Lift Lines: Dirk Wetherhold and Max Nicks
Dirk Wetherhold and Max Nicks were among the skiers who got out for some uncrowded turns in the heavy powder at Aspen Mountain on Monday.
The friends visiting from the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania have skied together at Aspen before — back in 1974, when they walked up the mountain before the season began and skied down by the light of the moon.
“Three quarters of the moon reflecting off the snow so we could barely see,” Nicks recalled on the Silver Queen Gondola with Wetherhold on Monday.
Neither of them had skied powder before, and neither had skis suitable for the conditions, but they made it down in one piece and kept skiing for the next five decades.
The two are currently on a whirlwind tour of ski resorts in the Mountain West that spans more than a dozen destinations in several states over the course of five or six weeks.
By now, the two 68-year-olds have several more decades of skiing experience and plenty of other memories to share.
Nicks was here just a few years ago when ski area operations shut down due to COVID-19.
But for Wetherhold, Monday was his first time back since that initial visit that predated the Silver Queen Gondola.
The gondola isn’t the only thing different about the mountain these days, he observed.
“It looks steeper than I remember,” Wetherhold said with a laugh.