Aspen-area briefs: Governor in town; Klug Foundation nominations open; Smiling Goat event at First Friday

Gov. Polis to stop at Aspen Mountain’s Melted Gondola

Colorado Governor Jared Polis is schedule to be atop Aspen Mountain on Friday to celebrate 75 years of skiing history and highlight his climate initiatives and policies, according to news releases from the Aspen Skiing Co. and the governor’s office.

The Silver Queen Gondola and Ajax Express chair will run until 6 p.m. for uploading with the last ride down on the Silver Queen Gondola at 6:30 p.m.

“I’m thrilled to celebrate 75 years of world-class skiing in Aspen and look forward to another 75 years of showcasing Colorado’s world-class ski industry and mountains,” Gov. Polis said in a release. “My administration is committed to taking bold climate action to protect our Colorado way of life, to support our thriving outdoor industry including the fun and good paying jobs that come with it.”

Polis will be joined by Skico CEO Mike Kaplan and athletes from Protect Our Winters (POW) Alliance including Wiley Maple at the summit of Aspen Mountain at 5 p.m. in front of the Melted Gondola for a brief talk honoring the 75-year legacy, congratulating Alex Ferreira on his second Olympic medal, and outlining the governor’s and the company’s climate initiatives as a way to continue skiing through the next 75 years.

Nominations open for annual Klug Foundation award

Nominations for the annual “Bounce Back Give Back” award sponsored by the Chris Klug Foundation are being accepted until April 30, and the winners will be honored in December at the 2022 Summit for Life weekend.

Each year, CKF honors two organ transplant recipients who have bounced back from transplantation and given back to the transplant community.

The award winners and one guest each will win a trip to Aspen for the 17th annual Summit for Life weekend, which is Dec. 3-4.

For more on the nomination process, go to

Healing Hoof walk part of First Friday in Carbondale

The Smiling Goat Ranch is hosting its annual mental health, autism and veterans awareness walk Friday during Carbondale’s First Friday with an added 5k run.

The fifth annual Healing Hoof will begin at the Carbondale Recreation Center (567 Colorado Ave.) at 5 p.m. with a shotgun start at 5:30 p.m. Runners are going first, followed by walkers and the Smiling Goat therapy animal parade, which will consist of therapy horses, goats, miniature horses and dogs alongside families served by Smiling Goat and its community partners.

Following the walk, participants are invited to a post-walk celebration on Fourth Street for photos with animals, drinks and snacks and information booths by Smiling Goat partners Aspen Hope Center, Challenge Aspen, the Veterans Hospital of Grand Junction, Stepping Stones, Ascendigo, Aspen Strong, Western Slope Veterans Coalition, Mind Springs health, Huts for Vets, Arc of the Central Rockies, Aperture of Hope and YouthZone.

All proceeds from the event will go toward helping Smiling Goat Ranch provide therapeutic services for free to autism families, veterans with PTSD, children and adults with anxiety, depression and related conditions.