On the hill: Skiin’ it old school
ASPEN – Remember the good old days? Sometimes you forget until your memory is jarred by reliving the past.
That’s just what happened on a recent Saturday when four girlfriends and I got together at Highlands. We skied the hell out of that mountain and we never made it into Steeplechase, let alone rode the Deep Temerity lift or hiked the bowl. You know, the way it used to be when none of that terrain even existed.
For those of you who don’t remember or are too young to know, Highlands was a kick-ass mountain before the eastern side opened with lift access. There was a time when Steeplechase was as far as you could go in-bounds. We made the most of it then and we did again the other day.
The day started when one of the “chicks on sticks” suggested we do a fast cruiser down Memory Lane. There were the five of us skiing in perfect formation on corduroy.
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We had so much fun skiing the lower part of the mountain – runs that we totally forgot about because we’ve been too consumed with the bowl side – that we decided to make it our mission to ski all day and never venture to the Temerity side.
Someone would make the call right before we unloaded the lift and we took off. I skied lines I’ve never skied before. I took tracks through the trees that I totally forgot about. We stretched runs out that lasted way longer than I remember. Our collective memories opened our eyes to a whole different mountain.
Everywhere we went, the snow and bumps were soft. We skied left of Deception in the trees. Awesome. Aces and Eights. Phenomenal. The Wall, the Alps. I forgot how much fun those are.
We also ripped it up down low: Separator and Audacious (under the Thunderbowl lift); Golden Horn Woods, Lower Golden Horn Woods, Bob’s Glades, P-Chutes. All great runs with surprisingly good snow. Sure, there were a few rock bands to hop over and a few branches to navigate, but who cares?
It was nostalgia at its best. Even apres brought me back in time – and it wasn’t at the old ZG Grill (now Northwoods Lodge.) Surprisingly, it was the Ritz Carlton! A live band, fire pits, $4 Heineken 24-ounce kegs, and $2 PBR and Coors tall boys drove the locals to the deck. We drank until dark and laughed with old friends. There’s nothing like a Saturday at Highlands.
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