Lost llamas lead to Copper confusion
Dear Editor:Re: the llama on the lam story (“Forest Service llama caught by Ajax trail crew,” Sept. 11): Though the earnest cub reporters listened to their sources well, a few factual errors found their way into print.First, we llama wranglers on top of Aspen Mountain understood from the USFS that the lost llama’s name was Kerbert, which had twice found his way up Aspen Mountain. That means Hadley Llama stayed home in the USFS corral, not vice versa. When the Smokies arrived to collect Kerbert, they soothed him by calling him “Kerby,” and we tried to make up some llama jokes. But nothing really made us laugh, that is, no pun in 10 did.We considered trying to coax Kerbert into custody with a bagel, but he wasn’t interested, and we soon realized he wasn’t the Deli Llama.Also, cowpoke lore among the gauchos says that in the Pampas llamas and cows don’t mix well because the cows play with the llamas and the llamas spit. The moral: Llamas, don’t let you’re your babies grow up to be cow toys.And if that isn’t enough, remember there is a one-L lama, a two-L llama, and a three-L lllama, which is a serious fire, or, a three-alarmer.OK. On a more serious note, there was a second factual error in the llama saga, wherein the whim of changing the name of Copper Trail to “Lost Llama” was kicked around, and the location of Copper Trail was inaccurately stated in the article as leading into Spar Gulch.In fact, I was asked in the street today why they wanted to rename Copper Bowl. Yikes! Speaking to the press always comes out a little better or a little worse. So, as a public service, I will try to clear up the many-Copper-names confusion.Now, from the top of “Copper saddle” along the speediest part of the “Citizens’ Downhill” schuss between Bellissimo and Bell Mountain, Copper Trail drops toward Denver and T-bones Copper Connector, which segues into Copper Bowl at about the bottom of Back of Bell Two.Are you with me?Then there is Copper Cutoff, which heads down under lift No. 7 (“The Couch”) from the top until it becomes Copper Connector, the duodenum between Copper Cutoff and Copper Bowl. Copper Connector roughly starts below the bottom of Seiberts (pronounced Sighberts not Seeberts, named after Pete Seibert, a 10th-Mt-Division vet, AM patroller, and Vail founder). But to add insult to injury, Copper Connector has become a vestigial trail name while it still remains on the official map, and in ski patrol and local jargon that area has morphed into “lower Copper Cutoff” or “upper Copper.”With so many Coppers a skier could lose his sense, and think he’s surrounded by a swat team. So, the higher-ups thought a name change for Copper Trail might be a good idea. Brilliant!This mess will likely be sorted out by our incoming Aspen Mountain manager, Peter King.Thank you for your patience.Tim CooneyAspen
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