Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

OK, so I know the lifts don’t begin to haul folks upslope until Nov. 24. And I can see that today will boast temperatures in the mid 60s with nary a cloud or a potential snowflake in sight.

But none of that means #@#%$ because it’s ON!!

Ski season is officially in session.

That’s right, according to a friend of mine who spends 24/7/365 thinking about our mountains, the season began last Tuesday, Oct. 6, when the first snow covered the lower portions of all four of our esteemed ski hills. Never mind that this friend has a vested interest in perpetual winter as he is, after all, solidly entrenched at the heart of the ski industry. The arguments that he made were not just cogent, they were positively convincing.

To start with, according to this disciple of Ullr, ski season is more than just boots on feet and boards on snow. Ski season is a state of mind. A happy place that we go to in our gray matter when we begin to think about how those boots will fit and how those skis will slide once we actually get on the mountain. And if one accepts that logic then, and admit it now, many of us began to assess our gear and what we need do to get ready for opening day when we saw the storm blow in last Tuesday. Some of you may have fallen asleep that night with visions of parallel turns dancing in your head.

Then there are the ski conditioning classes. This ski sage suggests that once you work up that first heavy sweat, the moment you begin to obsess about core strength, the day you rise at five to get to a workout before work with the intent of being a better skier in the deepest depths of winter, that is the day that your season officially begins. How many of you out there are on your second or third week of ski conditioning classes? How many have made your second to last beer your last beer because you know it will make it easier when you get to the next class? How many of you began to consider the shape of your shape last Tuesday after the first snow? If you do or did, then one can say safely that you are in a ski season state of mind.

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And of course let’s not forget the purchase of the ski pass. Some no doubt made the trip to Denver last week to get the Classic Pass. Others emptied the bank account or maxed the credit card to get an early season price on an everyday Pass. Others simply checked to make sure that their ACRA dues were up to date because, let’s face it, a cheaper pass is the only reason you belong to ACRA. Regardless, if you have made the dollars-to-days calculation in your head of how many ski days it takes to make a particular pass worthwhile, then you are already in season.

Soon the ski swaps will be must-make destinations, the snow will begin to fall and we will begin to count down the days until the 24th (that would be 42, including today) when we all give thanks on Thanksgiving for Opening Day.

But, like my friend said, if you are thinking about skiing, and you know you are, then it’s on. Ski season opened on Oct. 6.