If you’ve spent any time in the Aspen area, you’re probably well aware of Aspen Highlands’ reputation as a mecca for expert skiers. The steep runs of Highland Bowl and Steeplechase are clearly the mountain’s public face, but there’s plenty of great terrain for intermediates and even beginners if you know where to look.
If you’ve just arrived in Aspen, and you’ve never been on skis before, Buttermilk is far and away your best choice to learn how to ski. Though it’s home to ESPN’s Winter X Games and has one of the most fearsome terrain parks to be found anywhere, Buttermilk is still, at its heart, an exceptional beginner’s mountain.
Despite its massive size, Snowmass has relatively little in the way of beginner terrain, with just 6 percent of the runs bearing a green circle. It more than makes up for this shortcoming, however, with thousands of acres of some of the best intermediate trails to be found anywhere, including many runs that are suitable for skiers with a just a few days’ experience under their belts.
The snow has started, and if you're still wondering how you can get your fill, skiing and riding the most versatile terrain in Colorado, look no further. Introducing the all new Colorado Triple Play. This is the ultimate multi-mountain access ski pass for the 2011-2012 season. It offers snow sports enthusiasts the opportunity to catch fresh tracks at Aspen/Snowmass, Steamboat and Winter Park Resort.
When I was 12, skiing Lake Tahoe in Levis and thinking I was cooler than the guy in the stretch pants (I was, wasn’t I?) I wore this sweatshirt with a picture of a mountain and a stick figure whizzing down it that said, “My life is going downhill.” No pun intended at age 12, but I do stop and wonder every now and then at the fact that I’m still spending an inordinate amount of time, in effect, simply pointing them.
A similar sequence plays out each and every day: Get on chair, get clunked on the head by over-eager safety bar zealot, get off chair, buckle boots to the brink of searing shin pain, ski down hill; repeat. Really, it seems kind of inane. Here we go again...Wheee!!
Yet I’ve been doing it for 32 years, and 12 of those have been around 90 days a season, here in Aspen.
Even in Aspen, Colorado, it's no crime to admit that you are just not that into skiing or snowboarding. Maybe you never were. Or maybe that last run knocked all the snow out of you.
Either way, while your friends frolic down the slopes, you need something to do besides going to the movies over and over and over.
Do not despair. Aspen has lots to do.
Well, stole the show for those who enjoy pull-ups more than extreme snow-sports, at least. Ever since I saw the iconic leg-lamp from the timeless movie classic A Christmas Story, and the exaltation that it brought its proud owner, I had longed for my own major award (Scene in question). This year, I'd get my chance. But it would take more than knowing the name of the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse; this was going to require a feat of strength.
The task: complete more pull-ups than all competitors of the day.
The stakes: one limited-edition Navy / X Games snowboard.
I found out about the the Navy Seal's Winter X Games pull up event five days prior to showtime. I got strategic, and planned two workouts to cram into my limited prep time. First, I had to hop on the bar and see where I stood: twenty three, and a little sloppy. I expected the contest to require strict dead-hang form (which it did), so I knew there was work to be done.
ASPEN, CO I got to spend 3 days in Aspen... DURING THE X-GAMES NO LESS!! It was a great experience that came along with a few “bumps and bruises” but I surely wouldn't trade a moment of it!
I live in Eagle and have attended at least 1 day of the “Games” each Winter since they've been in Aspen. This year was different in the manner that I got to stay Fri-Sun... had condo accommodations and lift tickets for Buttermilk! It was like I had hit a mini jackpot! I jumped on the opportunity to immerse myself in the Aspen Winter X-Game 15 experience that seemed to have just been laid at my snowboard boot covered feet :)
Morning people run the world. It’s true. The opening bell determines when things start, in any time zone; if you sleep in past nine, you miss the free continental breakfast; races start at the crack of dawn (unless you’re in the casual group, which might start at 8); even McDonald’s cuts you off from EggMcMuffins around 10:30AM.
The first time I accidentally stumbled upon the Jerry Garcia shrine on Aspen Mountain, I felt as if I discovered a secret garden of pop culture iconography while skiing through a snowy and psychedelic Xanadu. While gliding in solitude through the peaceful tranquility of a forested ridge, I was not expecting to suddenly discover a grove of trees dangling with pictures, dried roses, memorabilia, and assorted miscellany of the legendary Grateful Dead front man. Thankfully, no one was within earshot because the odd discovery inspired a quiet Garcia refrain: “Going where the wind don’t blow so strange/Maybe up on some high cold mountain range.”