On the Hill: It ain’t over till it’s over | AspenTimes.com

On the Hill: It ain’t over till it’s over

ASPEN – Add another odd chapter to this most unusual of seasons. Winter flared up again with a vengeance Tuesday even though the calendar said it was April 19.

Aspen Highlands reported 7 inches of snow by mid-morning, and Mother Nature was still pounding out the white stuff at times throughout the day. (Aspen Skiing Co. was estimating a foot of snow fell in Highland Bowl by the end of the day.) Needless to say, Highlands is sitting pretty for closing weekend this Saturday and Sunday.

My boss and I wanted to skin up one last time to the Merry-Go-Round before the ski area closes. We’re not exactly lazy, but we sure weren’t complaining when we found the groomers had been hard at it by the time we departed the base at 7:20 a.m. Tuesday. We had fresh corduroy and sunshine at the start, but before long it was snowing so hard that we encountered an inch of fresh, heavy snow blanketing the slopes.

Roughly halfway between the base and Merry-Go-Round, we encountered bona fide winter snow conditions rather than the sticky stuff. We could only look up the hill with the green eyes of envy when we had to strip off our skins and head back down at 8:15 a.m. A trip farther up the mountain and a plunge in the bowl wasn’t meant to be for us on this workday. We could only imagine that the few, the proud and the unencumbered by work had a great day on the slopes.

Bands and special events on Saturday and Sunday will help the Highlands loyalists get into a partying mood for the close of the season (as if they need mood enhancement).

At noon Saturday, the Great Divide Band will play at the Merry-Go-Round. At 3 p.m., athletes are invited to strut their stuff in the big air jump and compete for $500. The competition is at the base of Thunderbowl at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, Slightly White will play at the Merry-Go-Round at noon. And, of course, Highlands will host a big party throughout the day.

There will be a pond skim contest near the Merry-Go-Round either Saturday or Sunday, conditions permitting. Details are yet to be released.


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