Christmas powder |

Christmas powder

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

At press time last night, it was clear we were going to have a delightfully white Christmas.

It snowed lightly throughout the day on Christmas Eve, and as darkness fell, light snow was falling steadily, turning Aspen into a true holiday postcard.

Which means that this wonderful season is remaining true to form and that yes, we have a Christmas Day powder morning, even if it is just a few inches.

Thank you, Jesus.

And please forgive those who would run out on their gift-opening families and instead embrace the gift of Christmas powder by showing up at the lifts while many, many others were saying things like, “Wow, I can’t believe you knew I wanted a chess set.”

You probably can guess where I stand on this whole Christmas morning issue. My feeling is, the tissue paper can wait, let’s go make some turns and open presents later!

And my deeper feeling is that Christmas morning is the best morning of the year to be out on the hill. And not just because so few others are out and about.

No, it’s more about viewing life as a sublime gift and seeing skiing as a refined articulation of that gift. And feeling that there is no better time, or way, to give thanks for those gifts than to go up high and drink in the clear, mountain air (and make turns through fresh snow) on Christmas morning.

See what my parents wrought by giving me those Hart Gremlins one Christmas long ago?

Outside, amidst the unadorned pine trees, the forecast is calling for a slight chance of snow today with highs between 11 and 20. Tonight should be mostly cloudy and very cold, with lows from 1 below to 6 below.

And then we’re looking at cold and partly cloudy for the next few days as we work toward 2003. (Which means this could be the only “powder day” of the week …)

Almost every single run in Aspen/Snowmass is open today, with the exception of the Hanging Valley Headwall, which slid to the ground in October and has yet to get back in the snow-collecting groove.

Walsh’s and Silver Rush are open on Ajax. The G Zones and the Bowl are open at Highlands. The Wall and the Cirque are open at Snowmass. The halfpipe and terrain park are open at Buttermilk.

So consider all the presents you can unwrap today.

Consider Naked Lady, Cabin and Granite as gifts.

Think of Copper and Kleenex as good things to get at Christmas.

View Apple Strudel and Mushroom as fine holiday fare.

Unwrap that Buckskin and that Javelin.

And have a Merry Christmas.

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