Snowmass history: Ski trail name game |

Snowmass history: Ski trail name game

The 1976-77 Snowmass Ski area trail map published in the Aspen Skiing Corporation.
Aspen Historical Society |

In a March-April 1977 edition of Snowmass Affairs, Carol Hill interviewed Tom Marshall who had worked as a powder skiing guide in the early days of Snowmass and helped clear and design the trails for the ski area.

Here are a few names that you might not have known the origin of…“Slot Falls was a typographical error on the 1974-75 trail map” according to the article, “It should have been Slot Flats for the long, wide, and relatively gentle meadow portion at the middle of Slot trail. There is a beautiful, twisted old tree on it, which looks like a giant bonsai tree. This was quickly misunderstood and corrupted to banzai tree, and from there to Banzai Ridge to all skiers. Belly Grabber Pitch is found at the end of an easy catwalk in the lower Campground area. Time Magazine quoted a Ski Corporation employee as referring to the pitch as ‘a real belly grabber.’ Sheer Bliss designates the sheer bliss felt when skiing this trail. Obvious? Not so. It was named for the Bliss chipper which was used to clear the lift line.” And one more that was a less than obvious… “Beeline represents the many bees and bee stings that the trail crew suffered when it was widened from a lift line into a trail.”

The next time you ski these trails, enjoy the surprising history behind the trail names!

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