From Buttermilk to Highland Bowl: What makes Base Camp successful |

From Buttermilk to Highland Bowl: What makes Base Camp successful

AVSC staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Contributed photoAlan Bush's RidgeRunners tackle the bumps on Upper Meadows as a warm-up for their first trek to Highland Bowl.

ASPEN – Highland Bowl was the goal for Alan Bush’s group of RidgeRunners on the first Saturday of March.

The eight-pack of skiers, ages 8t o 11, started their morning with some soft turns in Powder Bowl before sashaying over to the round bumps of Limelight. No corduroy cruisers for this pack as they readied for what would be their first trip as a group up Highland Bowl.

Weeks of preparation, including turns in “cruddy, icy, really miserable snow in Y112,” had led to this moment, and the AVSC members seemed ready, Bush said.

“I’ve been longing to do the bowl,” said Gemma Howard, who added that she wasn’t at all dreading the hike. Her friends Bella and Johannah nodded in agreement. Sheldon Sims, who moved into the group this season because of his steady progress, chimed in, “I really like Ozone,” which just might be the quintessential Highland Bowl run.

Similar scenes were playing out at Buttermilk and Snowmass the same late-winter day. Whether it was Powder Pandas making the most of Camp Bird, SnoWarriors reaching new, personal heights in Snowmass’ terrain parks or a pack of pre-teen pals soaking up the sun on Sneaky’s, Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club Base Camp skiers and riders were visible almost everywhere on three of the four local mountains.

This season, approximately 1,650 kids from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and Rifle to Paonia are enrolled in AVSC’s Base Camp classes, according to Trish Shepard, program director.

“Our core values are commitment, integrity and teamwork, but in Base Camp, we focus on friendships, skills and fun – teaching kids to love these mountains,” Shepard said.

Many travel to the hills each week on a parent-chaperoned bus, free of charge to participants. (Of the seven AVSC-sponsored buses that start the morning in Glenwood Springs, four head to Snowmass, and three go to Buttermilk.)

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User