Getting away from the games |

Getting away from the games

Steve Benson

Apparently, there is more to life than just the X Games this weekend. Instead of empty, quiet slopes – which I expected to find – Aspen Mountain was packed on Saturday. And instead of nothing but hard, icy bumps – which I also expected to find – conditions were surprisingly good.Walsh’s was a mix of firm bumps and clumpy but soft crud, depending on which line you chose, and when. A pack of new-school telemarkers, alpine jibbers and snowboarders had turned the bottom section of Walsh’s into their own private X Games venue – hiking laps to a kicker located skier’s right in an area of rollers at the bottom of the run.Jackpot off Gentleman’s Ridge held soft snow over crusty bumps, but things are holding up well.And Viagra, I mean Niagara, was ultra stimulating (no pun intended), especially far skier’s right, where fluff covered firm, grippy snow. Some rocks are still lurking, but the pitch is arguably skiing better than at any time last season.But the winner of the day goes to Bear Paw dump, which was skiing ridiculously well. Tons of soft, hero snow was spread through the Aspens, which were void of crowds.According to reports, it was much of the same at Highlands – a good crowd and good snow. The recent snow showers have left skiing soft and carvable in the G-zones, and lines are freshest in the farthest reaches.A foot of snow is expected to fall in the southern part of the state, especially in the eastern San Juan and southern Sangre De Cristo mountains by tonight.But Aspen won’t be left hanging high and dry. It was snowing Saturday, and it should be snowing as you read this. The National Weather Service is predicting 3-6 inches in the area by this afternoon.Who needs the X Games when the skiing is this good?

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