By Mike Rogge
We locked eyes as she tumbled off the bench and fell towards the table below. With cat-like reflexes, she twisted her body to the appropriate position, landing on her ass, and smashed a few glasses in the process. Before I could ask if she was okay, she popped back on the table and began dancing again. No sweat off her back. Just a little white wine and split second of embarrassment. To be fair, there was a Ludacris song playing and missing a beat on Highlands closing day would've been nothing short of a tragedy like not having different hos in area codes or backing an ass up.
The scene at Cloud 9 could be described as chaotic, irresponsible, and downright wild but I prefer to use another term; epic (Copyright: Vail Resorts). Anytime you mix skiers with the inevitability of a winter coming to an end, shit will go down. All good things must come to end. It's apart of life. Thankfully in Aspen so is retro gear, table dancing, naked skiing, high fiving, and an end of the season party that carries more hype than a Justin Bieber concert on the horizon for a twelve year old girl. It's just going to be good. You can feel it.
Earlier in the day, I began the hike to the top of Highlands Bowl around 11:30 am in an orange North Face Steep Tech kit, a pair of K2 Black Magics (because parabolic skis make the turns for you!), and a positive mental attitude. The ascent was filled with neon, nylon, and Nikons with seemingly everyone stopping for a photo op, a beer break, or both. Either way, they were getting a nice goggle tan, buzz, and a new Facebook profile pic for work on Monday.
Up top, I met up with Aspen's heart and soul, Chris Tatsuno and Pat Sewell. Tats and a friend were adorned in classic Wayne and Garth attire and spitted every one-liner from the two films (If she was a president, she'd be Babe-ra-ham Lincoln!). Sewell was in a dapper pink sport coat, tuxedo t-shirt, and accessorized with a bottle of Crown Royal. He's a man of fine taste and luxury. Immediately, cheers to the season were made, hugs were had over lost friends and close calls, and we reflected back on a season filled with great snow, highs, lows, and countless other unique experiences we'll never forget until they're replaced by better ones next season. After the gathering up top, we made our way down the bowl to Cloud 9. Groups of skiers and boarders slashed the remaining fresh snow, tossing mute grabs for fun, and making the last turns of the season. The amount of G.N.A.R. points, if accurately tallied, would've made Dr. Rob Gaffney's head explode. Thankfully, he’s a doctor and could fix that hypothetical problem.
When we reached the bottom, the party began and to describe a party would make me a fraudulent journalist. My memory is hazy at best and as my Dad always said about the 70’s, “If you remember it, you probably weren’t there.” When it comes to Aspen, I was there. I think. Well, the skiing wasn’t bad.
For more on Aspen’s Final Hurrah, put on a one piece ski outfit, grab 3-4 bottles of Tuaca and keep drinking until this song is awesome.