wilderness, mountains, and entertainment in the rocky mountain valhalla of Aspen, CO

Top Of The Bowl

Spectacular view from the top of the Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands (12,382 ft).

Spectacular view from the top of the Highland Bowl at Aspen Highlands (12,382 ft).

It really feels more like the top of the world! The first time, it’s because you’re above everything around you, you have an amazing 360 view, and you’ve just completed a grueling climb; which perhaps made you question whether you’d complete it without oxygen or assistance! (Well, that was my experience, as an out-of-shape flatlander still acclimating to the altitude here.)

After doing it a few times, the hike is not as harrowing, and once in shape I was able to make it up in 30 minutes from getting off the lift (*without* taking the snowcat, of course–that’s for those hypocrites who say they’re environmentalists, but take the diesel-belching machine up, because they want to take the easy way out and save 10 minutes of hiking! ask me how I really feel sometime…)

The view is always just as impressive: looking at the Maroon Bells, Pyramid Peak, and other 14ers and high peaks–even though it may not have the same impact as the first time–you still get that “top of the world” exhilaration when you reach the summit, and take a look around as you catch your breath, before heading down the long steep pitches below.

Each time you’re bound to recognize another peak or valley, or catch the lighting or clouds differently from previous times. At least, that’s my experience… And, that’s why you’ll see me on top of the Highland Bowl as often as possible this year!!! (click that link for a cool video)

OH… and the occasion for this longer-than-usual monologue here… I just accepted an IT position with Aspen Ski Co! So, I’m even more psyched for this ski season to begin, because my pass is now covered, and I’ll be working mere steps from the gondola at Aspen Mountain. So, come visit, y’all!

Taken 1/26/2008.