Paul E. Anna: High Points |

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

“It’s not going to be the best opening day ever and it’s not going to be the worst.” True that. Those words from the voice of Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle, referencing the snow conditions on Aspen and Snowmass mountains, accurately describe the situation we are currently faced with.

On the one hand, every opening day is a cause for celebration. In a ski town we live for the beginning of what I consider to be the official start of the “New Year.” In various religions, the start of a New Year is the biggest event on the calendar. And for those of us in the Church of Eternal Pow-Pow, that event comes when the first lifts begin to roll.

On the other hand, we of course are basking in sweltering temperatures in the 50s. It is just too clear and just too warm to bring the stuff that dreams are made of. We desperately need some help from the meteorological gods. Or maybe from the boys at

Last year we had an epic opening and there were grins a-plenty from those who headed up the hill before the turkey dinner. As I recall we were bullish on a big winter. Unfortunately that never really happened and those first days of the season were amongst the best we had. Having said that, I also remember that we had decent skiing just about all season. There were days that I thought it was going to be dust on crust at best that turned out to be pretty darn good. It just goes to show that you never can tell.

However, even though we don’t have much snow, we do have plenty on the World Cup course to run the women’s races and there are few better things to do in this town than to get out on a weekend morn, turn your face toward the sun and watch the fastest women on skis smoke Ajax. The races this year will be graced by the presence of Lindsey Vonn, now that her attempt to play with the boys has been disallowed and now that her tummy is feeling much better. I remember that when Killy and Tomba came to town they were treated like royalty. In my book, Lindsey deserves the same props for her success on the circuit.

Perhaps the worst part of the meager snow conditions is that the AVSC ski day had to be canceled. This is always one of the best ways to kick off the ski season, but with just 70 acres opened it made sense to save some snow for the paying guests. This does not mean that you can’t lay a little coin on the ski club anyway. They always can use a donation.

Snow may be on the way next week. Let’s all be thankful for what we have.