Spoiled days of skiing | AspenTimes.com

Spoiled days of skiing

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

I’ve managed to avoid skiing back-to-back days all winter. In fact, I rarely ski more than once every couple of weeks. Why I shelled out the bucks for a two-day-a-week ski pass is beyond me, but that’s another story.

Last weekend, it was the presence of a houseguest hell bent on actually using his pass ” the last two days remaining on his four-day Classic Pass ” that forced me into two straight days of skiing. My legs haven’t been so tired since those long-ago weeks of early November, when ski-conditioning class whipped me into a brief state of fitness that disappeared faster than my resolve to conquer the bumps this season.

On Saturday, we hit Aspen Mountain, where we didn’t so much ski together as ride the lifts together. I’d ski a groomer, while he sought out a nearby bump run. We rendezvoused at the chairlift. The highlight for me was stopping to watch the junior racers speed down the super G course over on the Ruthie’s side at breakneck speed. The highlight for him was a last run of the day down the Ridge of Bell, an area I have consciously avoided skiing ” ever. Having had many a laugh over the misfortunes of others from the vantage point of a gondola bucket, there was no way I was going down the ridge.

I grumbled about hauling ourselves back upvalley for a second day Sunday and was reminded that I am extremely spoiled because it required a 20-minute drive and a bus ride to reach the slopes of Snowmass.

As it turns out, it was worth it. It was one of those early spring days when the snow is soft, but not slop, and it’s warm enough to peel off the jacket and eat lunch outside. Plus, what with the time change and all, we got a late enough start that I still was there by midafternoon ” a real rarity for me. That meant a beer on a deck, in the sun.

OK, I’m spoiled. I admit it.

Snowmass picked up 3 inches of new snow over the past 24 hours, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Tuesday morning report. Two inches fell at Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk received 1 inch.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center report for the Aspen zone on Tuesday, March 11:

The avalanche danger has pockets of considerable on NE-E-SE aspects steeper than 35 degrees, above treeline. West and northwest winds have created some soft slabs on these aspects. The danger is moderate on slopes that are less steep, on S-SW-W-NW-N aspects at all elevations and on all aspects near and below treeline. Human-triggered avalanches remain possible on those slopes.

Go to http://avalanche.state.co.us/ for the full report and information on conditions statewide.