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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

SkiCo plans new lift and more at Highlands

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Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Aspen Skiing Company is looking for approval for a new lift on Highlands. The U.S. Forest Service is now taking public comment on several proposed projects at the ski area.

This is not your typical chairlift. This is what’s called a “platter lift” where your skis stay on the snow. Think rope tow or Poma.

SkiCo is asking to install it on Golden Horn. It’s meant to give racers who train there, and on Thunderbowl, a faster turn-around between runs. The lift would be managed by SkiCo and paid for by the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.  

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Credit Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service
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Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service
Proposed project areas for tree thinning or removal on Highlands Ski Area.

SkiCo also has plans to remove trees near the top of the Cloud Nine chairlift and in expert terrain near Loge Bowl. Kevin Hagerty, Aspen Highlands Mountain Manager, said thinning trees in the Eden area that was opened two seasons ago will make it more accessible.

“By removing a few of those trees, it’ll allow for a better flow of skiing in there and not make it so difficult to access in,” Hagerty said.

The projects affect less than five acres of Forest Service land, and the agency is working on an environmental analysis. The public can weigh in on the proposal until Dec. 1.

 

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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