1990: World Telemark Championships at Buttermilk
In celebrating the 125th anniversary of The Aspen Times, we are printing a story or two from each year the newspaper has existed – 125 historical selections in 125 days. This series is in conjunction with the Aspen Historical Society. World Telemark Championships at Buttermilk Telemark skiers from as many as 16 nations will participate in a three-day championship competition at Buttermilk, March 2-4.The event will kick off with a two-run telemark giant slalom race Friday. Staged on Racer’s Edge trail at Tiehack, this event will have telemarkers running gates at top speeds.All competitors will be required to incorporate the classic free-heel telemark turn as they negotiate the gates.The telemark classic race Saturday is perhaps the most demanding of the three championship events. It will test the skier in a combination of skills, including high speeds, uphill endurance and jumps, which require the skier to land in the telemark position. The final day of racing places contestants in the dual telemark slalom. Skiers will be matched head-to-head on parallel slalom courses on Buttermilk’s Government Trail.The telemark turn, revived nearly 20 years ago by pioneering nordic skiers in Crested Butte, is considered the oldest turn in skiing. Following is a book quote from the World Ski Book, a prediction made in 1949 by a member of the Swiss Ski School.”This graceful turn has all but disappeared and is only used on rare occasions. However, we would not be surprised if the telemark were to reappear some day as an entirely new and revolutionary method of skiing. (March 1990)
What a party.It was a party worthy of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine.More than 2,500 people sipped the wine and ate the goodies at the Aspen/Snowmass Food and Wine Classic, held is Aspen last weekend. The festive occasion is sponsored by Food and Wine magazine.The imbibers packed the peppermint-striped tents set up in Wagner Park. Aspen-watches figured they brought at least $3 million into town during Aspen’s first big summer weekend.The wine-makers brought their finest wines and champagnes, their ports and sherries. The specialty food people brought their cheeses, their pecan goodies, their baked potatoes, their garlic and parsley pasta, their barbecued shrimp, their macadamia nut, their ice creams and chocolates. The Singapore booth always had a long line of people sampling the exotic curries and green herbs and veggies.People-watchingThe people-watching was as much fun as the drinking and eating.The restaurant owners and liquor store owners came from all around the United States. They would take a dainty sip … and spit into buckets.They wanted to taste as many wines as they could.The wine-makers stood behind their booths and sipped and enjoyed their own wines throughout each day.The Aspenites drained their glasses.Some people went back over and over again to certain wines and champagnes … until they got embarrassed to ask for more.Some of the favorites were the Australian champagnes, the Napa Valley red wines, the New Mexico and Sonoma Cave champagnes, and the Portuguese ports. There were even little kids at the party. They are the caramelized pecans and the melons and the grapes.Bacchus was there in spirit and nobody wanted for anything.
One of the highlights of the 1990 Food and Wine Classic was the presence of TV personality, master chef, and cookbook author Julia Child.What a trouper.Wherever you looked during the three day party … there was Julia, being gracious and tireless.She signed copies of her new cookbook … and many copies of her old cookbooks that are still in print. Some people even brought their old beat-up cookbooks.She gave press conferences and answered all kinds of questions.Julia said the interest in wine in America came after World War II, after many people journeyed to Europe and admired the culture, the food and the vintages.The interest blossomed in the 1960s. It was part of the ’60s revolution.No longer were people in the United States content with steak and potatoes, beer and whiskey.Julia now warns against a backlash. Puritan-minded people are taking the fun out of food and drink. They are obsessed with nutrition and health and cholesterol counting.She said that people should not blame everything on food. “People have to calm down and enjoy their food more,” she said. She believes as Socrates taught: “Moderation in all things.”Julia gave cooking demonstrations.The demonstrations were for things most people would never cook. They were for a fancy duck dish and for puff pastry with caramelized pears (loaded with whipped cream).People thronged to her demonstrations in order to listen to her wit.As she folded and then beat her puff pastry she said, “See those little lumps of butter smiling up at you, thank you for using them.”When the tent grew hot, she said “My, it’s hot in here.” And that reminded her of the movie Marie Antionette starring Norma Shearer. “There Norma Shearer was in prison … looking beautiful. … and saying … My, its dark in here.”The audience ate Julia up. And Julia told her audience that food and drink are now art forms … just like music and dance and theatre. (June 1990)
This wasn’t my best work. I still stand by my original picks to win each of the snowboard contests at X Games Aspen 2023, but fate chose poorly. The main lesson? Don’t pick against Mark McMorris, Marcus Kleveland or Scotty James, unless you have a very good reason.