On the hill: Glorious groomers | AspenTimes.com

On the hill: Glorious groomers

ASPEN – Sometimes, there’s nothing like a little corduroy to get the day off to a good start.

On Wednesday, the place to find that was cruising straight down Aspen Mountain.

Riding one of the first buckets up the mountain, it was obvious that skiing the groomers was going to the be the right call – the light was flat (and getting flatter), there was no new snow, and it seemed nobody else was on the hill.

This last point is perhaps the most important.

Don’t know what I mean?

Consider this: Corduroy, once schussed over by dozens and dozens of skiers and riders, is no longer corduroy. Sure, the slope is groomed, but those buttery, snowcat-created grooves are gone. There are humps and bumps where once the snow was perfectly manicured under foot.

Another important point: When there is nobody on the hill, a ski slope is like your own slice of snow-covered heaven.

Yes, this sounds a bit dramatic. And perhaps it is. But carving turns from the bottom of Lift 3 to the top of Little Nell, right down the gut of Spar Gulch, can be a Jekyll-and-Hyde experience.

Ski that stretch at, say, 2:30 p.m. on a sunny weekend day, and you’ll be battling the masses for space to let those skis really fly. And chances are you’ll lose.

On Wednesday morning, it was my two girlfriends, me and the mountain. Needless to say, we could let our skis fly – and we did. And since hardly anybody had been down the gulch before us, the corduroy was, well, still corduroy – perfectly manicured and buttery.

So like I said, there’s nothing like a little corduroy to get the day off to a good start.


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