Tour from Aspen to Basalt " on skis
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers plans to make a good thing even better Saturday with the Town to Town Tour.
The nonprofit organization, which harnesses volunteers for work on trails and other outdoor projects, invented what it hopes becomes a “signature event” last winter. The inaugural Town to Town Tour was a cross-country ski and snowshoe event from Aspen to Basalt on the Rio Grande Trail. It was such a hit that 360 people paid to participate.
The event wasn’t without snafus, acknowledged David Hamilton, executive director of the organization. Access was the biggest problem. It started in Stein Park on the outskirts of Aspen. There was no bus service and very limited parking at the site.
This year the start is at Rio Grande Park in Aspen, next to the parking garage and not far from the closest bus stop.
Participants also have the option of starting at Woody Creek and going to Basalt. The start is at 10 a.m. regardless of location.
The finish was moved to the Basalt High School, where a shuttle will take people to a nearby bus stop for a ride back to Aspen via the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority. A special shuttle will also be available to take people back to Woody Creek.
Hamilton said the finish area will be stocked with beverages and hot food. “We’re not going to run out of food this year,” he said. “We learned an awful lot from this last year.”
The number of participants overwhelmed organizers last year. This year they are prepared for a greater turnout ” like 500 to 600.
And after a dry spell that cut into the snowpack on the groomed Rio Grande Trail earlier this month, recent snow has created perfect conditions for the Town to Town Tour.
Registration can be done online at http://www.rfov.org or at Ute Mountaineer in Aspen, Bristlecone Sports in Basalt and Summit Canyon Mountaineering in Glenwood Springs. The cost is $25 in advance for individuals or $35 the day of the tour, and $35 for families of four in advance and $60 on the day of the tour.
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Mountain Rescue Aspen is expanding its education efforts to try to keep people safe in the backcountry during winters and summers. It will host a workshop on Dec. 8 titled, “How to Plan a Backcountry Tour.”