Roses and Thorns

Roses to McDonald’s and the Aspen Homeless Shelter for once providing food vouchers to local transients who couldn’t afford breakfast. Say what you want about the fast-food giant, at least its local franchise owner showed a social conscious.

Thorns to the skier who pushed a snowboarder off an Aspen Highlands chairlift Jan. 17. We hear of the occasional on-mountain altercation — a skier or snowboarder goes too fast through a slow zone or someone gets cut off — but this was a level of aggression we never would have imagined, so much so that we initially doubted its plausibility. We hope to never see this man on a chairlift or a mountain ever again. There’s no place for rage on Aspen’s peaceful slopes. Relax, it’s Aspen.

A bouquet of roses to Glenn Frey for his blue-collar approach to musicianship over the years. His death not only was felt globally, but also in Aspen, where he and the Eagles once jammed before quaint crowds of 40.

Roses to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority drivers for delivering in tough conditions some days this week. It’s nerve-racking enough to be driving a personal vehicle through a blizzard like the one that blew in Wednesday afternoon or the ice sheet conditions that followed Thursday. Imagine the pressure when you are responsible for a bus full of riders.

Thorns to the driver of a souped-up Jeep that ruined cross-country skiing on Thompson Creek Road beyond Spring Gulch Cross Country Ski Area last Saturday at 1 p.m. It was one of the most selfish acts of “I want mine, I don’t care who suffers” that we’ve witnessed in quite a while. Garfield County plows the road, also known as County Road 108, in an agreement with Pitkin County. The road is in both jurisdictions. The plow drivers piled snow on the road 100 yards or so beyond the Spring Gulch parking lot, signifying the closure. Once the road gets enough snow, it’s a popular route for cross-country skiers with dogs, which are banned at Spring Gulch. The Jeep driver flagrantly and, we would assume, gleefully blasted through the snow pile, gunned his engine and carved deep ruts up the snow-packed road. That stretch is in Pitkin County, which could earn roses for setting up a gate to officially close the road.

Roses to the Aspen community for welcoming Aspen Gay Ski Week for the 39th year. From rainbow flags posted on light poles throughout town to lively events such as the Downhill Costume Competition on Friday and the New Now Next Honors party Saturday night, Aspen rolled out the red carpet for the LGBT community for yet another successful year. Roses to Aspen Out for putting on such a fun event.