December 28, 2005
I broke my own rule Wednesday: I skied on a day between Christmas and New Year’s.My reason was solid. After 10 days of basically being shuffled from “day camp” to baby-sitters to my or my husband’s work for the day, my daughter deserved a little fun on her Christmas break from kindergarten. She wanted to ski, desperately. So we did – and it was as insane as I remember skiing over the holidays to be: The parking lot at Buttermilk was overflowing, the restaurant a madhouse, the lift line at the base long, and the out-of-control skier quotient high.But Hannah noticed none of it. In the parking lot, she zeroed in on the Panda House, where she will take lessons again this winter. In the restaurant, her only comment was about how creamy the pasta was this time. In the lift line, she was hardly impatient; rather, she and a little friend talked and laughed and shuffled their skis back and forth just for the heck of it.While I cursed the craziness that surrounded me, she wondered out loud why there were blue streaks in the superpipe, where the animal tracks signs along the West Buttermilk lift had gone, how the afternoon had gone by so fast. And, in retrospect, our three hours of skiing had flown by. The snow was in great shape, the temperature was warm, and the crowds weren’t so maddening on the Tiehack side of the mountain. In other words, we had fun.Now that’s not to say I’ll break my rule again (building a snowman out front of our condo, sledding on the hill up the street, or walking the dog along Hunter Creek remain more appealing). But if I do hit the slopes next holiday season, I will try to look at things through a 6-year-old’s eyes. Maybe it’s something I – or perhaps we all – should do more often.Snow reportAspen Mountain and Snowmass picked up 3 inches overnight, while Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk received 2 inches of new snow, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s 5 a.m. snow report. Additional accumulations today are in the forecast.Avalanche reportThe avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is moderate with pockets of considerable on N-E-S aspects at and above treeline. Below treeline, the danger is moderate.A considerable avalanche danger means that natural avalanches are possible and human-triggered ones are probable in some locations. Right now, these locations in the Roaring Fork Valley will be near and above treeline on N-E-S aspects, especially in wind-loaded areas, on terrain 35 degrees and steeper.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.