On the hill: Daddy-daughter days | AspenTimes.com

On the hill: Daddy-daughter days

Bob Ward
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – It’s a ritual of mountain-town parenthood that you nurture your kids in their first years of skiing and then spend the rest of your life trying to catch up with them.

My two daughters, ages 7 and 9, currently reside in this “sweet spot” where they’re young enough to still enjoy my company, they’re strong-enough skiers that we have fun on the hill, and everyone somehow feels that daddy-daughter days are a special occasion.

A couple of weeks ago, 7-year-old Olivia and I ended up on Aspen Mountain. We arrived a little late but enjoyed a solid three hours of skiing both the groomers above Chair 3 and a few double-diamond bumpers like Walsh’s and Ridge of Bell. It still astounds me to watch my kids disappear and reappear in fields of moguls that seem waist-high on their pint-sized frames.

We had a snack at Bonnie’s and finished the day with a stop at Aspen Sports, where Olivia chose a much-needed pair of new goggles (pink, to match her helmet) to replace the scratched-up, hand-me-down pair that she’s worn for several seasons.

Last weekend I hiked Highland Bowl with 9-year-old Annabelle, who made it to the top with a handful of rest stops and some encouragement from friends along the way (thanks, Caroline and Dina!). It was clear, calm and beautiful at the top, and though Annabelle had to overcome some fear of the deep powder in the G Zones, she wore a proud smile on her face on the chair ride up Deep Temerity.

After a bite at the Merry-Go-Round, we met up with Olivia, Mom and some other friends down at the NASTAR course. The girls showed off their racing skills in the gates – Mom hadn’t seen this spectacle before – and I had the privilege of collecting a couple of additional NASTAR medals.

There’s something bittersweet about these ski days. They’re a source of great fun and pride, but I know the girls are growing fast and this sweet spot won’t last long. Better bring the camera next time.


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