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getting in touch with my inner colorado girl

Xtreme Aspen


It’s a good thing that I recently decided to embrace whatever life throws me because I definitely had an interesting time in Aspen this past weekend!  My friend Gracie suggested going to Aspen/Snowmass during the X-Games a few weeks ago, and of course I immediately was on board.  I pretty much don’t turn down ski trips.  Anyway, Gracie was really excited to show me Snowmass, and I was really excited to ski there.  When we had a view of the Maroon Bells off of the top of the very first lift that we rode, I was sold on Snowmass.


Unfortunately, I was so excited to ski Snowmass that I skied the first run a little too hard.  I’m coming to the terms with the fact that I am not Shaun White.  I took a rough fall off of a roller and my skis did not eject.  My skis stayed strapped to me as I fell, which led to my legs getting twisted in some fun ways.  I’m a huge klutz, and I fall all the time.  Let’s be serious.  But usually when I fall I’m fine within 30 seconds.  This time I was not fine.  And I wasn’t sure I was going to even be able to ski down.

After sitting on the mountain for a few minutes, I was able to stand and ski down to a restaurant midway down the mountain.  I told Gracie to go ahead and ski a run, since I thought I would feel better within ten minutes.  Thirty minutes later Gracie was back and I was only in more pain.  It finally got to the point where I needed a second opinion.  A very nice Snowmass Ski Patrol man, Stan, came over and talked to me.  He freaked me out a little when he told me that I could have a fracture, and it was definitely worrisome to me that my leg was hurting more as time elapsed.  At this point Stan offered to take me down to the clinic to get an x-ray, and I gladly accepted.  I could not ski down the mountain at this point, and so I got to take ride on the elusive yellow sled.  Oh yes.

Gracie is a true friend.  Thanks for the picture!  No but really.

The ironic part about the situation is that Gracie and I had literally just talked about how we never wanted to have to ride the yellow sled on the lift ride up the mountain.  At the same time, I have always wondered what it would be like to ride one of those sleds.  Actually, it was kind of cool.  All I could see was this little sliver of blue sky as we were careening down the mountain.  And Stan and I definitely got air at some points.  I was bummed that I wasn’t skiing, but I had a great experience at the Snowmass Clinic.  Everyone was super nice, and I got to take a nice little nap with a heated blanket while I waited for my x-ray results.  The verdict?  No fracture, just a tibial contusion.  I was out for the rest of the day, and I hobbled painfully around the Snowmass Village Mall in my ski boots for the afternoon.

Doctor’s orders!  And my new favorite brew.

Gracie and I headed into Aspen after the day at Snowmass because we wanted to at least drive by the X Games.  I mean we were really there for the skiing, but it was pretty cool to drive by Buttermilk, the site of the games.


The next day, I was determined to try skiing at Snowmass again.  My leg hurt on the first run.  Luckily, after warming up and taking some ibuprofen I was good to go.  And I was so glad my leg cooperated because we had an awesome day at Snowmass.  I mean I love Vail but Snowmass is up there, which is saying a lot.  At one point I actually said, “I maybe love Snowmass more than Vail!”  It was a confusing time for me!  I felt like I was cheating on my Vail.  Snowmass truly was an absolute blast, however, I would need to spend more time there before it could really be number one.  Another positive of the Aspen/Snowmass area is that since it is about 3 1/2 hours away from Denver there are no Front Range day skiers there.  We had the mountain to ourselves.

Top of Snowmass, 12,510 feet!

I love Snowmass.

X-rays and all, it was an excellent weekend in Aspen, even though it took Gracie and me forever to get back to Denver thanks to some metering of the tunnel on I-70.   We took 285 instead, and we got to witness an amazing sunset that basically made it all worth it.  I learned some other very important lessons too, like the fact that I am not going to be competing in the X Games anytime soon.  And always, always take a mellow first and last run.

Aspen memories!


Author: paulamahla

Typical Colorado girl that can't make up her mind. Trail running, hiking, climbing, camping, CrossFit, ultimate frisbee, and skiing? E, all of the above.

3 thoughts on “Xtreme Aspen

  1. yikes girl! glad you are okay!

    ….exactly why i’m so hesitant to strap on some skis and go… i’m with you in the klutzy club!

  2. Pingback: 12 mile Tuesday « return to the motherland

  3. Pingback: So you want to go to the XGames | return to the motherland

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