December 26, 2007
ASPEN ” Nothing keeps my mom off the slopes.
A relentless skier who worships the soft stuff, from good packed powder to springtime slush, she turned 70 at the beginning of this month.
As a little girl, she skied mountains like Stowe, Vt., when the sport was about hiking to the top for just two runs a day. She once climbed and skied the gnarly cornice of Tuckerman Ravine in New Hampshire, and, growing up, both she and my dad were always quick to pack a lunch and the station wagon and head for the hills.
In recent years, however, a bum knee slowed her down, and, on a visit to Aspen last year, she couldn’t ski.
But, like the Six Million Dollar Woman, my mom would be rebuilt.
“When can I ski?” was the first thing she asked the doctor who replaced her left knee in February.
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And, after a year of near-obsessive rehab, daily swimming and weight lifting all aimed at getting back to skiing, she made it Saturday.
She was hooting with joy on a warm-up run down the soft groomers from the midpoint of the Village Express lift at Snowmass, and was steady and stylish on a run down Elk Camp.
Then Sunday, I joined her and my dad, also 70, on the Big Burn for a few low-visibility runs down Sneaky’s.
On Monday, the two cross-country skied some 3 miles on the Aspen golf course, and, on Christmas Day, we ripped up the powder on Buttermilk.
The picture of persistence, mom is a miracle on skis.
Snowmass received 8 inches of new snow over the past 24 hours, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Wednesday morning report. Aspen Mountain picked up 6 inches, Aspen Highlands got 2 inches and Buttermilk received 4 inches.
The Tuesday afternoon report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center: Above treeline the avalanche danger is considerable on north, northeast, east and southeast aspects and moderaate on other aspects. Danger is an overall moderate at and below treeline. Unstable wind slabs and drifts are likely today on many steep slopes above treeline, and possible on steep slopes near treeline.