Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Fifty-eight years. That’s how long we have been swapping skis here in Aspen. Tomorrow, as has been the case every year since 1953, skiers will gather to get ready for the next ski season by trading in the old and getting a bit of the new-to-them.

Of all of our local rituals the Ski Swap may be the best. It fits completely into the collective DNA of this community and is a perfect event for all of the folks who came here simply because the skiing is so damn good. It not only gives us a chance to make sure that we have everything we need before the snow starts to fly, it also gets everyone into one space where we all have the same thing in mind. Sliding down mountains.

Ironically it seems that the Ski Swap generally seems to fall on the perfect Fall day each year. While we are wiggling into ski pants and trying on jackets that will ward off the cold in the months to come, we always seem to be sweating just a little because it is so hot outside. This year should be no exception as the temperatures for tomorrow are expected to be in the mid 60s and could even crack 70 degrees.

Over the years, the styles and the equipment have changed drastically. Back in the ’50s, the skis were made of wood and the clothes were all heavy wool. In the ’60s, Hart Javelins were the skis of choice along with those classic black Head Standards. The ’70s saw the red, white and blue K2s come into vogue. Today we are talking parabolics, rockers, twin tips, and that doesn’t even begin to take the boarding equipment into account.

If you plan on participating, the organizers suggest that you drop by Alpine Bank today and pick up your claim stubs for the clothes and equipment that you’ll be dropping off. Then all items need to be taken to the Middle School this afternoon between 4 and 6 p.m. Clothing goes in the cafeteria and the hard goods will be taken down to the gymnasium. The Swap kicks off Saturday morning at 9 o’clock and lasts until 1 p.m. Take your stubs back to the Middle School Saturday between 2 and 4 p.m. to collect cash for what you sold or to pick up unsold items.

Proceeds from the Ski Swap go to the Aspen School District to help support the Outdoor Ed programs. And any clothing and equipment that is not sold or picked up either goes to the Thrift Shop or is sent to skiers in other countries.

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All in all, the Swap is a great way to connect with the community, get some new stuff, maybe make a little cash, and support our local kids.

What could be sweeter?

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