On the hill: The return of a ski town | AspenTimes.com

On the hill: The return of a ski town

Bob Ward
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

So, on the best weekend of the winter so far, I got almost completely skunked. Not one face shot, not one knee-deep turn, just a few afternoon turns in the crud.

Just call me Daddy.

I’d agreed weeks ago to let my wife attend a day-long meditation retreat in Eldorado Springs over the weekend, and these retreats are good things for us both. So no complaints there.

I had thought I could work around it, that I’d find some day care for the 2-year-old on Saturday and/or hand him over to mom on Sunday.

But it didn’t work out that way. And you can’t ski powder with a 2-year-old on your back.

So I spent much of both days gazing out windows – at home, in the car, at a coffee shop in Vail – watching the snow fall and imagining what snowy delights the weekend might have held.

My older kids certainly got their powder fixes. They skied Highlands and Snowmass on Saturday, and Vail on Sunday (the oldest had a freestyle competition there, so everyone came along). I heard their stories, saw their smiles and watched the snow melt from their neck gaiters. An instructor even e-mailed a powdery picture of my 7-year-old and her pint-sized cohorts in the woods at Highlands on Saturday (Thanks, Squeesh!).

Surrounded by powder but unable to ski. It was like spending the day at a brewery and tasting nothing but salt water.

But really, it’s OK. I’ve been lucky to ski my fair share of powder this winter, and I’m just happy to lay eyes on all this fresh snow. The valley finally looks like it should in midwinter. Those dirt-encrusted snowbanks are all gleaming white and there are big, snowy muffin-tops on all the newspaper boxes and outdoor furniture. The blue sky against the white snow practically burns the eyes with beauty.

Aspen feels like a ski town again. And that’s a good thing – even if I did miss one helluva weekend.


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