The perfect kiss |

The perfect kiss

Allyn Harvey

It would be hard to imagine a more perfect ending to 2003 and beginning to 2004 than the one just passed.

The town was full. The snow was bountiful. People were everywhere, even on the hill.

On New Year’s Day, Ferris boasted that he hit the slopes early and was rewarded with perfectly soft corduroy everywhere he went on Aspen Mountain.

By noon, there were short lines at Lift 3, the Ajax Express, and even shorter lines everywhere else, except at the Ajax Tavern at the bottom of Little Nell. Waits for a table at the bottom-of-the-mountain favorite were 40 minutes long, and even after being seated, patrons were lucky if they were fed in under an hour.

At one point, a harried waiter said there were 36 burgers on the grill in the kitchen.

The mild temperatures and sometimes sunny skies of the first day of the year contrasted sharply with what happened the next two. It began snowing on Thursday night, and there were more than 2 inches on the ground by early Friday morning. By the end of skiing Friday, the amount of new snow was in the double digits.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said one of the paper’s more committed skiers. “It snowed all day without stopping.”

It kept snowing all night, and by 5 a.m. Saturday there were 21 inches of new snow on top of Snowmass and 18 on top of Aspen Highlands. And the snow kept falling into Saturday night. Sunday morning, the Aspen Skiing Co. reported 31 inches at the top of Snowmass from the storm. Then the skies cleared, the temperatures dropped, and whatever moisture was in the snow was sucked out by the cold, dry air.

“It was like skiing on pillows of powder,” said one of the more in-demand ski school pros about her run down Bell Mountain.

The National Weather Service is predicting cold temperatures tonight and a slight chance of snow tomorrow. The chance of snow increases later in the week.

In the meantime, the snow conditions are perfect for chasing that girl you have a crush on down the mountain and, if you’re lucky, maybe scoring a kiss.