On the hill: Champagne powder and caviar smiles
December 11, 2009
ASPEN – There’s nothing like taking a few runs during the lunch hour to clear your head and adjust your attitude.
Even though the hassle factor of carrying your gear to and from the office can be the barrier between not going and going, it sure is worth it when you make the extra effort.
I went up Aspen Mountain Friday and took six runs over about an hour’s time. The temperature was a balmy 22 degrees, which felt like 40 after all the subzero temps we’ve had as of late.
Sunny skies, warm temps, excellent snow and grins among many locals were just what the doctor ordered for the last day of a very long week. It made me feel grateful and lucky to live here. It’s a feeling that you forget when the lifts are closed.
On Wednesday I was able to get out for my first powder day of the season. I found myself at Snowmass because I had a meeting later that morning. I don’t remember having a powder day anywhere else but Ajax for the last few years, I guess because it’s just too easy to get to if you want fresh tracks.
But I got them Wednesday morning. It was a quick ride up the six-pack chair and then laps on Sam’s Knob. Knee-high powder awaited me. Flying through freshies had me grinning from ear to ear – and breathing so hard I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
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My legs weren’t the problem, it was the cardio that was killing me. No matter how much I run or hike or ski condition, it’s just not the same as having to work hard for your turns.
I’m not that out of shape so I justified my condition as being early season lungs and the weather. It certainly didn’t help that it was 10 degrees below zero that morning.
I thought twice about going up once I heard the weather report but I continued to get dressed, hoping that the conditions would outweigh the temperatures.
The powder, especially along the trees on Campground, didn’t disappoint, that’s for sure. So far, it’s been a solid opening season, and I can’t wait for more memorable days on the mountains.
Happy skiing, everyone.