Winter in Aspen & Snowmass: Mask Fashion and Function

Masks are ski season 2020-21’s most essential gear

Andrew Travers
For Winter in Aspen & Snowmass

Aspen’s artists and artisans took to the new reality of mask-wearing quickly, with volunteer sewers outfitting locals and visitors with function and stylish (naturally, it’s Aspen) masks to adhere to public health rules and keep those around us safe.

Last summer, the Here House club even hosted a socially distanced mask fashion show.

A stroll through the boutiques of Galena Street and downtown showcases a mix of bejeweled and bedazzled face coverings, along with fun and functional offerings by Aspen area artists. You’ll find Aspen-centric designs with the words “Apres-Ski” on them and others emblazoned with tiny skiers or boarders.

Artists like Lara Whitley and the milliner Susan Carrolan have designed and gifted masks. The mountaineer and music enthusiast Christy Mahon has produced some with Phish’s doughnut design on them – a hot item for Colorado’s legion Phish Phans.

The town’s go-to gift shop, the Aspen Emporium and Flying Circus, keeps a rotating stock of masks by local artisans in stock which have become unique souvenirs and historic keepsakes for anybody on an Aspen vacation during the pandemic.

The Woody Creek artist Isa Catto has produced what may be the widest and most personal design (voted a favorite at the Here House show, available for purchase there and at Pitkin County Dry Goods). Catto’s masks and gaiters come in colorful, artful designs but the most popular among them is her “Game of Thrones” pattern, an homage to the HBO fantasy drama with illustrated arrows inspired by the archeress Egritte.

Artist Isa Catto (left) modeling her “Game of Thrones”-inspired facemask with husband.

We’ve all been at this for a long time, people. It’s pretty simple:

DO wear it on your face, covering your nose and mouth, secured under your chin

DO wash your hands before putting it on and removing it

DON’T poke your nostrils out

DON’T wear it like a chinstrap

DON’T put it on your wrist to show you have it just in case


In Aspen

A face covering is required by law inside any public business, on public transportation, and both indoors and outdoors within the mandatory mask zone. The zone includes Aspen’s downtown core, everywhere from Aspen Mountain to the Roaring Fork River, bordered by Original Road on the east and Aspen Street on the West.

In Snowmass

Masks are required at all times in three zones: Snowmass Center, Snowmass Mall, and Snowmass Base Village.

On the Hill

Face coverings required when you cannot maintain six feet of physical distancing outdoors. They are also required in all lift lines and inside all buildings. Yes, your ski buff is an acceptable face covering.


Professional dancers return to Aspen to perform in ‘The Nutcracker’

Roaring Fork Valley natives Emily Ridings and Nikki Ferry have come full circle when it comes to dance. Both studied dance with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) as kids, continued their training with other prominent schools, and now return this weekend, as ASFB presents “The Nutcracker” at Aspen District Theater.

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