Growing up in the Northeast, skiing is less a winter indulgence and more a test of will. If the weather and conditions cooperate, the riding is world class — but that hardly ever happens. First tracks skim off whatever had fallen the night before, and the remains are often wind-blown and blanketed in ice. You learn to ignore weather reports, the lack of feeling in your extremities, and the out-of-bounds markers that try to withhold you from the virgin snow. You also learn to become a technically sound skier, one who not only understands their equipment, but is also keen to the idea that even the friendliest green-circle can provide its own world of challenges if you don’t have your edges under you.
Skiing in Aspen, even with its own array of challenges, will ruin you as skier in the most blissful of ways. It’s the land of more. More sun, more snow, more mountains, more terrain. The skis are fat, the weather is hand-warmer-free, and pillows of snow are routinely dumped at your feet. Add to that a full day of cat rides to untouched lines and you’ve found a winter nirvana — one that you’ve dreamt about for way too many years.