The Longest Run
Roger Marolt gave up my stash Aspen Mountain (yes, all of it) in his column Friday when he wrote:”Finally, Aspen Mountain is still the king of the ski hills. It is the perfect blend of black-double-diamond and awesome cruising. Great skiing is more concentrated on this small mountain than anywhere I’ve ever been. Just like the seasons in Aspen, as soon as you’re ready for change you’ve got it.”Once Roger gave it up, I began thinking about what makes Ajax so great. One thing for sure is all the skiing, or snowboarding, you can get in between lift rides. Think of all you can do with one run from top to bottom. Just one ride up on the gondola that’s a 14-minute ride and miles of skiing opens up.The official trail map of Aspen/Snowmass, as the Aspen Skiing Co. likes to refer to itself these days, says the longest run on Aspen Mountain is three miles. I’m not sure what the name of that magical three-mile run is, but here’s one that seems at least three miles long:After getting off the gondola, put on your skis or snowboard and turn right onto 1 & 2 Leaf, a blue-square run that serves as a great, 10-turn warm-up run. Turn right onto Walsh’s and enjoy the tight bumps on top and bigger bumps on the bottom.After skate-skiing out via Lud’s Lane, go straight past the couch (Lift No. 7) and to Gentleman’s Ridge and eventually Jackpot. After finishing one of the most challenging runs in the resort, zoom around Kleenex Corner, taking Tower Ten Road past Little Nell to the 1A side of the mountain to Norway Slope on the extreme lower left (skier’s left) side of the mountain.That’s the longest nonstop run that doesn’t involve a significant hike I’ve ever been on here or anywhere else.If you’re not all smiles by now at the bottom of 1A, you probably should have gone to Aspen Highlands.Tomorrow, The Longest Run, episode 2.
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