Brent Gardner-Smith: G Zones and zoning out at Highlands |

Brent Gardner-Smith: G Zones and zoning out at Highlands

The G Zones on the far side of Highland Bowl were not open on Wednesday. So yesterday, they were still in fine condition, even late in the day when I straggled in there dragging a pair of wide-eyed lads for their virginal plunge down the snowy torrents.

Each trip into the Zones makes them all the more intriguing. And it is clear they have added a whole new dimension to skiing in Aspen/Snowmass.

If you haven’t gone in there yet, and you are soon wrapping up your Christmas vacation, drop all your excuses and go check them out.

Or, don’t, and leave it for the rest of us. We’ll find a way to make the most of it.

Yes, the two-week Christmas and New Year’s period is drawing to a close, and the thousands of visiting skiers here will soon be heading home. We’ll be left once again with four sprawling mountains, a bunch of nearly empty chairlifts and lots of snow.

Sigh. What to do?

I know, check the weather forecast, and then go skiing!

Today is to be mostly cloudy with highs between 18 and 27 degrees. There is a chance of snow tonight with more cold temps between 1 below zero to 7 above. Saturday and Sunday are to be mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow and highs in the lower 20s to lower 30s.

The snow is piling up once again. Snowmass is back up to its 51-inch base depth and has 2,890 acres open. Highlands has a 39-inch base and 747 acres open (just 50 acres shy of 100 percent open). Aspen has a 34-inch base and has all 673 of its acres open. Buttermilk is sporting a 29-inch base and has 420 acres ready to go.

After skiing the Bowl yesterday, I crawled into Iguanas and caught the Love Machine playing in the bar. And for the first time since the village rose out of the muck, I felt at home there. A great band playing cool tunes, a cold beer, a decent crowd and a lift just an ice cube’s throw away. It felt, almost, like I was back in the old green A-frame.

The Love Machine will be holding down Thursday afternoons at the Lizard Lounge throughout the season, so make a mental note to self: On Thursday, ski hard, party hard at Highlands.

And now, on to the rest of the season.

Wintersköl is Jan. 16-19, with the fireworks on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Gay and Lesbian Ski Week is the 19th to the 26th and will include the annual downhill costume contest on Little Nell.

And the ESPN Winter X Games are Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, including the big-air motorcycle jump.

Now, whatever you do, don’t get these events mixed up. You could end up in drag, on a motorcycle, going off a huge jump, lit up like a rocket ship.

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