Buckaroos remind Dogs who’s boss of Bell | AspenTimes.com

Buckaroos remind Dogs who’s boss of Bell


What: End of ski season

When: Sunday on Aspen Mountain

Event: Bell Mountain Buck-off at 1 p.m.

The Bell Mountain Buckaroos aren’t ready to relinquish their namesake mountain quite yet to their rival Aspen Mountain ski gang the Dogs.

Mark Hesselschwerdt, one of the founding Buckaroos, acknowledged the Dogs played a pretty good prank this April. The Dogs placed an official notice to vacate with crime-scene tape around the Buckaroos Shrine on Bell Mountain. The prank was a continuation of a bogus article the Aspen Daily News ran in its annual April Fools Day edition. The article said the Dogs of Bell LLC were buying Bell Mountain from Aspen Skiing Co. Going with the flow, the Dogs gave the Buckaroos the heave-ho.

Not so fast, Hesselschwerdt said Thursday. The Buckaroos will host the Bell Mountain Buck-off for the 44th consecutive year at 1 p.m. Sunday. It’s been a tradition on Aspen Mountain’s closing day. Four of the original Buckaroos will attend, according to Hesselschwerdt.

The Dogs are always well represented, he said, but he noted they are “relatively new guys” and have only been attending for 30-some years. The Buckaroos and the the Aspen Flyers started the Buck-off — a mass ski down the Ridge of Bell Mountain, always at 1 p.m.

“It’s not called the Dog-off,” Hesselschwerdt said, taking glee while taking a shot at the rival gang.

There’s been every kind of weather and snow conditions for the event. It attracts only a handful of people when the weather is poor and as many as 300 skiers and 300 spectators when the weather is good.

“The Buckaroos have only missed one,” Hesselschwerdt said. “There was a torrential downpour, so we all went bowling.”

There might be powder for the 44th annual Buck-off with a storm swirling around the Colorado Rockies. Even if Aspen gets snow, the ski season will be over. “We’re done,” Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said.


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