Shop ’til you drop | AspenTimes.com

Shop ’til you drop

Jon Maletz

One of my co-workers described the scenario best: “It’s like going to the Caribbean and staying out of the water.”Sure, I was glad to have my girlfriend visit last week. I hadn’t seen her in nearly 3 1/2 months. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed, however, when I discovered that she had “conveniently” left her ski clothes in Connecticut.I was aware that she had little intention of taking some turns, but I thought there was at least a chance I could convince her. After all, I successfully persuaded her in the past to follow me to Stratton in Vermont and to Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts.Reality set in quickly this time. Instead of reading trail signs, I was reading shop signs. My hardest decision was not whether to take Northstar or Knowlton’s, but helping Laura choose between the light- and dark-colored jeans. The pushy shoppers, the relentless salespeople, the obnoxiously bright lights bearing down on me in store after store. And, of course, I crossed paths with people carrying skis on seemingly every street corner.Anguish painted my face as I drove past Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk on Tuesday morning. Skiers were enjoying the 5-plus inches of fresh snow that fell the night before; I was on my way to wait in the United Airlines ticket line. If I had my car window down, I’m sure I would’ve heard someone laughing at me. It was hard to go one week without skiing, but I was ecstatic to see a familiar face. Honest. I’m sure these few paragraphs will probably get me in trouble, but I’m not worried. I doubt my cell phone will have service at the top of the Loge Peak chair.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is considerable on N-E-S aspects above treeline. At treeline the danger is moderate with pockets of considerable on N-E-S aspects. Below treeline the danger is moderate.The snow cover is tender, and human-triggered avalanches are possible, if not probable, even below treeline.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.