On the Hill: Mapping out the season
November 8, 2006
You know ski season is nosing closer when the Aspen Skiing Co.’s new trail map hits the stands.The Skico had 250,000 trail maps printed for the 2006-07 season. This year’s model sticks with a modern tradition of placing all four local ski areas on one map. They are available at the Skico’s ticket offices, as well as lodges and some brochure racks around Aspen and Snowmass.A careful eye will find a handful of changes on this edition. At Aspen Mountain, for example, one of the four trails with Copper as part of its name was changed: Copper Trail became La-Z-Boy. (And since we know how much Aspenites hate change, let’s just state for the record that the trails called Copper, Copper Cutoff and Copper Bowl retained their names.)At Aspen Highlands, the new map reflects the Mushroom trail’s doubling in length. It also shows the Child’s Play Gate on the far side of Highland Bowl. Snowmass’ map reflects the addition of the Elk Camp Gondola from the base of Fanny Hill to the bottom of the Elk Camp quad chairlift.The map also picks up the Skico’s effort of trying to educate people about global warming. There is a little copy box titled, “Snow: An Endangered Species.” It alerts readers that snow on the slopes of Aspen/Snowmass could disappear by 2100 at the current rate of global warming. It directs people to the Skico’s environmentally oriented website, http://www.aspensnowmass.com/savesnow, to learn more information.But perhaps the most significant change in the map from prior years is one of the most subtle. There is always a message from the company’s head honcho on the trail map. That’s been chief executive officer Pat O’Donnell for the last several years. This year, the message comes from Mike Kaplan, the company’s chief operating officer and the heir apparent when O’Donnell retires at the end of the season.So was this a ceremonial passing of the torch? Indeed it was, answered one Skico official.