Aspen early opening day a success
The weather was perfect, the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky Saturday to kick off Aspen Mountain’s ski season.
Locals said snow conditions were excellent, and some said it felt like spring skiing.
Popular classic hits from Run-D.M.C. to Madonna blasted at the base of the Silver Queen Gondola.
“It’s like a disco up here,” local Vivian Blizzard said with a smile as she reached a hand inside a giant white box filled with fresh, locally baked donuts from Glenwood Spring’s Sweet ColoraDough that Aspen Skiing Co. provided.
The first set of eager skiers arrived to the gondola at around 6:15 a.m. Saturday morning, followed by a group of four at about 6:20.
Aspen High School senior Connor Laughren, along with his brother Nicolas and two friends arrived at around 6:20, Laughren said, ski passes and Coleman grill in hand.
The first two early risers were whipping up eggs while Laughren and his crew grilled bacon and made aebleskivers, or Danish pancake balls.
The six shared breakfast together, along with the first ride up the gondola for the 2015-2016 ski season.
Other ambitious skiers poured in quickly after the first set of early risers, like local Skippy Mesirow and friends, who arrived at around 6:30 hoping to claim the coveted first-ride title.
But everyone was in high spirits throughout Saturday’s bluebird day.
An Ajax Express liftie said snow on the mountain was very smooth, and that skiers reported conditions as “even better than expected.”
The party continued up top at the Sundeck, where locals sipped beer and champagne to kick off the ski season.
“We’re just so excited that we’re open early and that we all get the chance to start out winter off right,” Sundeck manager Rachel Martin said.
Martin said the energy and turnout of the day was as awesome as expected.
“It’s just so great out here, all the locals are out here, just hootin’ and hollerin’ to each other,” skier Anthony Dibacco said. “It’s Aspen, Colorado, in a nutshell. It’s beautiful out here. You can never have a bad time on this hill.”
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A new 6-mile jug handle trail has been added to the Emma side of land known as the Crown. The Vasten Trail provides options for mountain bikers in the popular area.