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"Lift Lines" is a new series from Aspen Public Radio that shares the joys of winter sports, broadcast throughout the week as part of our morning ski report. Reporter Kaya Williams brings her microphone to the chairlifts, gondolas and trails of the Roaring Fork Valley to ask people why they love sliding on snow.

Lift Lines: Rick Crandall

Rick Crandall Lift Lines
Kaya Williams
Aspen Public Radio
Skier Rick Crandall from Aspen prefers an early morning venture to the slopes, but gusty winds delayed his start to the ski day on the Silver Queen Gondola at Aspen Mountain on Dec. 22.

Gusty winds made for frigid temperatures Thursday morning at Aspen Mountain, creating strange, firm textures out of the new inch or two of snow on the mountain.

The weather kept Rick Crandall and his wife off the slopes until about 11 a.m., even though he said an early-bird start is their usual approach.

“It is a great discipline to get up in the morning. We always get up at 8:45, except for today because the wind was howling,” Crandall said. “You get some exercise on the mountain, you get some smiles on your face, and everybody else on the mountain has smiles on their face. What better way to wake up?”

Crandall, who lives in Starwood in Aspen, said the early rise also helps them beat the crowds.

“We get a whole bunch of runs in before Vail even wakes up,” he joked.


Kaya Williams is the Edlis Neeson Arts and Culture Reporter at Aspen Public Radio, covering the vibrant creative and cultural scene in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. She studied journalism and history at Boston University, where she also worked for WBUR, WGBH, The Boston Globe and her beloved college newspaper, The Daily Free Press. Williams joins the team after a stint at The Aspen Times, where she reported on Snowmass Village, education, mental health, food, the ski industry, arts and culture and other general assignment stories.