HIKING ASPEN HIGHLANDS BOWL

Highland Bowl, Aspen Highlands

AspenRealLife.com – I sat at my desk typing away. I was in full blogging mode wearing my father’s silk Chinese robe, my hair piled high atop my head. It’s my favorite color that robe, slate blue, and paper-thin, and I often cannot write without slipping into it.

It had been snowing for two days. I wrote fast and furiously so that I could make turns on the new foot of fluffy, white powder.

The weather on Saturday was not so cooperative with freezing temperatures and very strong winds. Snuggling up to Wade on the lift, I asked the Ski Patroller who rode with us how the bowl was. He said it was blustery. “I don’t do blustery,” I told Wade regrettably.

Wade’s eyes were wild with the anticipation of hiking the Bowl. Unlike me, blustery is his middle name. The more elements nature throws his way, the happier he is. I let him go and went inside with all the other people who couldn’t handle it and hung out for an hour to wrap my head around the cold.

ASPEN HIGHLANDS BOWL:

Hiking the Bowl, for those of you who don’t know, entails a 700 foot climb from the summit elevation of Aspen Highlands to reach the Bowl summit at 12,392 ft.

Wade met up with me after his second lap encouraging me to go with him on his third, telling me that it was definitely blustery up there but I needed to go with him regardless. I figured he would be less amped on his third hike and that he wouldn’t steer me wrong knowing full well what the consequences would be if he did.

Making sure I was all bundled up, he tucked me in to my clothes so tightly that I could hardly breathe and we headed up.

When we got to the Rooster Roost, a patrol booth littered with warnings of hazards that may exist on the expert terrain that we were heading into, I stopped him and re-confessed my love for my mountain man with the signs in the background echoing the dangers that can be found in love, know what you’re getting into before you leap.

Hiking in ski boots with your skis on your back is less than enjoyable, the trail is often packed out by somebody twice your size, causing each step to be a huge effort. As for the skis, if you don’t have them placed in your strap correctly, either your helmet is bonking the top of the skis with every step or your skis are hitting the lower part of your legs.

The wind was a force and at times I had to stop and wait for it to let up lest it blow me over the precipice.

Photo Credit: Michele Cardamone. Photo is of Pam Sweeney, and me (bringing in the rear) while hiking Aspen Highlands Bowl.

Being over 12,000 feet high on a 1,000 foot ridgeline with 40mph winds is no Disneyworld. Described by many as a true out of bound experience, in-bounds, it was invigorating. When we got to the summit Wade had a huge white spot on his face. He wouldn’t let me help him knowing that my hands held no warmth to get rid of the frostbite.

We had no time to take in the To Read More Click Here

~Jillian Livingston, AspenRealLife.com

Featured Photo Courtesy of Aspen/Snowmass

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