Local duffers are able to play the redesigned Snowmass Club course for the first time in two years this summer; 25 years ago, golfers faced a similar wait.With all the rest of Aspen’s summer sports facilities in full swing, one would imagine that the local golfers must be feeling a bit wistful when they think about the new million dollar 18-hole golf course sitting out there all by itself in the sunshine waiting for the grass to grow.Closed all last summer for construction work, the golf course won’t be open this year until Aug. 1, according to city Recreation Director Ted Armstrong.And, in fact, that opening deadline might not be met, says Armstrong. “It’s really a question of how fast the grass grows.” …The old golf course was an obvious target for upgrading of some sort, since it was largely regarded as little more than a nine-hole cow pasture, remarkable only for its view of Pyramid Peak.We may be complaining about stratospheric gas prices but at least – unlike 25 years ago – we can get the stuff.Aspen motorists waited in gas lines for the first time this week, over the barrel as monthly allotments dried up at all three city stations.Tom Schroeder, manager of the Oasis gas station at Aspen Conoco, closed for the week, expecting more gasoline by the weekend.Schroeder said he sold his June allocation of gas – down 25% from last June – by keeping the station open too many hours, from 6 am to 9 pm …Jim Palazzi of the Palazzi Texaco station in Aspen said he has been out of gas off and on for two weeks.Today the local Marolt brothers are focused on skiing Mount Everest; in the past, a couple of Aspenites aimed to schuss down a different high peak.Recently-formed ice falls, as well as unseasonal icy conditions prevented Aspenite Chris Landry from attempting the first ski descent of the South Face of Mount McKinley.Landry, with another Aspenite, Dick Jackson, and Mike Weiss, El Dorado Springs, Colo., left this area in late April for Alaska and the proposed ski decent.However, after arriving on the glacier at the foot of North America’s highest mountain, 20,320 feet, on May 5, the group was able to determine in five days of climbing that conditions would preclude a ski descent his year.The Aspen Deaf Camp’s annual picnic included some unexpected – and, in the first case, unwanted – guests: bible-thumping zealots and Jimmy Buffett.The Snowmass Campground lift area was thronged with 4,000-odd barely clad bodies, enjoying the sun and the seven hours of almost continuous music. …The only thing that marred the day was the appearance of a number of unadvertised and uninvited religious propagandists, complete with leaflets and loud speakers.When asked why they were pushing religion at a traditional day of fun, one of them replied that his cause was more important than the cause of the deaf camp. …On a more cheerful note, the surprise appearance of singer Jimmy Buffett made up for any unpleasantness. Buffett sang for a cheering and clapping crowd, and the deaf children in the front row stood to cheer in appreciation.
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Officials are investigating the source of a loud explosion at Smuggler Mine on Saturday morning.