Frozen Bubbles – "Burbujas Heladas" – in Aspen |

Frozen Bubbles – "Burbujas Heladas" – in Aspen

Heather Hicks
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Contributed photoHeather Hicks and Antonio Manuel Marcos Vilacides enjoy warm tea at the Sundeck Restaurant. Hicks, an Aspen resident, took turns recently with Vilacides on Aspen Mountain, where the Spaniard told her the story of the "Frozen Bubbles Club."

ASPEN – Sitting at my desk last Thursday, I received a call from Dottie at The Aspen Times.

Knowing I speak Spanish and have a particular flare for Spain, she contacted me to help her communicate with two men from Madrid who were speaking rapid Castillian and were enthusiastic about a story idea. I heard something about “burbujas,” or bubbles, champagne and a competition resulting in a free trip to Aspen.

What can I say? I was interested and decided to meet them at the gondola when I could break away from work for an hour. We had no problem identifying one another (“Hola!”, “Que tal!?”) and our newfound friendship formed over cups of warm tea at the Sundeck Restaurant. Antonio Marcos, who goes by “Amarkos,” belongs to an association of divers from Madrid who have skied together all over Europe for the past 30 years.

Endearingly dubbed the “Frozen Bubbles Club,” his friends encouraged him to submit a story about their long-standing tradition of burying a bottle of champagne (Spanish Cava) on-mountain and extracting it from the snow before the last run of the trip to an online contest in Spain.

He obliged and won an all-expense paid vacation to … Telluride! Why then, I asked, was he in Aspen? Apparently they asked if they could change the trip to Aspen and the contest headquarters said OK.

This was the story Amarkos was trying to tell Dottie. He revealed each detail with excitement: that they disguise the bottle in a plastic bag so the club’s newcomers receive no intimation as to what lies hibernating beneath the snow, “happily awaiting the final day of its discovery;” that the ritual helps them to remember all their wonderful conversations and friendships, and is just another way of taking pleasure during their vacation; and lastly, that they always have chocolates and hopefully a few ski patrollers on hand for their good-bye ceremony.

It matters not whether the story runs in the local paper, Amarkos told me. Rather, they were simply glad to have made a local connection, and were so happy that someone was willing to listen. He said they were still curious about “Rocky Mountain Champagne Powder (TM),” but alas never saw snow during their stay at Snowmass.

“That just means we’ll have to come back!” smiled Amarkos, before he yelled out an excited shout while carving down Copper Cutoff.

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