to a thrilling descent on the western side. Climing from the Buckhorn Traverse connection results in a challenging but pleasant climb.

“It remains to be seen how people will ride it,” Pritchard said.

Part of the appeal is the trail was hand-built by the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp., so it’s a little more ragged than many of the machine-made trails built lately in the Roaring Fork Valley, Trantow said.

“Vasten is a great intermediate trail,” he said. “It’s like a pure intermediate downhill.”

A lot of the trail goes through sagebrush and oak brush that dominates on the Crown, but the higher stretches go through darker timber that shades meadows and wildflowers. The trail tops out just shy of 8,000 feet. Climbing the Vasten Trail from Buckhorn Traverse was particularly rewarding on Saturday because some of the oak brush and other vegetation is exploding into vibrant reds and yellows.

The trail was approved as part of the BLM’s Crown Special Recreation Management Area planning that was approved in the spring. That planning effort identified areas where trails could be added for mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners as well as routes for motorized uses and equestrians.

Once that plan was approved, the mountain bike association took the lead on building a coalition to get the trail done. Mid Valley Trails has contributed $40,000 and committed to another $10,000. Pitkin County Open Space and Trails contributed $10,000. Garfield County contributed in-kind work by dedicating time they contracted with Rocky Mountain Youth Corp. Basalt contributed $5,000 and the Carbondale-based Catena Foundation gave $30,000.

The trails crew from Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association cleared the route through brush while workers from Rocky Mountain Youth Corp. spent 11 weeks creating the actual trail, Pritchard said.

The funding from the three counties of the valley reflects how the trail crosses each of them up in the high ground of the Crown.

Trantow said it was appropriate for Mid Valley Trails, which is an entity of Eagle County, to chip in. The Glassier-Vasten-Buckhorn network is particularly popular with Eagle County residents of the midvalley because its in their backyard, he said.

The Vasten Trail will be subject to the same winter closure as many other trails on BLM lands in the valley. The closure will be in effect Dec. 1 through April 15.


Bob Rafelson looks back on his film career, life in Aspen and his lost masterwork ‘Mountains on the Moon’

Bob Rafelson’s place in movie history is assured.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker struck the match for the explosive New Hollywood revolution in the late 1960s, his production company foisted “Easy Rider” and “The Last Picture Show” on the viewing public, he directed the classics “Five Easy Pieces” and “The King of Marvin Gardens,” and he gave platforms to a litany of actors who launched careers in his movies, from Jack Nicholson and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Jessica Lange and Jennifer Lopez, all of which came after he conceived the pop hit-makers The Monkees and directed their television show.

But Rafelson, who has lived in Aspen since 1963 and will be honored with a lifetime achievement award this week at Aspen Filmfest, isn’t interested in burnishing that legend. He’s more concerned with the one that got away: his little-seen 1990 epic “Mountains of the Moon.”

“It’s my best work and it’s my most personal work,” Rafelson said Friday afternoon in the office of his Castle Creek Valley home.


“Mountains of the Moon” follows Rafelson’s lifelong hero, the explorer Richard Francis Burton (Patrick Bergin), on his trek to find the source of the Nile River in the 1850s and centers on his fraught relationship with his lieutenant John Hanning Speke (Iain Glen). An epic in the Sam Spiegel/David Lean tradition, it includes lavish set pieces of tribal raids, unvarnished depictions of horrid disease, creepy insect attacks and some shockingly brutal violence while exploring themes of loyalty, betrayal and masculine hubris set in the operatic high drama of British colonialism.

Financed by Carolco Pictures, which had been minting money with the “Rambo” series in the 1980s, “Mountains of the Moon” got caught up in the production company’s financial collapse and eventual bankruptcy. The film’s theatrical run was botched and it never got a proper home video release.

“The picture got ditched — that’s the movie business,” Rafelson said of his masterwork. “Nobody has ever seen it. It played one week and, boom, it’s gone.”

He’s tried to find an audience for the film in the two decades since it flopped.

These days, you can’t really see it even if you want to (the only option today is streaming it on iTunes or Amazon, but it’s a travesty of a pan-and-scan transcription of the film that lops off the cinematographer Roger Deakins’ sumptuous photography).

Rafelson spent a lifetime studying Burton and his work, spent 12 years developing the film and trekked himself an estimated 800 miles around the African continent following Burton’s footsteps (his home is still peppered with sculpture and art from his travels there). So the film’s disappearance stings for Rafelson.

When Aspen Film proposed to honor Rafelson with a lifetime achievement award this year, he pushed for the festival to screen “Mountains of the Moon” rather than his better-known “Five Easy Pieces.” It will play Sunday at the Wheeler Opera House.

“It means a great deal to me, to get it seen anywhere these days,” he said. “And it’s an Aspen movie. It’s a campfire movie. It’s a picture that I think Aspen might like.”

He got Carolco to finance the film as a writer’s strike loomed and they were desperate for filmable scripts — they actually thought the film would be about Elizabeth Taylor’s husband, the actor Richard Burton — and Rafelson shot it with a small crew in 10 countries over three months for less than $15 million.

“Everybody said, ‘Oh, you don’t know what’s going to happen,’ ‘You’ll go way over budget,’” Rafelson recalled. “But the Africans were totally great.”

It has gained a cult following among filmmakers (Francis Ford Coppola among them) and critics (Roger Ebert championed it) as well as here in Aspen. When the Wheeler Opera House was converting to digital projection in 2013, the last actual film projected there was a 70 mm print of “Mountains of the Moon,” which filled the theater with locals and brought out Rafelson for a Q&A.

As a general rule, he only attends one public screening of each of his films. His initial screening for “Mountains of the Moon” was inauspicious. During the 1990 showing he attended at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York, a woman vomited on him during a scene where a beetle crawls into Speke’s ear.

“I thought, ‘Well, my one and only screening and I’m loaded with stink,’” he recalled. “But I thought that was a great success that somebody had this kind of uncontrollable response.”

Rafelson is now working on a deal to give the film an art house re-release and possibly, finally, a watchable home video and streaming version.

Rafelson’s admiration for Burton makes sense when you see the film. The explorer was an anti-establishment figure of his time and a deeply intellectual scholar who could speak two dozens languages but who was also at ease sleeping in the dirt and dodging spears. He’s an apt subject for Rafelson, the Dartmouth graduate with a reputation for fighting and courting danger, who shook up the Hollywood studio establishment.

But this decidedly British period piece is also off-brand for Rafelson as a filmmaker and doesn’t fit neatly into the narrative arc of his career. His name, for cinephiles, conjures up the New Hollywood rebellion, the oft-quoted toast-ordering diner scene in “Five Easy Pieces” and the steamy clothes-on sex in “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” or the counterculture bent of “Head” and “Easy Rider,” the character studies and American regionalism in “Five Easy Pieces” and “The King of Marvin Gardens.”

“Mountains of the Moon” may have gotten buried due to industry factors, but it may have struggled to re-emerge because it is not what you think of when you think of a Bob Rafelson picture.

An Esquire magazine profile of Rafelson, published in March, gleefully recounted many of his off-screen renegade adventures — running away from home to ride rodeo out West at age 14, bristling under the strictures of the U.S. Army while stationed in Japan, trekking Africa and the Amazon alone, finding trouble in far-flung global danger zones.

Rafelson hasn’t directed a film since 2002, but those adventuring pursuits and his knack for finding intercontinental action continue at age 86.

In July, he found himself in the riots in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as a crowd of 400,000 took to the streets seeking to depose Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló. Rafelson had traveled to Puerto Rico with his wife, Gaby, and their two teenage sons. They rented an apartment next to the governor’s mansion, where the massive demonstrations began the day they arrived.

“So we got tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, we’ve got rubber bullets flying on the first f-ing day,” Rafelson recalled.

A cellphone video shows the chaotic scene, and a crowd parting for Rafelson, using hiking poles on the cobblestone street amid the throng. As he passes through, the youthful crowds break out in applause for him.

“The only reason whey were applauding was because I was quadruple the age of anyone else in the streets and they saw me every night,” he said. “They were as young as I was in the ’60s when I marched.”

He relished showing his young sons the historic events up close and clashing with police alongside them. His son Harper, 16, remarked: “Dad, you’re famous again.”


Over his decades living full-time here, Rafelson rarely has mixed his Hollywood work with his very private Aspen life, though there have been a few colorful exceptions.

He edited “The King of Marvin Gardens” and “Stay Hungry” here, setting up a dock in a rented condo with editor John F. Link.

When they finished a rough cut of “Marvin Gardens” in 1970, they invited Aspen to come watch it at the Playhouse Theater.

“Naïve as hell, to invite the locals for a preview and see how they like it,” he recalled with a laugh.

His friend Hunter S. Thompson, Rafelson remembered, howled throughout the movie and offered a memorably rotten review of its meditative pace: “He said, ‘This movie is the best excuse I’ve seen for a cocaine habit.’”

Rafelson did a locals’ screening for “Stay Hungry” in 1976 when he finished cutting it, too, but someone handed out LSD to the audience and the feedback was less than useful.

Rafelson also screened, at the Isis, a pornographic film he directed. The project came during a period when he was blackballed from Hollywood, following an alleged altercation with an executive on the set of the Robert Redford prison drama “Brubaker.” The exec, Richard Berger, claimed Rafelson assaulted him. Rafelson was fired as the film’s director and effectively exiled from the business.

“It was four or five years before I could make a movie,” he recalled. “ I was broke. I was black-balled, even from the independents, because they said I hit an executive.”

He bounced back in 1981 with his steamy remake of “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” based on a script by David Mamet with Jessica Lange in the role originated by Marilyn Monroe opposite Nicholson (with whom Rafelson made eight movies; a pivotal car crash scene in their 1996 collaboration “Blood and Wine” is said to have been inspired by the pair flipping a Jeep in the Aspen backcountry).

Rafelson first arrived in Aspen in the summer of 1963, tagging along with falsified credentials for an Aspen Institute conference honoring filmmaker Lewis Milestone, of “All Quiet on the Western Front” fame. (Rafelson got puked on during that trip, too, on a prop plane from Grand Junction, by the director’s wife: “I must look like a repository of some sort.”)

His first day in Aspen, he noted, also happened to be the one when his close friend Thompson first arrived here. The pair met when they found themselves in a volleyball match at Aspen Meadows, on a team captained by the novelist James Salter. The trio of world-renowned artists lived here for decades to follow.

Enchanted by the remote town’s lawlessness and its uncorrupted beauty, Rafelson stuck around. Between world travels and work in Los Angeles in the mid-’60s, he rented a series of places including a Herbert Bayer-built concrete house in the West End, since torn down.

“You could live anywhere then, and cheap,” he recalled of this era before the streets were paved and before Snowmass Village existed.

Soon he settled in the Castle Creek Valley, in a home hand-built from mining timbers by in the 1950s by the legendary local mountaineer Lou Dawson, at age 11, with his father. Sitting on more than an acre of land on the creek and wetlands, the home still bears the idiosyncratic signature of its nonprofessional builders — the odd steel spike in the ceiling here, a beaver-eaten log in a stair railing there.

This remote retreat may seem an odd base for a movie writer, director and producer — far from his industry’s hub in Los Angeles. But for Rafelson, it was ideal. He recalled making the decision with his first wife, Toby, some five decades ago: “Maybe it would be a good idea to get to know one place really well, instead of many places, to get really intimate with the landscape.”

Rafelson built a hiking trail along Castle Creek and in the winters would snowshoe on top of the frozen creek up the 10 miles to the Ashcroft ghost town (“I’m not much for skiing,” he said of his relationship with Aspen’s favored winter pastime.)

His friends in Aspen — including longtime Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, who will serve as Rafelson’s interlocutor at Wednesday’s Filmfest tribute — didn’t know him as a creature of Hollywood.

“I didn’t want to talk about movies here,” he said.

He did develop a close friendship with Aspen Film founder Ellen Hunt and accepted the inaugural Independent By Nature award in 1999, but didn’t make a habit of doing public events here or mixing much with the movie star crowd that rolled through town. He hasn’t shown his films to his two teenage sons and generally doesn’t talk movies in the house.

When he’s spoken out publicly in Aspen, it’s most often been about conservation issues, local government hypocrisy, development and the like (Rafelson last week sent a letter to a county commissioner about the folly of the ongoing trail project on Castle Creek Road).

Standing on his porch, Rafelson pointed up at the pristine forest rising from the valley floor, noting the constant pressure to build more homes on this mountainside and his long fight to protect it from the forces of greed he’s seen transform much of Aspen in the past 56 years.

“Preserving this,” he said, “is a war every day of my life.”


Follow the yellow leaf road

Each week, we pick out our favorite and not-so-favorite tweets (at least those that are printable) about Aspen and display them on Sunday’s page A2.

“I went to pizza hut once in the 90s to buy drugs #aspen” — @siigmund

“@thedavidcrosby, Thank you So much for a great night of story telling and that beautiful voice of yours! Sorry about the faction of asshats in the crowd. It’s #Aspen after all, so I suppose douchery is to be expected.” — @marcimichelle

“Ok, so I had to walk a mile to work Monday-Friday when I worked in #aspen But the things I saw on my way to work, this Fox, #johnnydepp , beautiful snow winter wonderland #johnmccain ……. @ Aspen, Colorado” — @romero_preston

“I wish I was in school but why study for a future we may not have?” says one girl in #Aspen #climatestrike — @cabenedetti

#Fallcolors are popping in Hunter Creek. Time to get out and savor them before they blow off to form a yellow leaf road. #Hike #Bike #Aspen — @Shebiegirl

#DidYouKnow that #Aspen is 7,908 feet above sea level? Makes for great views. Another wonderful part of being in this beautiful town. — @garyfeldman

Welcome to #AspenRuggerfest 52!!! — @aspenrugbyclub

The Aspen Times can be found on Twitter, as well. Simply type “TheAspenTimes” (no spaces) into the search bar, and get daily updates on what’s happening in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Sept. 22, 2019)

Let’s hear it for corks and forks

Once again, hats off to the Snowmass Rotary Club for staging the best Wine Festival in 17 years. Spirits were high all afternoon as hundreds of “grape-heads” gathered to sample wines from all over the world while listening to vintage music by Boogie Down. The best restaurants in the valley were onboard serving everything from ceviche to fried baloney sandwiches! Big Hoss ribs were outstanding as well!

This event has earned a place among the best of Snowmass. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Boone & Judy Schweitzer

Snowmass Village

Remembering Jane Leddy

I only spent one day with Jane Leddy. That day she demonstrated what an extraordinary woman she was. On Sept. 19, 2011, I had the good fortune to be paired with Barbara Johnson, Gary Esary and Jane Leddy in the Aspen Senior Golf Tournament.

Jane was 87 years old and came to play, dressed for the tournament in plus fours. We were playing a scramble and had to use four drives from each player. Jane was filled with pep and enthusiasm as we approached our first hole, the 14th. She hit first and her ball landed in the water. Undaunted, when we walked up to the green, she insisted on putting first. She wanted to help our group see the line of the putt even if she could not put the ball in the hole.

The best was yet to come when we reached the 10th hole. Jane’s drive was her best of the day and put us in position to reach the green in two. We were just off the green and she hit a putt that gave us a good idea of the line. I made that long putt and we birdied the hole. Jane gave me a big hug and we all celebrated that birdie on Jane’s drive. We finished the round one under and were amazed and delighted when we learned we had won the tournament. Jane returned to the Senior Center that night with a smile on her face. What an unforgettable and heartwarming day.

Richard Felder


Thrift Shop stays on mission

Every month volunteers of the Aspen Thrift Shop meet to continue to accomplish our mission: to make grants to nonprofit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are grateful to community members who continue to support our efforts by donating and purchasing gently used clothing and household items.

For the month of September, we are pleased to announce the following recipients: Andy Zaca Youth Empowerment Program, Ascendigo, Aspen Elementary School (Mock Newbery Book Club), Aspen Junior Hockey, AVSC, CORE, Feed My Sheep, KDNK and Youth Zone.

The ladies of the Aspen Thrift Shop

Photos: Aspen Misc., Sept. 22, 2019

Mastering a dark workday underground — eyesight, insight

Labor underground without light is like working blind. To understand the entirety of the darkness, you almost have to experience it. Unlike a nighttime bedroom, a mine has no moonlight seeping in from a window. No tiny bulbs signal that electronic devices are drawing power. Seeking light, you may strain your eyes. But they are worthless. You grope with extended limbs and rely on another navigation sense: hearing.

Miners had to learn to cope in darkness. Sometimes their light source went off, if even for a moment. Like a blind person, they had to have memorized their environment. They had to know from the feel of a tunnel wall where they might be, and keep in mind the dangerous places where tunnels plunged into shafts or stopes.

Some say it takes 10,000 hours of purposeful experience to master a task. My father had accumulated those hours before he was 30 years old. He had apprenticed with older miners, and observed their underground navigation skills. Plus, he had dug much of the Midnight Mine and knew every inch of it. If his light went out, he easily followed sounds and memory to reach safety. For him, the absence of light counted more as an inconvenience than a problem.

Lighting technology aided navigation. In the early days, candles lit Aspen’s mines. My father tunneled into an older abandoned tunnel in the Midnight and found cases of candles left over from the 1890s. Miners placed them in metal containers, gads, which protected the flames from breezes that might extinguish them. Commonly, a miner would receive a supply of candles for each shift. But a supply of candles did not always last as long as the work did.

Some miners took out contracts that paid them by the foot to dig a tunnel. They bought their own blasting powder and candles. To save money, they sometimes cut back on candle use and worked in the dark.

During the early 1900s, an improved technology, carbide lamps, replaced candles. The lamps functioned through a chemical process that mixed calcium carbide with water. Despite their odor and need for maintenance, the lamps stayed lit longer than did candles. Even so, a lamp might fail and leave a miner to navigate a cold and damp tunnel in darkness.

In modern times, reliable battery-operated lights replaced the carbide lamps. Recharged after each shift, these lights seldom failed.

At 20 years of age, my father worked at the Midnight. He visited the Smuggler Mine to inspect or buy something from the Smuggler. He had walked that Smuggler tunnel many times, and felt at home there. After he had walked a few hundred feet into the mine, total darkness suddenly enveloped him. He assumed that his carbide lamp had gone out. He did not feel alarm and continued to walk, with a notion that he would relight the lamp when he arrived farther along the tunnel.

He woke up in the hospital.

The lamp had not gone out. He had lost his sight. Soon, he fell down a 30-foot hole. Fortunately, someone discovered his unconscious body.

After three days, my father could see again. At the time, the 1920s, the town’s only doctor could not diagnose the problem. My father traveled to Denver, and doctors there could not figure out what had happened, either. After a few weeks’ rest he returned to work, worried that blindness might strike at any time without warning.

My father never lost his eyesight again. Even so, I suspect that he and all workers who spend their lives underground appreciate their vision more than the rest of us do.

Misfits rugby beats Aspen Gents 29-22 in Ruggerfest semifinals on Saturday

The Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Football Club will miss the Ruggerfest finals for the first time since 2014 after losing in the semifinals on Saturday night. The Gents lost 29-22 to the Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits at Wagner Park, a rematch of the past four Ruggerfest finals.

Aspen trailed 5-0 early in the match, but took a 7-5 lead into the halftime break after scoring a try with about four minutes to play in the first half. The second half was a back-and-forth shootout, with Aspen rallying to take a 14-12 lead barely five minutes in thanks to a big defensive play.

The Misfits answered with a try only three minutes later, but the Gents opted for a penalty kick with about 10 minutes to play that made it 17-all.

The next few minutes belonged to the Misfits, who scored twice in about four minutes to take a 29-17 lead with less than three minutes to play. Aspen did get one try back in the final minute before running out of time.

The teams had played in the Ruggerfest finals the past four years, with the Misfits winning in 2016 and 2017. Aspen won in both 2015 and 2018.

The 2019 final, which will conclude the 52nd annual Ruggerfest tournament, will be between the Misfits and Ruggerfest newcomer NA Rugby. That game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday at Wagner Park.

NA Rugby beat the Misfits in pool play on Saturday, 22-7.

Aspen, which went 3-0 in pool play, will play the Glendale Merlins in the third-place match at 9:15 a.m. Sunday. The Gents beat Glendale in pool play on Saturday, 22-10.

The women’s open division final, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Wagner, will be between the Sister Wives and Kougars & Kittens. Sister Wives won their pool play matchup, 22-0.

The remainder of the divisions also play finals on Sunday. The Masters final between the Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits and Time Rugby is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. The 55s final between the Cardinals and the VOMITS starts at 10:15 a.m.; the 45s final between the Cardinals and the Dark ‘n Stormy Misfits is set for 11:15 a.m.; and the 50s final between the KC Blues Brothers and the Cardinals is at 12:15 p.m.


Hunter dies west of Aspen after traversing ridge near Williams Lake

A 56-year-old man hunting near Williams Lake west of Aspen died Friday night after hiking along a ridge in a remote area of Pitkin County, officials said Saturday morning.

Emergency officials received a notification at 6:41 p.m. of hunters in distress in unincorporated Pitkin County about 8 miles west of Aspen, according to a news release Saturday morning from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

The man, whose name and hometown have not been released, was hiking about three-quarters of a mile from Williams Lake and “collapsed while traversing across a ridge line near 11,000 feet in elevation,” officials said.

CPR instructions were given by the county’s dispatch center, a helicopter was deployed from Care Flight in Rifle and volunteer crews from Mountain Rescue Aspen mobilized.

Because of the remote area, the helicopter circled the area but could not find a suitable land zone, according to the news release.  CPR efforts continued but were stopped after nearly an hour following direction from emergency officials.

Foot teams made contact with the man at about 9:30 a.m. and the helicopter eventually located a safe landing zone nearby. The helicopter transported the victim from the scene and MRA accompanied the remaining party members from the area and were safely out of the field around 12:20 p.m. The man’s name, hometown and cause of death will be released by the coroner’s office.

Williams Lake is roughly midway between Mount Sopris and Capitol Peak in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. The lake is about 2 miles from the Hell Roaring trailhead on Capitol Creek Road. 

This is a developing story that will be updated.

Football: Basalt, Aspen teams both win games on the road Friday night

Basalt football beats Pagosa Springs after late-game surge

The Basalt High School football team overcame a slow start to win 39-19 on Friday at Pagosa Springs and keep their undefeated season alive. Leading only 14-12 midway through the third quarter, the Longhorns pulled away late against a battle-tested Pirates’ team.

“It was closer than what that scored showed,” BHS coach Carl Frerichs said. “The fourth quarter we got a couple of touchdowns late and really blew it open, but it was definitely a battle and they were definitely ready to play.”

Basalt trailed 6-0 in the game after an early fumble led to a Pagosa Springs touchdown. BHS got on the board in the second quarter on a Matty Gillis touchdown pass and another score late made it 14-6 Longhorns at halftime.

The Pirates made it 14-12 midway through the third quarter, a failed 2-point conversion keeping BHS in front. From there, the Longhorns ran away with the game.

Unofficially, sophomore running back Cole Dombrowski led BHS with 130 yards rushing and two scores. Gillis threw for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Jackson Rapaport came up just shy of 100 yards receiving to go wtih a touchdown.

“I’m just so proud of the kids. When you are traveling on a bus — we have to go to Utah and all the way around — so we’ve been on a bus for 10 hours today,” Frerichs said. “I was really proud of the kids and their effort and their attitude. They really stepped up. Started really slow, but finished really strong after a really long day.”

Pagosa Springs fell to 1-3 with the loss, another of those losses coming 19-7 against defending 2A state champion La Junta.

Basalt, ranked No. 9 in 2A this week, moved to 3-0 overall after wins over Olathe (29-7) and Battle Mountain (28-0) in its first two games. BHS will host Paonia next week for homecoming to close out non-league play.

Aspen High football beats Cedaredge for first win of fall

The Aspen High School football team earned its first win of the season on Friday, winning 26-6 at Cedaredge in its first road game of the fall.

The Skiers had junior quarterback Tyler Ward back under center after he missed last week’s game against Meeker — a 42-20 loss — because of a shoulder injury. Ward was effective in the first half, guiding the Skiers to a touchdown on their first possession. Tied 6-6 after a quarter, the Skiers broke it open in the second and took a 26-6 lead into the locker room. Neither team scored in the second half.

Class 1A Cedaredge fell to 1-2 with the loss. Aspen improved to 1-2 overall and will host Grand Valley next week for homecoming.

Elsewhere in 2A Western Slope League play Friday, No. 1-ranked Rifle beat Pueblo County, 48-22; Delta won 58-0 over Montezuma-Cortez; Moffat County beat Battle Mountain, 36-34; and Paonia beat Coal Ridge, 17-14.