On the Hill: Slushies for all | AspenTimes.com

On the Hill: Slushies for all

It’s nearly May and Aspen Mountain could still be open.Sure the white’s a little brownish in spots, but snow continues to win its spring battle with dirt from top to bottom.But since the lifts sit idle and it was Earth Day, On the Hill used a little green power and hoofed it up to Ruthie’s and nabbed some all-natural, hard-earned turns for a change. And good ones – round of Slushies for everyone.Top of Ruthie’s Run to Gene Reardon’s to Magnifico Road to Super 8 and over to Little Nell: uninterrupted turns (but for a short trek back to Little Nell and a few cat track drops). And all with fairly consistent snow sliding and skittering beneath and nary a soul to be seen.There are still a few mountains operating lifts – Arapahoe Basin with its 13,050-foot summit elevation, Heavenly with its record snow including 20 feet in 20 days this January. But after a long season of the hustle and bustle, the high-speed chairs, the sharing, the noise, it’s good to have a mountain to yourself and a few cohorts.It’s how skiing must have been before Sun Valley in 1936 opened with the world’s first chairlifts, which were supposedly based on lifts used to load cargo vessels in Central America. Before the first gondola in the United States at Wildcat in New Hampshire in 1958. Before Aspen’s Lift-1 in 1946.When the chairlifts close, a few strangers back in town shoot anyone with skis on his shoulder a puzzled, sometimes annoyed look: The season’s over, give it up. But a few out there know. It’s still good. Go get you some.

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