Days with dad |

Days with dad

Nate Peterson
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” On a chairlift with your dad on Monday, you couldn’t help but feel like you were five all over again.

How many chairlift rides has it been over the years, you wondered to yourself. You don’t exactly remember that first day out on the mountain with him, just that this little tradition of yours started sometime when you were too young to remember much.

Growing up on the Front Range, your dad promised you one ski day each winter.

He’d call the school secretary and tell a fib about some cold you came down with during the night, then you’d pack up the car and head to Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper or tiny Eldora.

A lot has changed over the years. You ditched the skis at about 12 for a snowboard, then convinced your dad to do the same about two years later. The bad pastel and neon snowpants and jackets of your youth have been swapped out for earthy browns or simple black. You do the leading now, while dad’s content to follow behind. The sack lunches dad used to pack have been replaced by overpriced on-mountain cuisine, courtesy of dad’s credit card. You’ve started a new tradition, too, of sharing some wings washed down by a few beers at the end of the day. And, of course, there are no more white lies convincingly called in to the attendance hotline.

As much as things change, though, they stay the same.

On those chairlift rides, you still talk about a lot of the same things: your siblings, your interests, the Broncos (Donkeys), the Buffs and, since you were in middle school, the opposite sex.

The Mondays, the chairlift rides, they all run together like a good picture album, only the pictures are in your head.

You realize how lucky you are to have a dad as cool as yours ” one who realized the intrinsic value of nurturing a love for the outdoors and making father-son time a priority, playing hooky be damned. You don’t remember much from elementary school, but how could you ever forget Mondays with Dad?

Heck, after this most recent one, you’re already looking forward to adding the next chairlift ride.

Dad, next Monday, same time, same place?

According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s Thursday morning report for the Aspen zone: Above treeline the avalanche danger is moderate on all aspects. Near and below treeline, danger is moderate on slopes facing west, northwest, north, northeast, and east. The danger is low on other aspects. Unstable wind slabs are possible on most steep slopes above 12,000 feet. Higher-elevation, shady slopes have a weak layer at the bottom of the snowpack. If triggered, this layer could result in some large avalanches.

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