Asher on Aspen: Journey to 100

Very well, which is a wrap! Target accomplished. I skied 100 times in just one winter period!

In the beginning, this ski bum achievement felt close to extremely hard whilst simultaneously doing work a full-time task. In the course of the 7 days, I eased into the schedule of snowboarding daily by dedicating my lunch split to time on the hill. On the weekends, I was equipped to push myself and ski for for a longer time periods of time, whilst also having fun with the sport leisurely.

The Aspen Snowboarding Co. acknowledges all those who attain triple digits with a quarter-sized pin — a new color and style and design each year — that acknowledges when someone has scanned their move 100 days. Despite the fact that this aim may feel odd and arbitrary to non-snowboarding individuals, this achievement is viewed as fairly a triumph by mountain town locals. It will take relentless determination and will ability to get your self out on the mountain almost each and every single day, and the journey all proves to be well worth it after awarded with the prestigious and highly coveted pin.

This yr, I proudly logged 4 days on Snowmass, eight on Buttermilk, 12 on Aspen Highlands and 76 days on Aspen Mountain. Evidently, Ajax is my favourite little one.

Remaining from Iowa, I by no means imagined that I would drop in like with the sport of skiing so deeply. The modest hills of the Midwest can be lovely, but the mountains of the Rockies have them conquer no-contest. Snowboarding is like head laundry for me. Obtaining every day contemporary air whilst cruising down the mountain puts me in the ideal condition of head to achieve what I will need to each individual working day. It is a launch valve, and it is a passion. It clears any concerns or frustrations and replaces them with enthusiasm. I come to feel like I can do just about anything anytime I get performed skiing.

There are a couple of accolades that skiers in the Roaring Fork Valley can attain in the program of their snowboarding vocation. Some of these badges of honor or rites of passage include things like climbing the Highland Bowl, skiing to start with tracks, eating breakfast at Bonnie’s (buying the oatmeal pancakes, of training course!) and logging laps at all four mountains in just one working day, popping bottles of Champagne at Cloud 9, and hitting Boyd’s Bump on Aspen Mountain. But none will come shut to snowboarding 100 days in a solitary year.

Jimmy Hunting holds up a 100-day pin after achieving 100 days of snowboarding at Aspen Snowmass mountains on Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Moments)

Only .3% of Aspen Snowmass passholders arrive at 100 days in any specified yr. Through a normal season, there are around 160 days designed out there for skiing. This implies that people who chart 100 times have to set on boots and skis approximately two out of each individual three times. It can take a dedicated soul to carry as a result of with this form of motivation and weather conditions by snow, sleet, or sunshine (even occasional spring rain).

In addition, this usually means that skiers have to gown in numerous levels, place on ski boots, safe their helmet, make sure they have gloves, skis and poles in hand, and wander to the bus end to capture a experience to the gondola two out of each and every 3 days. It usually means doing this on times when it’s down below zero temperature, or when there is zero visibility. It signifies getting the Tiny Nell chair elevate when the gondola has briefly closed because of to solid winds. It suggests braving the cold when your extremities have absent numb. It suggests snowboarding by way of whiteout situations when you need to remain shut to the trees in purchase to see something.

But possibly that is the issue. The issue I really like most about snowboarding is that each working day is distinctive. Dependent on the snowfall and the temperature, each individual day and each and every mountain delivers special conditions. Some days are so epic that I essentially go to bed dreaming about powder. Other times, I cannot find an edge and I am sliding all more than the mountain. Some days are so chilly that I just cannot feel my toes or my fingertips, but others are stunning bluebird days where by I in no way want to give up.

Skiing isn’t generally the safest activity and I’ve absolutely experienced my good share of accidents (along with so many of my pals). So, I truly feel very grateful to stroll away from this period unscathed with no fight scars besides a large toenail that I’m confident is about to slide off. I thank God every single working day that I wake up and am able to ski a different day. I come to feel so lucky that I get to live in a person of the most wonderful locations in the entire world and that my human body is physically capable to ski every day.

The pin is a actual physical reminder for me that snowboarding tends to make me come to feel alive extra than anything at all else. I have observed locals showcase their pin proudly by attaching it to helmets, bulletin boards, confront masks, ski jackets, and even the ceiling of a car just previously mentioned the rear-watch mirror so that they are reminded of the joy that snowboarding delivers them.

My takeaway from snowboarding to the century mark in the course of this pandemic period? Keep near to the things that make you come to feel alive. That established your soul on fireplace. Lifestyle is way too limited to do just about anything else.

Local Robert Shapiro added his fifth consecutive 100-working day pin to his jacket at Aspen Mountain on Thursday, March 4, 2021. This was Shapiro’s initial yr carrying out 100 days of snowboarding in the very first 100 days that the mountain was open up. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)