History: Shangri-La of the Rockies | AspenTimes.com
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History: Shangri-La of the Rockies

“There is something about Snowmass in the Colorado Rockies that reminds you of the elusive Shangri-La in James Hilton’s famed novel ‘Lost Horizon,’” stated Luanne Pfeifer in an article in the Flightime Continental airline magazine November 1972. “If you’ve never been there, chances are you have a preconceived idea of what the legendary skiing resort is like before you even get there. This image may have been fostered by stories from other skiers or from an article you may have read somewhere, sometime. But like the travelers in James Hilton’s novel, the descriptions and stories of this Colorado Rockies’ Shangri-La become increasingly fuzzy until you’re not sure what to expect. Then when you leave the airport and your vehicle turns off the road away from Aspen, you wonder if a place called Snowmass is really there. A short distance later you turn a corner and see it abruptly with its building clinging to the mountain side. As you look beyond the buildings, you see The Big Burn with immense scars like some half mad giant clawed the landscape eons ago. These eternal scratch marks among the trees form a wild impressionistic backdrop.” Photograph by John M. Smith.


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