It’s on | AspenTimes.com

It’s on

Paul E. Anna

It is so on.

Despite the torturous temperatures of the past few days (how do the elk, rabbits and coyotes deal with the cold?), it is clear that we are in the thick of what could be an epic winter. With just the third weekend of ski season staring us in the goggles, we are already totally involved.

Thank the snow gods for hurling many feet of fluff down from the northwest, where it was so dry last year. While California is struggling to get a decent base, places like Fernie and Panorama in southern Canada have midseason conditions. And just to our north, Steamboat Springs already has had a full season of powder days.

But here, on the cusp of paradise, we’re doing just fine, thank you. While this is supposed to be the time of year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when things slow down, just the opposite is true. In fact, this could be one of the busiest weekends of the season.

The opening of Deep Temerity on Saturday will be an historic event. Once the rope drops and the crowd descends, new legends will be born. Who will kick off the top first? Who will get the first chair back up? By the way, Webster defines the word temerity as “unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger or opposition: Rashness Recklessness.” Just thought you’d want to know.

This weekend also brings us the women’s World Cup. No made-for-cable TV event this, the World Cup is decided not by subjective judging but simply by who gets down the mountain first. Can you say Kildow? Get your cowbell on. In an Olympic year everything ratchets up a notch.

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On Saturday, we bid adieu to our friends from the National Brotherhood of Skiers, whose members have braved the cold all week on the slopes. Did you know that the Brotherhood has its roots right here in Aspen? It was founded in the mid-1970s with a stated mission “to identify, develop and support athletes of color who will WIN Olympic and international winter sports competitions representing the United States and to increase participation in winter sports.”

A noble goal indeed.

And finally, you know it’s winter when The New York Times weighs in. Kudos go to a local journalist who has risen to write for the “Gray Lady.” Cindy Hirschfeld’s story in last Friday’s travel section titled “Getting Jibby at Ski School” was a great read about a new trend.

New terrain. A great race. Skiers with a purpose. Prose with pride.

It’s on, and it will just keep getting better.