Mountain Mayhem: Ski days are the best days

Friends Emilie Wiggin and Sari Tuschman make their way through Bingo Glades on Aspen Mountain, one of my favorite glades.
Sommelier Jesse Libby, chef turned manager Lucas Rocca and chef Rob at the top of Highland Peak. Lucas was on his way to his 50th Highland Bowl hike so far this year.
Gloria Apodaca and her boyfriend, Chris Radomski, stop for a sip of Duke Spirits at the Sundeck.
Grace Harrington and her father, Ryan, on a father-daughter ski day in Ajax.
Tyler Williams from Aspen, who now owns his own business, Goat House, offers premium ski and bike rentals in Highlands with his good friend Chef Troy.
Ski Squad: Taylor Latousek, Spencer Irvin and Lily Fitzgerald en route to the top of the Highland Bowl.
A cheerful man named Maurice behind the line at the merry-go-round prepares healthy bowls of rice or quinoa while you wait.
Ski meeting on the slopes – Colleen and Alex Irvin take it out on Highlands.
Bluebird Ski Day – perfect for a hike in the Highland Bowl.
The sun broke through the trees over Temerity in Aspen Highlands last Sunday.
Doug Reinhardt, Amy G and her brother, Jay Gleason at the Sundeck on a snowy day.

When the skiing conditions are as great as they used to be, you ski or ride as often as you can. But who matters? In fact, most of the people I know are. Lucas Rocca, a chef turned restaurant manager in Aspen, was on his 49th round of the season at Highland Bowl last Sunday when I met him with several friends at the top. They went once more to complete fifty laps and count. Not the bragging type, he didn’t mention that other goal, but his friends did – he’s aiming for his 10th annual 100-day pin this Aspen Snowmass ski season, which is now commemorated with a pin 1000 days for the few, the dedicated, the proud who ski 100 days a year for a decade.

Last month’s historic snowfall was recorded as the second snowiest December on record across Aspen Snowmass’s four ski areas, including “the biggest snowstorm in 43 years” noted on the Instagram of Aspen Skiing Co. with other month-end build-up totals, and snow stakes in Aspen Highlands and Snowmass that cut 100 inches each for the month.

When you need a break there is always a smiling face to greet you inside mountain restaurants. IYKYK (if you know you know), on Aspen Mountain there is what the locals call “3 to G” or take the 3 chair / Ajax Express to see Amy G. at the Sundeck Bar. And I recently discovered a great team behind the line at the merry-go-round, including a Jamaican named Maurice who spends three months here working with many other Jamaicans who come from The Broadmoor to Colorado Springs. The five star, five diamond hotel is working with Aspen Skiing Company, sending some of their staff here during their shoulder season to work during our peak season – a win by any means!

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