No friends every day
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” Any more big snow dumps and I’m going to be a pretty lonely guy.
“No friends on a powder day” is the old mountain-town code, which means that on days with tons of fresh snow there’s just no waiting for chums in the liftline or at the bottom of the hill.
With the heavens dumping buckets of fluffy freshness over our fair city Saturday night, a few ski buddies called and asked if I would be up for a few runs.
“If you can catch me” was my answer.
So, on Sunday, I flew solo on Aspen Mountain, making fresh tracks on my favorite powder stashes below the Ajax Express lift. I had a few runs on Face of Bell and skied laps on the F.I.S. lift before dropping down Seiberts to Gentleman’s Ridge (“the couch”) chair.
It was as if the mountain itself held some kind of “trust fall” exercise: Below every drop and coating every mogul was mountains of comforting softness.
I howled my appreciation to the heavens.
Alone in the trees on Shoulder of Bell, I grinned (close-mouthed) with each face-full of snow, and whooped with every untracked powder turn.
Then I stopped, completely out of breath, in a silent grove of pines and started to wonder.
Is this all there is to life? Alone in powdery perfection? What is the point of nature’s splendor without someone to share it with?
My cell phone hummed in my pocket with an incoming call.
Below me a field of virgin whiteness.
I’ll call them back tomorrow, I thought.
Aspen Mountain picked up another 10 inches of snow in the past 24 hours, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Tuesday morning report. Snowmass got 7 inches, Aspen Highlands got 5 inches and Buttermilk received 4 inches.
The Aspen zone remains under an avalanche warning until Tuesday evening, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The avalanche danger is high on all aspects and elevations where natural and human-triggered slides are likely, says the CAIC.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.