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 pal, Chris Radomski, stop for a sip of Duke Spirits at Sundeck.
Grace Harrington and her dad, Ryan, on a father-daughter ski day in Ajax.
Aspen native Tyler Williams, who now owns his own business, Goat House, offers high-end ski and bike rentals, in Highlands with his good friend, Chef Troy.
Ski Team: Taylor Latousek, Spencer Irvin and Lily Fitzgerald on their way to the top of the Highland Bowl.
A cheerful gentleman named Maurice behind the queue at the Merry-Go-Round prepares bowls of healthy rice or quinoa while you wait.
Skiing on the slopes – Colleen and Alex Irvin go after Highlands.
Bluebird ski day – perfect for a hike up to Highland Bowl.
The sun peeks 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 ski conditions are as great as they have been, you ski or ride as often as you can. But who counts? In fact, most people I know are. Lucas Rocca, a chef turned restaurant manager in Aspen, was on his 49th round of the season at the Highland Bowl last Sunday when I bumped into him and several friends at the top. They went once more to complete fifty laps and count. Not one to brag, he didn’t mention that other goal, but his friends did – he’s aiming for his 10th annual 100 Days pin this ski season from Aspen Snowmass, which is now commemorated with a pin 1000 days for the few, the dedicated, the proud who have been skiing 100 days a year for a decade.

Last month’s historic snowfall was recorded as the second snowiest December on record for all four Aspen Snowmass ski areas, including “the biggest storm in 43 years” noted on Aspen Skiing Co. Instagram with further month-end accumulation totals, and snow stakes in Aspen Highlands and Snowmass recording 100 inches each for the month.

When you need a break there is always a smiling face to welcome you inside the mountain restaurants. IYKYK (if you know you know), on Aspen Mountain there’s what the locals call “3 to G” or take the 3/Ajax Express chair to see Amy G. at Sundeck Bar. And I recently discovered a great team behind the line at the Merry-Go-Round, including a Jamaican named Maurice who is spending three months here working with many other Jamaicans who come from The Broadmoor to Colorado Springs. Five-Star Hotel, Five-Diamond is working with Aspen Skiing Company, sending some of their staff here during their shoulder season to work during our peak season – a win all around!