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Grin and bear it

Jon Maletz

We’ve all been there. Sitting in the gondola and rolling our eyes while some hotshot talks on his cell phone. The conversation is presumably important, but invariably a waste of time. Without fail, these people feel the need to repeat their day’s itinerary, as if me and other cabinmates were taking notes. I even heard a man talking on the phone while he was skiing across the catwalk under Northstar. I cannot escape the mindless conversation, no matter how hard I try.There is new technology, however, that is fast becoming the bane of my existence: the digital camera. You would think one picture of snow or an aspen tree would suffice. Boy, am I wrong.Some people feel the need to stop, drop their poles and pose in front of every trail sign. I even saw a woman at the Merry-Go-Round restaurant take a picture of her son eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; I’m sure the shot will look great framed above the fireplace mantel.I’ve had people ask me to hold their gloves so they can turn around in the chair and snap a photo of the lift line. And is it really necessary to stop in the middle of a trail’s steepest pitch and have someone in the group snap a photo? Go ahead. I’ll wait. It’s not like I came up here to ski, anyway. Did you know these things have video, too? I found this out last week when one of my friends shot another dropping into the Wall. It was a compelling two-second clip.Maybe I’m just splitting hairs here. People should feel free to catalogue their entire trip, down to the bread on their sandwiches – those are the types of memories that endure for generations. I’m sure a video of me skiing the bumps would make for some comedic small-screen entertainment. And, admittedly, my computer wallpaper is a picture of a friend and me standing in front of the Highland Bowl gate. For some reason, I posed close to five times in front of that same gate in two days. In my defense, the lighting was different in each – I even took off my goggles in one shot for variety. I might as well grin and bear it while on the hill. After all, odds are good I’m inadvertently being framed in someone’s lens.Snow reportAspen Highlands is reporting 9 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s 5:30 a.m. snow report. Aspen Mountain picked up 8 inches, Snowmass is reporting 6 inches and Buttermilk picked up 5.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is considerable near and above treeline. Below treeline the danger is moderate. Any lee or cross-loaded slope or gully will be suspect for triggered, and possibly natural, avalanche activity. Carefully evaluate any E through N through NW aspect that shows signs of wind-loading before traveling on them.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.


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