On the hill: Precious final run | AspenTimes.com
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On the hill: Precious final run

Stewart Oksenhorn
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS – We were seconds away from stepping onto the Skittles lift at Snowmass, thus ending a good, but not great, ski day on Saturday.

The good was soft snow, and another magnificent day of watching my daughter Olivia blossom into a skier. The not-great: I craved at least one more run, and preferably on something other than Sneaky’s/Powerline Glades, which Olivia sees as the be-all, end-all of downhill terrain. My hope had been to introduce her to Garrett Gulch, which has everything Olivia requires in a ski run – namely, trees.

When we heard a voice calling our names, we saw Olivia’s best friend, Nakiri, and her papa, Dr. Scott, getting on the Village Express lift. That recharged Olivia’s legs – if it meant getting more Nakiri time, Olivia was game for anything. Possibly even a groomer at Buttermilk, if it came to that.

Scott’s plan was the POMA lift to the top of the Cirque, which I hadn’t contemplated for Olivia yet. But Scott’s not one to hesitate, and the next thing I knew we’re on our way up. We were among the last ones up, and as we let the girls take in the views from the top of Snowmass, the Cirque emptied out, leaving us this wide-open expanse of snow, sky and silence. It was a pleasure to have Olivia detach from me and boldly charge down a slope she’d never seen before, trusting herself that she could handle it. Which may explain why the 2 inches of powder under my board felt like a foot.

And when we reached the bottom of the Cirque, what lay before us? Garrett Gulch, which we entered without a second thought. Scott and I marveled as our girls maneuvered through the glades and on into the bumps. Olivia’s eyes were opened to a new piece of the mountain; I got another run in. And we all had what felt like a precious moment.

stewart@aspentimes.com


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