Paul E. Anna: High Points |

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Life can be tough. Things can happen unexpectedly to any of us. And when stuff does hit the fan it’s good to have a Base Camp to head back to.

Today, Friday April 9, at 6:30 p.m., the Base Camp Bar and Grill, (the newly re-opened restaurant in the new Snowmass Base Village) will host a benefit to raise funds to help Sam Ferguson, one of this town’s favorite sons and most aggressive skiers, who has been fighting severe and costly medical issues

For those of you who have seen him ski, Sam needs no introduction. He won the silver medal in the mono-ski event at the Winter X Games in 2009, charging down the Buttermilk course with determination and aplomb. That put him in the sweet spot as he attempted to make the U.S. speed team and compete in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympics Games.

But misfortune played a cruel hand this past December when Sam took a spill after slipping on a patch of ice and broke his femur. As if that were not enough, a severe staph infection invaded his body and has sapped both his energy and resources.

Friends from around the valley will gather for what promises to be a rockin’ night with the Great Divide Band tuning up at 6:30 p.m. for a set, and DJ Dylan laying down grooves beginning at 7:30 p.m. Sponsors include Corzo Tequila, the Aspen Brewing Co., and Grand Vin Wines, so you know there will be a little something to drink. And Base Camp Bar and Grill has been turning out some tasty apres burgers and wings and things since opening back in February in the space that formerly housed the late, but no-longer-lamented JUNK.

Snowmass local Scott Calliham has created a good buzz in a space that desperately needed some by opening up this ski season and we should all hope that he keeps it going through the summer and into next ski season.

Tickets cost $25 at the door and you can park in the Base Village garage, right beneath the plaza, for free. With the patio hopefully bathed in the glow of a spring sun, great food and drink, and the music going off, it will be well worth the $25 and is just another example of Aspenites looking after their own.

In 1995, Sam was involved in a freak mountain bike crash resulting in paraplegia from a burst fracture of the 12th thoracic and first lumbar.

Shortly thereafter he began to ski in a monosled and has never looked back. As fast as he is on a race course, he is even more adept as a free skier and backcountry rider. He lists Kessler’s at Highlands as his favorite run.

Imagine how hard it must be to see your dream deferred by a freak injury and than have to spend the winter, not only not riding, but dealing with the medical system and the bills. It must be debilitating to the spirit as much as anything.

A good gathering of friends and supporters can go a long way toward not just paying the bills, but also getting that spirit back on track. Show up for a great time and help Sam move forward.

It will all be good once you get to Base Camp.

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