Steeped in friends |

Steeped in friends

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

It was a day of friendship, and fresh snow, in Highland Bowl yesterday.

One friend, one of the more elegant skiers and snowboarders I know, came up behind me on the Temerity Road early in the morning. As he walked up the road, I was busy watching another friend bounce down the fluffy top part of Mushroom like a gleeful rabbit.

The second friend told me about on all-day epic powder feast he had on a Sunday with another group of friends.

They skied Possible, the Wall, the Cirque headwall, the runs to the sides of Gowdy’s and KT Gully. From start to finish on Sunday all they did was ski and ride steep powder runs.

Snowmass, I surmised, was in fine shape over the weekend and has only gotten better with the steady snowfall we’ve had all week.

After more praise for what now seems like a real winter, we dropped into Mushroom and promptly got “lost” in the trees, turning this way and that. I saw my friend again at the Loge lift.

Later, up on the ridge, another friend told me how often he had been coming to the bowl recently, how it had become this obsession, looming over town.

Yes, he was still skiing Aspen Mountain, and his friends there were telling him of suburb conditions on Ajax, and off of Ajax, especially on a run toward the west named for an old dark mine.

Many friends were running into friends yesterday in the snowcat, along the ridge, and at the summit. It was a day to discover which friends knew other friends. And to find that they were all sharing new common ground.

Some had come together, such as the group of ski pros who were up to follow a ski school director down her favorite line in the bowl.

Others had come with friends from out of town, who got an especially sweaty impression of the hike yesterday, as it was warm on the ridge before the snow moved in just after noon.

Some had come in a trio of old friends who have been skiing together a long time. They were able to easily spend a few minutes talking on the summit as noon, and a patroller, approached. He was there to drop the rope to the North Woods, which were soft and full of untracked snow from the last several days.

I had gone up alone and run into many friends. Including one who took me, on my second lap, on one of his specialized routes. He led me, and another mutual friend, to nicely spaced trees set on a pleasantly steep slope that was covered by just-fluffed pillows of snow.

Now that is a good place to find a good friend.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.