A cautionary tale
December 11, 2006
Dear Editor:I am Larry Miller, the person featured in your front page-article in Sunday’s paper, “Skier faces seven hours of survival on Walsh’s” (Dec. 10). First, I would like to thank Charles Agar, Aspen Times staff writer, for depicting a very accurate and objective story about what happened to me on the mountain this past Friday. Secondly, I would like to thank all the wonderful people here in Aspen who helped to contribute to my recovery. This includes the kind man in the green Jeep Wrangler who picked me up off the highway, soaking wet and freezing, having just falling into the river at the end of my perilous ordeal.To all the staff of the guest services at the Silver Queen Gondola who helped me out of my wet clothes and warmed me up with heated blankets and an endless supply of hot chocolate, I say thank you. To Charley Case, the innkeeper at the Annabelle Inn, who brought me dry clothes from my room, I say thank you. To all the amazing and professional staff at Aspen Valley Hospital, who all helped to make my emergency room experience as pleasant as possible, I say thank you. I work in an emergency room in New York City, and the care I received here at Aspen Valley Hospital was better than any I would have received at some of the best hospitals in New York City. Lastly, I would like to thank Bob at the Double Dog for giving me perspective on how precious life is. There are many special people who live here in Aspen.To the Aspen community, I would like to say that I was not skiing in a reckless or irresponsible manner when I stumbled into this region past the Walsh’s. I have been skiing for 34 years and I know my way around a mountain. The area where I entered below Lud’s Lane looked to me like an entrance gate as the rope was 10 feet tall on either end of two wood poles. I would never have entered an area out of bounds willfully that was properly marked. I have the greatest respect for the dangers of skiing and a great desire to live a healthy and responsible life.Lastly, to the Aspen management, including Peter King, I implore you to fix this area, mark it properly as a danger zone with appropriate ropes, clearly visible signs and bamboo crossed sticks so that nobody will ever experience such a terrifying and near-death experience such as I did on the day of Dec. 9.Larry Miller, M.D.New York, N.Y.