Aspen Valley Ski Club ready for 75th season |

Aspen Valley Ski Club ready for 75th season

Scott CondonThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club anticipates celebrating its 75th season with a record-breaking number of kids in its recreational and competitive programs.The Base Camp program starts Saturday at Snowmass and Aspen Highlands. The same program starts Feb. 4 at Buttermilk, after the Winter X Games are finished. An estimated 1,600 kids between grades one and 12 will take part in the weekend, recreational skiing program, according to Alan Cole, marketing and development manager for the ski club. Roughly 430 other kids will participate in the competitive disciplines.Both Cole and Rich Burkley, Aspen Skiing Co. vice president of mountain operations, said they feel there is adequate snow to handle the hordes of youngsters. The lack of natural snow has limited the terrain Skico has been able to open on its four ski areas. About 66 percent of the 5,305 acres is open.The programs at Snowmass and Aspen Highlands are for eight Saturdays, with a break over Presidents Day weekend. The program is six Saturdays at Buttermilk.Cole said the club’s outreach efforts have helped produce the unprecedented number of students. About 350 participants in programs are from Latino households.The club also helps hundreds of families pay for ski lessons. There was $275,000 available for scholarships this year. Last year, the scholarships assisted about 600 youths, Cole said. He expects that number to grow this year because of financial need.The ski club was founded in 1937 and has taught thousands of youngsters how to ski or race. The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame recognized the Aspen Valley Ski Club with its Top of the Hill award this fall for its efforts to provide all youth of the Roaring Fork Valley with a chance to get on the

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