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Courtesy Aspen Gay Ski Week

Since debuting over 40 years ago, Aspen Gay Ski Week has distinguished itself as the country’s longest running gay ski week. It’s also the largest normally with about 5,000 people descending on Aspen for a week filled with pool parties, après-ski gatherings, events at the Belly Up music venue, and a downhill costume competition on Aspen Mountain.

But this year isn’t normal as COVID-19 cases rise, and Aspen Gay Ski Week, Jan. 17-24 will look a little different. Organizers are calling this year’s celebration “Aspen Gay Ski Week Lite,” and the more social components of the annual pride festival will be scaled back to online events as Pitkin Country increases restrictions.   

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Snowpack in the Roaring Fork Valley is particularly ripe for avalanches this year thanks to an abnormally dry spell. Colorado is already considered the nation’s most dangerous state for avalanches, and unstable snow across the state has already led to a number of deaths this year. 

Kirsten Dobroth/Aspen Public Radio News

The entire outdoor industry has been impacted by the pandemic, and the regional backcountry hut system is no exception. The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association closed its huts last March and cancelled remaining reservations for the winter during the original spate of coronavirus lockdowns. They reopened to the public this summer, and have been taking reservations for the current winter season, albeit with new restrictions in accordance with local health protocols.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

State health officials are urging Coloradans to avoid meeting with family and friends for Thanksgiving festivities, as indoor gatherings could exacerbate already-high levels of the coronavirus.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

For the first time since Coronavirus ended the season early in March, lifts will be taking skiers and snowboarders up Aspen Mountain and Snowmass this week. Both mountains are set to open on Wednesday, but pandemic safety measures will make the experience look a bit different.

Courtesy Hugh Carey/Cripple Creek Backcountry

When ski lifts across Colorado stopped spinning in mid-March due to the pandemic, there was a rise in backcountry use among skiers and snowboarders. Officials think that trend is likely to continue this year, too.

“Given what we saw last spring, we are expecting more people in the backcountry than we’ve seen in previous years,” said Brian Lazar, an avalanche forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Courtesy of Anto Sweetapple

The scheduled start of the Colorado ski season is only about three months away – and with snow falling on the tops of nearby peaks just this week, it’s hard not to wonder what a winter on the slopes is going to look like during a pandemic. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

For a ski rental shop at the base of Aspen Mountain, winter means big business when the resort opens. But right now, it’s pretty hard to say exactly what challenges will come with a mid-pandemic ski season.

Backcountry Rescue In The Time Of Coronavirus

Apr 2, 2020
Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Last week, a backcountry skier was critically injured in an avalanche near Ophir, Colorado, about 20 minutes south of Telluride. More than 50 people were involved in the rescue. Local health and ski industry officials have urged backcountry adventurers to take extra caution so as to avoid putting an extra burden on already-strained first responders and healthcare facilities.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Learning to ski can be awkward. After squeezing into a tight pair of boots and waddling to the lift, a first trip down the bunny hill can be full of challenges. But once you start getting the hang of things, there’s that unbeatable rush.

“Your heart starts racing,” said 18-year-old Alisha Geary. “Your mood changes, your attitude shifts. It's just amazing. You kind of have to experience it yourself, you know?”

Ski.com

 

 

Ski.com, an Aspen-based travel company, is offering 12 people the chance to turn their next ski vacation into a paid gig. The company is soliciting applications for its “dream job:” travelling to ski resorts around the world and documenting the experience.

 

Women’s march in Aspen: ‘I still have a voice’

Jan 22, 2017
Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

A thousand people took to the streets and slopes on Saturday in Aspen as part of a nationwide show of solidarity. The group ski and march through town came on President Trump’s first day in office, in response to divisive campaign rhetoric.

Lisa Hancock is a member of the Aspen Hall of Fame board, she is also the Vice President and curator at the Aspen Historical Society. She shares the importance of understanding our history and how the Aspen area has evolved into what it is today. 

This year’s ski passes are decorated again in collaboration between the Aspen Art Museum and the Aspen Skiing Company.

Courtesy, Aspen Skiing Company

This weekend, snowboarder Chris Klug, and Starwood developer Edgar Stern  are being inducted into the United States Ski and Snowboard Hall of fame. Though the actual hall is in Michigan, the ceremony is happening in Aspen - Klug’s hometown.

The 66th annual Warren Miller film is premiering in Aspen at the Wheeler Opera House this weekend. “Chasing Shadows” follows groups of skiers as they travel around the world. The common theme they all share, though, is an effort to keep the history and tradition of skiing alive.

Skiing icon, Stein Eriksen, passes away at 88

Dec 28, 2015
Courtesy, Aspen Historical Society

Stein Eriksen was an icon in the Aspen skiing community. He was an Olympic and world champion. He was the first male ski racer from outside of the Alps to win an Olympic gold medal. He also started some of the first skiing schools here.  Eriksen passed away this weekend at the age of 88.

Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands to open Saturday

Dec 10, 2015
Dan Bayer

The Aspen Skiing Company will open Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk Saturday (12/12/15), along with additional terrain at Aspen and Snowmass. 

More than 700 acres will open at Highlands - that’s 70 percent of the mountain. Open runs will include front-side intermediate blue terrain and the expert “G-zones” on Highland Bowl. The SkiCo will also unveil a $1 million remodel of Cloud Nine Bistro. Buttermilk will open 235 acres of terrain and three lifts. 

Lift 1A hotel proposal draws a crowd in Aspen

Dec 3, 2015
Promo Communications

It was standing room only at the Limelight Hotel, where the development team gave its pitch. Gorsuch Haus would be built at the historic Lift 1A site. It's a two-acre parcel owned by the Aspen Skiing Company. The group Norway Island LLC has a contract to purchase the land and develop it, building a multi-level building with a 61-room hotel, restaurant and lift plaza. The plaza, near a new chair lift, would include a ticket office and a space for the local ski club. The building would be located along a ski run and would include 75,000 square feet of floor area.

Aspen a fresh start for Resi Stiegler after knee injury

Nov 26, 2015
Mitchell Gunn/ESPA

One of the U.S. women competing at the World Cup races in Aspen is coming back from a knee injury. This season Resi Stiegler of Jackson Hole is working to again be among the best racers in the world. 

Stiegler will race in slalom over the weekend. It’s among her first competitions after ACL surgery following a crash during a January training run. Last season, her best competition was at the World Cup in Aspen, where she placed eleventh. She says the Aspen race course is one of her favorites with its rolling hills and curves. She wants a solid race here.

Aspen Journalism

Pitkin County is drawing up comments for the Forest Service on a proposed replacement of Lift 1A on Aspen Mountain. 

When winter comes, so do changes for the arts scene

Nov 18, 2015
Patrick Fort / Aspen Public Radio

Lots of people are coming into town now that skiing is back. Hotels are going to be running at full capacity soon enough, but the arts scene also has to ramp up for the high-season.

Torin Yater-Wallace in first round of X Games invites

Nov 17, 2015

 

Valley native Torin Yater-Wallace was included in the first wave of athlete invites to X Games Aspen 2016, to be held at Buttermilk Mountain from Jan. 28 through Jan. 31.

Yater-Wallace, who’s been skiing since he was a toddler, gained notoriety when he won a silver medal in the superpipe at his X Games debut in 2011 — when he was just 15 years old. He’s since won two gold medals at Winter X Games Europe, represented the United States in the Sochi Olympics and won multiple world cup events in the halfpipe.

Ajax to open early

Nov 11, 2015
Courtesy of Aspen Skiing Co.

  Mother Nature has come through enough for Aspen Skiing Co. to start the season 12 days earlier than scheduled. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has more.

 

Aspen Journalism

The Aspen Skiing Company is getting a jump on a plan to replace an aging ski lift in case an update is possible before a major competition is held on one of its ski areas. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

mountaintownnews.net

An Aspen Skiing Company executive has been chosen to help build a new statewide effort around Colorado’s multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation industry. Auden Schendler was named to an advisory committee for the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. Schendler is the SkiCo’s Vice President of Sustainability.

Auden Schendler is the Aspen Skiing Company’s Vice President of Sustainability. Last week he was named to an advisory group for the new state office. 

tosv.com

Snowmass Town Council may vote Monday (9/21) on a resolution that would move forward the next phase of development at Base Village. The recession stopped construction at the base of the ski resort. With council approval, it could restart in the spring and include a new hotel, retail spaces, condos, affordable housing, a health clinic and a town-owned building. That building could become a museum to show off the town’s fossil find. Marci Krivonen spoke to Julie Ann Woods, Community Development Director for the town.

Mountain Edition - September 17, 2015

Sep 17, 2015

Good afternoon, it’s Mountain Edition.

Facebook/Aspen Snowmass

Now that the leaves are changing, weather officials are releasing forecasts for the upcoming winter. The jury’s out on whether the strong El Nino pattern that’s expected will bring heavy snow or dry conditions. Marci Krivonen spoke with two forecasters about their predictions. First, Joel Gratz of Open Snow. It's a weather service for skiers and riders.

Marci Krivonen

The Castle Creek valley just outside of Aspen is becoming increasingly popular to recreationists like hikers and cyclists. Pitkin County and the White River National Forest are taking comments from the public on how to best manage the area. 

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