The slow zone |

The slow zone

Aspen Times Staff Report

One major event missed during all the hubbub surrounding the Winter X Games was National Safety Awareness Week, an annual event put on by the National Ski Areas Association that ran this year Jan. 17-23.

While everybody was watching hotshot teens pull Crippler 720s and the like in the halfpipe, and watching the truly crazy of the X Games pull no-handed backflips off ice jumps on their motorcycles, the Aspen Skiing Co. was in a full-fledged competition of its own.

The Skico, looking to take top honors in the nationwide safety contest for the second year in a row, came up with some pretty imaginative ways to promote safety.

The coolest was the hot sauce that was on tables and condiment stands in mountain restaurants throughout the resort. The Tabasco Sauce-sized bottles had black labels that featured two fiery orange skiers and the words “Safety is Hot” across the top and “You’re the Sauce” across the bottom.

Another Skico safety innovation was to haul one of those electronic radar gun/digital displays that are usually located on the side of the road to let motorists know how fast they’re traveling up on Fanny Hill. The “slow zone” had a recommended speed of 15 mph. Uniformed police from the town of Snowmass Village were at the bottom writing up “friendly tickets” to speeders that included a safety message and a $5 drink coupon.

Skico exec Rich Burkley reckons the company has a good chance at winning top honors in the contest once again, because most other resorts simply have poster contests in their local schools.

If that’s the best the rest can do, then we deserve to win.

Back to the present: Short Snort and the Face of Bell beat the bejesus out of one On the Hill’s highly skilled correspondents yesterday. The problem? Giant moguls with deep troughs. The 1A side of the mountain, and a few of the dumps besides Short Snort, were speckled with the perfect, rounded, easy-to-get-over moguls.