On the hill: Weekend’s skiing as good as it gets
ASPEN – Life in Aspen was as good as it gets for a skier this weekend.
Friday was happy-zombie good, as in the people lucky enough to escape work to ski or ride had a wiped-out but satisfied look on their faces because the powder was so good. (I wasn’t among those who escaped.)
Saturday was as good as I’ve ever had at Aspen Highlands.
Sunday at Aspen Mountain was the kind of bluebird day that makes visitors want to move here and locals count their blessings.
Aspen Skiing Co. on Sunday reported 26 inches of fresh snow at Snowmass in the past week, 25 inches at Aspen Mountain and 24 inches at Aspen Highlands. It’s finally a payoff for staying patient through the season.
I went skiing with friends of friends at Highlands on Saturday. I had no clue what skill level they were. I brought my pack in anticipation of getting them oriented and then taking a couple of laps in Highland Bowl. Turned out they were such good skiers that I got tuckered without a hike. When the snow conditions are just right – and they were on Saturday – I think Steeplechase is the most enchanting place in the world. We made several laps there along with a couple of dives into Hyde Park and the trails in Oly Bowl.
Adding to the allure of Highlands on Saturday was the awe and compassion we felt for competitors in the Power of Four mountaineering race. We saw the leading teams at the base of the Deep Temerity chairlift early in the morning and were flabbergasted at what they had already accomplished. As the morning spilled into afternoon and straggling hikers in the competition kept making their way up the mountain, we couldn’t help but salute their tenacity.
Sunday might have been the best day yet this season. The moguls at Aspen Mountain were soft, the sun was sweet, and the views of the snowcapped Elk Mountains were to die for. My daughter and I celebrated with apple strudel at Bonnie’s, of course, and her first run down Silver Queen. It was a day to remember.
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