Snowmass history: Slow season options |

Snowmass history: Slow season options

A group of cross-country skiers stop for a picnic on Snowmass' trails circa 1980. The magazing photo caption reads: "Picnics in the Sun: The elite meet for lunch on one of Snowmass' cross country trails. It's been rumored that the snow only falls at night and the sun always shines by day making slope-side picnicking a special treat."
Aspen Historical Society

“Touring Gains in Popularity” an article in the February 1977 edition of Snowmass Affairs Magazine read. “Scores of residents and tourists have discovered the joys of cross-country skiing. Because of the unusual lack of snow in December, touring has gained in popularity — even if by default. Through the Christmas holidays only the Aspen Highlands was open for business, and then just on a limited basis. So to occupy themselves and preserve their sanity, many rented and even bought touring gear. Some interesting trends developed during those early weeks of the ski season. Svein Johansen who runs the Snowmass Cross Country Center said that the most significant change he noticed was more men and families participating in the sport. He conceded that the closed lifts had helped his operation, but the enthusiasm of those taking lessons was such that he is looking forward to twice the business this coming year….Touring has become more popular for several reasons. According to (Georges) Odier the sport has become an ‘in’ thing to do in the last few years. It has received coverage in the national ski and sports magazines, making it more attractive. Word-of-mouth publicity has also encouraged people to join their friends who are already touring. Odier also feels that many older people are no longer willing to subject themselves to the risks associated with downhill skiing. Instead, they are turning to the more relaxed pace of touring on the mostly level packed tracks. Svein has observed that cross-country skiing keeps the family together unlike alpine skiing which tends to disperse members to slopes of different difficulty.”