An open letter to Skico
While riding the lift last Friday with three other smiling locals, someone said, We all need to send a little note to Skico for this. By for this he meant for the great opportunity to have lift-served skiing in June atop Aspen Mountain.Consider this my little note.This winter was so magnificent that it is hard to express in words what a pleasure it was to experience it. Day after day of great snow, run after run of high points. And while the Aspen Skiing Co. did not have anything to do with the weather, they nonetheless ran a spectacular operation that allowed us to get the most out of the mountains each and every one of the 145-or-so days that the lifts were open.Then, for two more weekends at the close of the season, they opened Highlands so that we could get more turns in. Sure, we all heard the usual gripes about how they got tons of snow, why dont the greedheads just open it up, but the fact is, with most folks traveling, the loads on those extra days were light anyway.And now, despite the work on the gondola at the base, despite the need to get equipment, food, drink and other stuff to the Sundeck for the Food & Wine parties, despite the possibility that few skiers would actually show up, and despite the fact that they needed to get a work force to run the lifts after everybody who worked for them during the season had gone back to Australia or Chile or wherever with their expired visas, they opened the lifts.Thanks to David and Rich and Carolyn and Joyce (who ordered the great Endless Winter T-shirts) and all of those who showed up to get folks in the chairs. Thanks to the groomers who turned the summer mush into spring corduroy slush. And thanks to the god of summer (Ullrs counterpart?), who turned on the rays and made for such a nice three days.Though the skiing was a ton of fun, it was the grins of all who rode up the hill that was truly priceless. There was giddiness in the line for the bucket, and once everyone got in and started making their way up there was a vibe of excitement and true happiness. I heard of lots of sightings of wildlife, a bear was rumored to have been seen with her cub and a couple of fox and coyotes roamed the summer-green gulches of Spar and Copper.All in all it was a lifetime memory and we have Skico to thank. Remember that next year when youre grousing about the cost of parking at Two Creeks.
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“To see kids slow down and take in a moment at an iconic monolith like Delicate Arch supports the principle motivation that initially helped to inspire our outdoor education programs,“ writes columnist Britta Gustafson. “Perhaps it’s those moments that can’t be forced but can be nurtured.”