Aspen Untucked: End-of-season countdown
The end of the season is near. When this issue gets published, we will have only 17 days, or roughly 120 hours, left in the 2016-17-ski season. Besides skiing, those days include at least four closing parties, one free concert, an uphill race and even a five-day film festival. Even when the season winds down in Aspen-Snowmass, there’s never a dull moment to be had.
Along with being a crazed time of the year, the end of the ski season is always a time of reflection for me. We spend the whole season going nonstop, dedicating almost every free moment we have to skiing or other snow-related activities. Our days off, hell even our hours off during the work day, are spent getting turns in on the mountain. When we aren’t out on the hill, we are constantly checking the weather, wondering when the next powder morning will be. Skiing in Aspen is a full-time job in itself, and one that generally conquers all other goals and ambitions until the lifts close in mid-April.
But, this time of year, I can’t help but look back over the season, and even recall seasons past. I count up my ski days, I reminisce on that killer run I did where I pushed myself just a bit too hard and came out on top. And that other run when I fully wiped out. I think of the friends that have come to visit and all the fun we had on and off the slopes. Plus the friends I’ve made from time on the mountain. Springtime in Aspen, just before offseason kicks in, reminds me just how lucky I am to call this place home. Sure, it may sound cheesy, but these bluebird days are constantly going down as one of the things I’m most thankful for. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Anyway, with a short amount of time left and so much to do, I won’t attempt to hold you much longer on this page. I’ll just leave you with a few suggestions on must-attend parties and moments to remember.
Here it goes…
Bacon Day: This was actually last Sunday afternoon, so if you did not attend you’ve already missed it. Sorry! This is Buttermilk’s closing day. Mark your calendar for next year if you’re a fan of bacon, which, really, why wouldn’t you be? If you didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Buttermilk properly, the mountain will be open for uphill fun on April 8 and 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although no lifts will be running, people can uphill on Main Buttermilk, West Buttermilk or Tiehack. Food services will be available and there will be a vendor village set up at the base.
Snowmass fun: The final Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series takes place April 8 at Snowmass Base Village and features the band The Main Squeeze. Also happening in Snowmass, the Lynn Britt Cabin will be aprés central every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting at 2 p.m. This goes until the last day the lifts are open: April 16. Close out the season on the second-to-last day (April 15) with a beach party at Elk Camp. The party starts at 11:30 a.m. and bathing-suit attire is highly encouraged.
Highlands Closing Day: If you’ve read my column in past years, you know I’m a huge fan of Highlands Closing. This day is practically a holiday in Aspen. It brings in the end of the season at Highlands with funky costumes, a great deal of cocktails and some fist-pumping tunes. The party is all over the mountain, but convenes at the base around 4 p.m. This year, Highlands Closing Day takes place April 9. As always, imbibe responsibly.
The end of the season is upon us. But before you fully embrace offseason, enjoy the remaining days of skiing. Soak in the sunshine, spend time with the people you love and have a toast to 2016-17 ski season.
Barbara Platts loves spring skiing but also is very ready for some offseason traveling. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.