A wonderful life | AspenTimes.com

A wonderful life

Jon Maletz

You can’t help but fall in love with this town during winter.There’s no need for television forecasts. All I have to do is roll out of bed, step out onto the porch and watch the first skiers of the day head down Ruthie’s – after I put my pants on, of course. I love how I can ski Back of Bell in the morning, then hitch a ride to Highlands during the afternoon. And there’s a mandatory lunch break at McDonald’s, which is conveniently only steps from the bus station. I love how everyone in this town, no matter how diverse their portfolios, or big their house(s), has something in common. I tap my ski poles against the gondola window on the ride up Ajax and clip into my bindings just like the millionaires next to me. And we are all eager to embrace the magical reality of this place, if only for a few runs.I love how I can sit one bar stool down from a CEO and find out only moments into a conversation that he envies me because I live here. I talk snow conditions with my barber; I’d be willing to bet my dental hygienist tears up the Buttermilk superpipe. I know the guy at the post office spends his weekends leaving his mark throughout Deep Temerity – he has the goggle tan to prove it.I love how, at any time during the middle of the day, my office is eerily quiet. My co-workers go missing. The ski rack near the back door is empty. Must be a good snow day. Those are the days when I hit the hill to conduct “research.”I love how today’s editorial staff meeting is taking place at the Sundeck. I bet that if I was a sports reporter in Topeka, Schenectady or even my hometown in Connecticut, we’d most likely convene at a Red Lobster – and I hate seafood.I love how, even though I’ve been here for seven months, I can call myself a local. And did I mention I work next to a bar?Snow reportThe Aspen Skiing Co. is reporting 4 inches of new snow within the past 24 hours at all four local mountains (it fell yesterday, not overnight, freshie fans).Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is moderate with pockets of considerable on steep, wind-loaded areas near and above treeline. Below treeline the danger is moderate.Be sure to check the bond between the old snow and the more recent snow. There may be instability deeper in the snowpack, so make sure to dig deep enough to expose these layers.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.

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