Proud to be a dirt bag |

Proud to be a dirt bag

Dear Editor:

A few weeks ago, while waiting for the Highland Bowlcat, I overheard a conversation which got me thinking. Behind me, I heard someone talking to her group authoritatively about several ski subjects, from gear to places traveled, to backcountry protocol. By the accuracy of most of what she said, I knew she had to be a pro, and when I turned around recognized her as professional extreme skier, film star, and former pro racer Kim Reichhelm. You remember (I think it was) the “Blizzard of Ahhs,” when she stuck a big cliff jump, arched a GS turn, attempting to use an old growth tree like a gate, got knocked into a back-spin, tumbled, and recovered? Classic.

So, anyhow, the conversation got a little interesting for me when she commented, as two patrollers rigged their tow-straps, on the unlaundered condition of their coats, “Highlands patrollers carry a lot of explosives, and you can tell they sort of take pride and show it off ’cause their coats are always dirty. I mean, ski clothes are made to be washed.” Like Highland ‘trollers have the time or desire to wash their uniforms every day, just to trash them some more. Most bomb residue permanently stains, anyway.

I couldn’t resist the wisecrack, pretending not to know who she is: “You sound like an Aspen Mountain skier!” She quickly replied, “I am a professional skier and professional skiers should be clean …” To which I only replied, “Buy a roll of Duct tape!” I have been trying to figure out for years why I never became a professional skier, and I now know. I’M TOO DIRTY! Damn it, if I had just washed those jackets more over the last 30 years, I could have been a pro, too!

Inspired, I decided to create a celebration: the First Annual Dirtbag Ball. The bash in appreciation of the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol and dirty bootbackers, happens this Saturday the 5th at the Eagles’ Club. Featuring: live music with the Hood Ratz and the Butchers, food from New York Pizza, dancing, contests, and fun! Open to the public the fun starts at 7 p.m. Free to AHSP and bootpackers, $10 for all others. Come in your dirtiest attire and celebrate professional dankness! And Kim, if you are reading this, you are cordially invited; just make sure you soil your cloths, first! How ironic would it be if you were to win the Dirtbag Queen pageant?!?!

Chris “Dogger” Anderson

Aspen Highlands/Fruita

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