Letter: My way’s not the highway
Trying to avoid the latest Aspen Mountain controversy, I choose the Milk for opening day. I anticipated a relaxing, reflective day of ever-so-slow contemplative mellowness. Slowness personified by yawning at the lack of yawning abysses and sleeping while skiing. Boy was I in for a surprise. I put on my whale songs compilation and adjusted the bicycle mirrors that I had affixed to my ski poles.
I know what you’re thinking: Listening to music while skiing? Isn’t that dangerous? But I don’t use ear plugs or eat bugs or whatever the kids these days call them. I have two externally mounted speakers on my helmet. This way all the other skiers can enjoy my whale-songs music and even more importantly, from a distance my speakers look like GoPros, so I fit in better with the kids these days. I took my ski pants off and did my warm-up exercises in the Cliff House while other, less hard-core skiers ate and drank. Lunch is for sissies. Skiing is my life. This is what skiing is and anybody that doesn’t ski the way I do is, simply put, doing it wrong.
Hoping for a two-hour first run, I went skiing as slowly as I could. As a former patroller who has run a lot of rigs in his day, I know how to lock into a world-class V wedge. I can snowplow like CDOT on Red Mountain in a mid-winter, white-knuckler whiteout. But a lot of skiers at the Milk ski way too slow. Even riding my rigid pizza slice stance, I kept catching up to other, slower skiers. Is that even possible? Let me be clear, I don’t do laps on Homestead Road all day because I want to navigate heavy ski traffic. Nothing is more unnerving than skiing as slowly as you possibly can only to catch up to and have to try to pass another, even slower skier, both of us locked in
snowplows. Do you realize how wide two snowplowing, super-slow skiers are side by side, especially on the narrows of Homestead Road? Hey, if I want that kind of insanity, I’ll go to Tiehack.
The solution is obvious. Since Lo Semple said nobody is paying attention to them anyway, we should put all those apparently ineffectual “Slow Skiing Zone” signs at Buttermilk. This way, maybe a few skiers, especially on the treacherous upper reaches of West Buttermilk, will start skiing even more slowly. But more so, the safest skiing would be to just put your skis on and stand there. There would be a lot less rigs to run this way. I’m here to help. I do what I can. You’re welcome in advance. No need to thank me.
Steven R. Williams
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