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Old news, newsman

Joel StoningtonAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN I heard a rumor early Sunday that Highlands would stay open an extra week and thought it was just the yearly rumor, same deal: If they didn’t keep it open after last year’s epic closing day, then this year’s slush was unlikely.But after Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle confirmed, “This time the rumor is true,” I got all excited and went out to Highlands to spread the word and do a few on-mountain interviews.For the most part, however, the locals already knew. As I was hiking up the Bowl, I saw some friends standing there, and I imparted the news.”We heard,” said one person.”Yeah, that’s the word,” another said, deadpan.The newsman in me smarted. I hadn’t even written the news, and already it was old. With that I hurried on up the Bowl to the top, buried in fog, strapped on my skis and headed toward the North Woods. The top 100 yards of the Bowl was an ice rink. A few turns beyond that was perfect and largely unskied. In the steep portion of the North Woods, Highland Bowl felt like a January powder day.It got a little slushy on the runout, but not too bad.The bottom of the mountain, however, was another story entirely. The “kiss-the-tips” snow was out in full form, grabbing at the bottom of skis and making beginners look like water skiers. The verdict is that the extra week is good for getting a few more Bowl runs in, but they aren’t going to be rescheduling the canceled final GS of the Town Race Series anytime soon.


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