Should I stay or should I go?
The omens were everywhere, saying I shouldn’t be on the mountain this day.First, I left my gloves and hat in Bonedale, ruling out any possibility of retrieval. A co-worker suggested I look around the Times for the needed attire. The gloves weren’t a problem (thanks Paul) and the absence of a hat was remedied soon afterward (thanks Stewy).Settled in a gondola car and still looking forward to a couple of runs, the second omen hit. I had wedged my ski pole in such a way that the cabin doors wouldn’t close. Struggling with the pole in the now open-air cabriolet, I nearly pulled it out of its grip.Normally not a superstitious person, I nevertheless questioned whether I should get off the gondola. I managed to extract the ski pole and close the doors, which stayed mostly shut.The stunning vistas, soft snow and blue skies were welcoming and helped exorcise whatever ill tidings were chasing me. After a few warm-up runs on Dipsy Doodle and Silver Bell, fresh snow was found on Midnight and Summit. But we are now hurting for snow. Dirt patches and grass poking through the base could be seen on a few trails.Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk rightly hogged all the attention with their openings last weekend. And while Highlands continues to open terrain – today, the ski patrollers will drop the rope to Highland Bowl with access to G8 and G6 – this coming weekend will offer events back at Ajax and Snowmass.On Saturday the USASA Snowboard Series comes to Snowmass. Competitors can qualify for the USASA national and international championships. Also on Saturday, the Storm the Stars Uphill Race will take hard-core athletes up Aspen Mountain at night using their choice of equipment.Just think: If you walk up you won’t have to worry about jamming your pole in the gondola door.