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Outside the tent

Allyn Harvey

As if walking uphill for half an hour to ski for 10 minutes doesn’t seem insane in its own right, try doing it with about eight pounds of french fries churning around in your stomach.Highland Bowl was in perfect shape Saturday. The air was crisp, and the skies were clear enough.Allyn wasn’t in perfect shape Saturday. He showed up at Highlands after gobbling up a burger and a plateful of fries at the J-Bar, ready to carve up a few groomers under Cloud 9 before venturing (or not) into Olympic Bowl or Deception. “At least I’ll get some exercise,” I told myself as the lump in my tummy kicked around. “Hopefully, I can neutralize my indulgence.”Then I ran into a co-worker who was reportedly once pegged to become a member of the national ski team of Czechoslovakia or some Central European country under the grip of dictatorship and communism. Word has it that she skied to freedom as a teen and now satisfies her competitive skiing needs in The Aspen Times Town Race Series.Anyway, my co-worker said she was going to be hiking the bowl a little later, which planted the idea in my head. The thought of overcoming the challenge presented by a plateful of burger and fries nearly steered me away from the bowl and toward Apple Strudel. But I rallied, skipped the snowcat ride and walked the long walk.Thirty-five minutes later I was standing atop the world, peaks all around, gazing down at some of the continent’s best in-bounds skiing, surrounded by people who couldn’t give a hoot about the circus under way at Buttermilk.After a brief struggle with one of the good life’s great choices – which chute to ski? – I went with my favorite, G8. The snow was perfect, even for the latecomer. It was one of those perfect post-powder-rush runs, where the moguls are really just piles of powder to float through.It was a great warm-up run.


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