The luck of the Irish |

The luck of the Irish

May Selby
Aspen, CO Colorado
Ali Phillips, Klaus Obermeyer and Tami Solondz at the AYPA barbecue. Ali is VP on the board; Tami is a founding member and still serves on the board. (May Selby)

St. Patrick’s Day kicked off at the crack of dawn with the mass ascent of Aspen Mountain for America’s Uphill. Presented by the Ute Mountaineer and Aspen Parks and Recreation, this year’s race attracted nearly 300 athletes for the assault up the slopes to the Sundeck.

Besides being a rite of passage each spring in Aspen, the Uphill also carries a deeper meaning. When the late Scott Edmondson conceived the race 30 years ago, he dedicated it to the memory of German mountaineer Fritz Stammberger who spent many years in Aspen back in the ’60s. In training for his athletic exploits and adventures, Stammberger would climb Aspen Mountain in less than an hour. This year’s event was ded­icated to both Stammberger and Edmondson, both of whom would be impressed that 46 of the competitors beat the 60-minute barrier.

The sun rose steadily as the race was under way and stayed out throughout the day, providing perfect weather and con­ditions for spring skiing and slopeside barbecues.

Aspen Young Professionals Associa­tion hosted a St. Patrick’s Day BBQ at Blondie’s Cabin for members and friends. In addition to grilling burgers and brats, AYPA board members also offered ski racing on the NASTAR course for those interested in a bit of healthy competition. The guest of honor, Klaus Obermeyer, spoke to the group about his origins in the area, back when he was a young professional. Obermeyer enlightened all with tales of the early days at Aspen Mountain ski school where he earned $10 a day when there was work to be had. The days he had free and no clients to instruct, he spent in reverie of his business, Sport Obermeyer, which is currently celebrat­ing its 60th year. In typical fashion, Obermeyer ended his speech with an upbeat yodel, then mingled with his younger friends.

On St. Patrick’s Day evening, several birthday celebrations took place around town. Among the celebrants out and about was local real estate broker Lisa Barberelli, who marked her 36th birth­day with many an Irishman and lass at Double Dog Pub.