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No friends on a powder day

ASPEN ” It’s halfway through what will be known as one of the most epic seasons in history, and I still find myself out of shape.

Or least I did Monday. I consider myself a fairly decent skier, but it’s hard to keep up with a professional, balls-to-the-wall freeskier. And my Super Bowl antics from the previous night didn’t help my performance on yet another powder day.

I ran into a friend, who happens to be a freeskier champion, in the ticket office at the base of Ajax on Monday morning. We jumped into the gondola together and mapped out our first run ” Walsh’s to Bingo.

She took off like a bat out of hell, and in my effort to ski fast and furious to keep up, I bit it halfway down Walsh’s. I hiked 15 feet up to get my pole, and by that time my friend was waiting for me at the top of the cat track. Sucking wind, I followed her to Bingo and jumped in.

It wasn’t until I reached the gondola plaza that I was able to catch my breath. Of course, she was waiting for me at the bottom, skis off, looking calm and collected. And while I appreciate the wait on a powder day, I almost wished she hadn’t because I felt like I wanted to die.

My friend is used to waiting and she isn’t so hard-core that she feels the need to live by the “no friends on a powder day” mantra. But she most likely saved my life when she inadvertently skied off to the Dumps when I headed over to the water station to meet a co-worker who I was planning to take a run with. Through a few text messages later in the day, she apologized for not hanging closer.

No worries. I’m OK with the ditch. She might be a faster skier, but I typically end up with the last word. You can’t ski with someone who works in an industry that buys ink by the barrel and not expect sometimes to hit the public realm.

I look forward to our next run together, when hopefully I’ll be at the bottom before she is. Cheers!

Snowmass and Aspen Highlands have received 11 inches of new snow over the past 24 hours, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Tuesday morning report. Aspen Mountain picked up 10 inches and Buttermilk got 8 inches.

Over the past 48 hours, Snowmass has received 20 inches, Highlands got 17 inches, Aspen Mountain got 15 inches and Buttermilk picked up 13 inches.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center report for the Aspen zone on Tuesday, Feb. 5:

The avalanche danger is considerable. Human-triggered slides are probable. Go to http://avalanche.state.co.us/ for the detailed report.


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