For the love of skiing | AspenTimes.com

For the love of skiing

When the woman at the Aspen Skiing Co. ticket office asked if I had a ski pass last year, my automatic response was "Yes." And then I had to pause.

"No, I did not get one last year," I corrected.

Old habits are hard to break, I guess. Aside from last season, I have owned a pass every year since moving to Aspen in the early 1990s.

"But I have had one every other year," I said, a bit giddy with excitement that I would again be getting a pass and thus, again be skiing — with a brand spankin' new hip, no less.

Pass in pocket (and truth be told, butterflies in my stomach about this post-hip replacement maiden voyage up the gondola), I hopped in the bucket with a group of strangers. My son had safely escorted me to the base and ensured my skis were ready for action, and my friends were already taking laps off lift 3. This is just as I wanted it.

I wanted to take this first run alone. There were many reasons why: What if I forgot how to ski? What if my new hip failed me? What if I just plain sucked?

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But, more than anything, I wanted to just soak it in. The fresh air. The rush of going (kinda) fast. That sound of skis turning on fresh corduroy. The whole ski thing, which I didn't know how much I loved until it was taken from me last year.

The day continued in a similar fashion with reminders at every turn why I love living in a ski town: bumping into people I rarely see in summer at the Sundeck, laughs on the lift with friends about the gapers snow-plowing down the slope beneath us, beers and wings at apres.

And even better, there are still so many days left this season. All I can say is, hip-hip hooray!

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