In Briefs: Rescue of injured backcountry skier; Women’s History Month on mountain; spotted owl headed for threatened list; beer, not firearms, at Boebert’s old restaurant |

In Briefs: Rescue of injured backcountry skier; Women’s History Month on mountain; spotted owl headed for threatened list; beer, not firearms, at Boebert’s old restaurant

Staff Report

Backcountry skier, injured, rescued near Benedict Hut

A 53-year-old female backcountry skier was injured and rescued Wednesday about a mile from Benedict Hut, a 10th Mountain Division Hut on Smuggler Mountain, the Pitkin Sheriff’s Office reported.

The Sheriff’s Office was alerted at 11:37 a.m., and officials said deputies were contacted via Garmin inReach to establish her injuries and exact location. The skier said she was unable to move.

At 1:03 p.m., Mountain Rescue Aspen deployed a team of 11 members and six snowmobiles from the CB Cameron Rescue Center to the base of Smuggler Mountain to evacuate the injured skier. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office also deployed two deputies on snowmobiles to assist.

At 1:19 p.m., rescuers made contact with the injured skier and her party. The rescue team began evacuating the injured skier via snowmobile. All rescue personnel, the injured skier, as well as the injured skier’s party arrived safely at the base of Smuggler Mountain by 1:53 p.m. At that time the injured skier declined further medical attention and departed from the trailhead in a private vehicle, officials said. All rescue teams were out of the field by 2:11 p.m.

Women’s History Month events coming up

Aspen Snowmass will celebrate Women’s History Month with events centering around International Women’s Day on March 8, the ski company announced Wednesday.

A community Uphill Champagne Lunch will be hosted at the Cliffhouse Restaurant atop Buttermilk Mountain from noon-2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8. A glass of champagne will be offered to all attendees over the age of 21, with live music from DJ Alex Golden. Additional food and beverages will be available for purchase at the Cliffhouse before, during and after the event, until 3:15 p.m. 

Ute Mountaineer in Aspen will offer free uphill-gear demos on this day to anyone participating in the Uphill Champagne Lunch. Contact Ute Mountaineer for more details on gear pickup. Dogs are not permitted during mountain operational hours or at any formal uphill events. All participants must have a valid Uphill Pass and display their uphill strap, Skico officials said.  

The Limelight Aspen will host an après Fireside Chat women’s panel in partnership with Halfdays, the women-owned ski and outdoor apparel brand, in the hotel lobby at 4-6 p.m. on March 8. Open to the public, this event will feature a panel discussion with impactful women from the outdoor industry, including Aspen Snowmass COO and Chief Legal Officer Rana Dershowitz; Ariana Ferwerda, co-founder and CEO of Halfdays; SKI Magazine Editor-in-Chief Sierra Shafer; and New York Times contributor Marisa Meltzer.  

The après event will also include a raffle, with all proceeds going to SheJumps, a non-profit committed to bringing access to the outdoors to girls and women across the nation.

Also benefitting SheJumps, the Women Behind the Lens Photo Auction will begin March 1 and run throughout Women’s History Month. Hosted by Aspen Snowmass, the online auction will feature framed photos from a few of the Roaring Fork Valley’s female photographers. Bidding will open online on March 1 and go until March 31. To view the auction and bid, visit the website here:

Other Women’s History Month events:

March 1: Champagne Brunch at The Little Nell — Brunch on the Ajax Tavern patio on Wednesday, March 1 at 11:30 a.m. Brunch is presented by The Little Nell Pastry Chef Meghan McGarvey and Sommelier Rachael Liggett-Draper. Tickets are required and start at $130 per person. 

March 7: Women’s History Month Aspen U: A Conversation with Imbolo Mbue — Cameroonian-American author Imbolo Mbue will be discussing her second novel, “How Beautiful We Were,” named by The New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of 2021. The talk is in partnership with Aspen Winter Words Series, and will be held at Paepcke Auditorium from 6-7 p.m. with a book signing to follow. Visit the Aspen Words website to purchase tickets. 

March 25: SheJumps Junior Ski Patrol Clinic — Snowmass and SheJumps are co-hosting a junior ski patrol Wild Skills training event for junior high and high school girls. The event gives girls an opportunity to learn from professional female ski patrollers about a range of outdoor skills and facets of mountain safety, with activities including the basics of first aid and visiting with avalanche dogs on Snowmass. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website here:

Spotted owl proposed for threatened list in Sierra Nevada

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the California spotted-owl population in the Sierra Nevada as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The agency has determined that the California spotted owl is comprised of two geographically- and genetically-distinct population segments, the Coastal-Southern California population and the Sierra Nevada population. The agency is proposing to list the Coastal-Southern California population as endangered and the Sierra Nevada population as threatened.

As part of this proposed listing, the FWS is including a rule for the Sierra Nevada owls that exempts the prohibition of take under the Endangered Species Act for forest-fuels management activities that reduce the risk of large-scale, high-severity wildfire.

“Our goal is to help the California spotted owl recover across its range,” said Michael Fris, field supervisor of the agency’s Sacramento FWS Office. “Ongoing collaboration with a number of partners will result in positive conservation gains and put this species on the road to recovery.”

Cerveza, no firearms, on tap at Boebert’s old restaurant

Cerveza, margaritas, and enchiladas rancheras are coming to a downtown Rifle spot that formerly dished out burgers and fries by pistol-packing servers.

Tapatios of New Castle is currently in the process of opening a new location inside the vacant downtown Rifle storefront that used to house Shooters Grill. The former Shooters was owned by Silt Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.

Rifle City Council on Feb. 15 unanimously approved a hotel and liquor license for Tapatios. Floor plans submitted with the liquor-license application show the new restaurant creating a large indoor seating area, a patio section out front, and full sitting bar.

“It’s a family restaurant,” Tapatio owner Esmeralda Cornejo told City Council members after the approval.

The former Shooters, which never served alcohol, opened in May 2013 and closed in July 2022 when building owner Milkin Enterprises, LLC — which also owns cannabis dispensary Rifle Remedies — opted not to renew Boebert’s lease.

Parking outage leads to free parking and losses for town of Vail

A number of lucky skiers, guests, and residents got free parking in Vail on Saturday, Feb. 4, when the town experienced an outage of its parking system.

The town experienced a widespread outage of the credit-card processor used for its parking operations. The town is estimating it lost approximately $50,000 in revenue when the system was down.

Greg Hall, the town’s director of public works and transportation, reported on Feb. 7 that Windcave, the credit-card processor used by the town’s parking systems, had experienced a “worldwide” outage.

All in, the system was down for around six hours, he said.

While the town has a backup plan for internet outages, it is now researching plans for “dual redundancy” on credit-card processing should something similar happen again, he added.