The winner is … Town Race Series |

The winner is … Town Race Series

Steve Benson

A friend of mine called me from work the other night and left a message on my phone saying something to the effect of, “You’re a champion.” I didn’t really know what he was talking about (he often speaks in riddles so this was no surprise), but suspected it may have had something to do with The Aspen Times Town Race Series. Earlier this season, I entered one race in the telemark division. I should have entered more and here’s why: I won a new pair of Smith sunglasses after taking third in the overall. I discovered this when I arrived at work Monday and found the prize, along with a plaque for third place, sitting on my desk. Woo-hoo! I won third out of a field of … three. But the best part is that all of my other sunglasses are either cheap and falling apart, broken, or more scratched than the gondola’s windows.Kudos to the good men and women of the race series, who don’t discriminate against free-heelers. Next season, I’ll enter more races. Changing subjects: It’s funny how your mind works when you’re exploring new terrain in low visibility. A couple of friends of mine from the Front Range hiked Highland Bowl for the first time last weekend. This was Saturday, when the top of the mountain was engulfed in thick fog chowder. Stepping off the cat, they began hiking blindly up the ridge. When the misty soup did lift for a moment, what they could see – the Y-zone’s steep, rocky chutes – scared the hell out of them. Making matters worse, when they asked a fellow hiker where they should go, he simply replied, “Stay within the ropes, a guy died awhile ago after leaving the area’s boundary.” Linda claims Ryan told her he was scared. Ryan said he was just trying to make Linda feel better. Whatever the case, when they dropped in they discovered the bowl really isn’t as bad as it looks when you can’t see it.

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