On the hill: Winter’s welcome return

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – I was thrilled with the return of winter Tuesday after dealing with the wind on Saturday and the concrete covering the slopes on Sunday.

My boss and I took our weekly jaunt up Tiehack before work and were afraid of finding dust on crust. Instead we found a couple inches of fresh at the bottom and close to four inches at the top. It wasn’t exactly light, fluffy power, but – hey – who can complain about powder of any type when temperatures have been in the 50s lately?

It appeared that only one other person had skinned up before us when we departed at 7:20 a.m. We followed the tracks up the lower Tiehack hill then realized the intrepid uphiller went up the steep Javelin trail. After reconnoitering for a second, we followed our predecessor’s path. It was easier than breaking our own trail through the wet, heavy snow on the slightly gentler slope of Tiehack Trail, the route we typically climb.

Say what you will about Tiehack, it provides a great workout when you have limited time. Two-thirds of the way up, we ran into the uphiller who proceeded us. A woman was on her way down, making beautiful turns in the powder with a large German shepherd literally on her heels. It would have made a great promotional flick for Aspen-Snowmass.

The snow was dumping on the mountain top and I came to the sad conclusion that we will probably only have one more opportunity to skin up Tiehack on a Tuesday morning. Buttermilk closes April 3. Where did the season go?

I know some people are ready for winter to end. Early birds have already made forays to Fruita and Moab on biking trips. Yard birds want to start working on their lawns and gardens. I’m happy we got some more snow and hope it keeps coming a while longer. Aspen was looking prematurely off-season brown.