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Platts: Four is all you need

by Barbara Platts

The Power of Four is not just a catchy slogan Aspen Skiing Co. uses to sell lift tickets. It’s also more than the name of the uphill competition that takes place in the winter and summer. That saying presents an opportunity, a challenge, a smorgasbord of good times.

For all of us locals, having four mountains to choose between is just the norm. Typically we all pick a favorite or two and stick to those slopes. There are the diehard Ajax fans that spout off their route down the mountain without hesitation. There is the Highlands crowd who can be found near or on the top of the Bowl just about every morning. And, of course, there are the Snowmass regulars that don’t see a point in venturing past those sweeping 3,128 acres of terrain. The fourth, Buttermilk, may not have as many regulars but it has a quality terrain park and tons of powder days after a snow storm. Wherever you spend your days, you most likely have a pattern, a schedule of runs to hit depending on the conditions. I know I certainly do.

But one of the best things to do when one has a routine is to find the most ideal way to change it up. Last weekend, a few friends came to town and did just that for me. We’ve all felt the pressures of hosting different kinds of guests. The majority of my friends who come to town have more interest in hitting the bars than skiing hard. But these guests were precisely the opposite. They came to ski and ski hard. So that’s exactly what we did.

We started our first day at Highlands, taking laps on Cloud Nine and dabbling in Temerity once or twice. The next day we hit Snowmass, where we purposefully got lost in the trees beneath the Sheer Bliss lift. Saturday, the third day, took us to the beginner’s hill where we definitely skied the hardest: Buttermilk. Whenever I go to that mountain, which I admit is rare, I’m overloaded with nostalgia, recalling the days I was pie-ing my way down the bunny hill at age 4. The last day of their visit took us to the most challenging of the mountains: Ajax. We were good and warmed up and spread out across the mountain, from Aztec to North Star. Each day, the grin on my face grew wider. Showing good friends where you live and what is has to offer is always wonderful, but rediscovering it for yourself is even more meaningful.

For all of us locals, having four mountains to choose between is just the norm. Typically we all pick a favorite or two and stick to those slopes. There are the diehard Ajax fans that spout off their route down the mountain without hesitation. There are the Highlands crowd who can be found near or on the top of the Bowl just about every morning. And, of course, there are the Snowmass regulars that don’t see a point in venturing past those sweeping 3,128 acres of terrain. The fourth, Buttermilk, may not have as many regulars but it has a quality terrain park and tons of powder days after a snow storm.

I’d elaborate more, but I have to get back on the slopes.

Barbara Platts has trouble deciding which mountain is her favorite but is pleased to know she doesn’t have to choose. Reach her at bplatts.000@gmail.com.


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