Aspen from A to ZG: a guide for newcomers

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Power of four
Aspen Times file

Moving to a new city is a test. There is judgment. There's a mistake. It's about making new friends and hanging out with new people that you don't really care about. Eventually, one discovers where to locate food, gas, haircuts, recipes, etc. Beyond that, Aspen is a strange city. Beyond everyday life, there is an almost endless well of internal customs and traditions that nobody really explains to you when you arrive. One is destined to solve it. After being a newcomer, I thought I could share some pearls to help hack life in the largest ski city in the world. That the snow is frequent and the prodigious tips. Here is another season in paradise.


AABC: Located opposite the airport, the Aspen Airport Business Center is the Aspen version of a "suburb" with a combination of condos, houses, gas, groceries, spirits, some restaurants, an office park and some very light industries and of storage.

Ajax: A popular nickname for Aspen Mountain, they once played with making it the official name. That did not fly.

Anderson Park: Ground sculpture garden on the Aspen Institute campus named after Robert O. Anderson, (unrelated to Anderson Ranch), who led the ARCO oil conglomerate and was the second president of the Institute.

Anderson Ranch: The artists' paradise, New York art critic Jerry Saltz described the Anderson Ranch Arts Center as "that place where my aunt would go to work in her pots." A fairly simplistic description, but that's it.

Annie: Commonly known as "The Old Annie’s," it was the popular bar and restaurant of the locals where Clark’s Oyster Bar is now.

ACES: The Aspen Environmental Studies Center, a free and quiet place to sit by Lake Hallam. (Located behind the post office, Hallam Lake is more of a large pond, but a small serene secret.)

ARC: The Aspen Recreation Center is essentially the local YMCA, but like all Aspen public services, it is substantially better.

Aspen Animal Shelter: You can "borrow" a dog and take it for a walk.

Aspen Country Day: K-8 private school

"Aspen Extreme": An essential 1991 film set and filmed in Aspen.

Aspen Meadows: The branch of the Aspen Institute campus complex, offer tennis courts, a gym and a swimming pool (available for locals in winter).

Aspen music festival
Aspen Times file

Aspen music festival: Students of the summer conservatory, professional symphony orchestras, touring artists and a mini-opera company that offer about 600 concerts. You will hear many "Don't Stop Believing" arrangements at the Hyman Mall.

Aspen Institute, Festival of Ideas and Security Forum: Think TED Talk meets the think tank meets the political summit with the Las Vegas convention.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet: Ballet company based in Aspen, shared with Santa Fe.

Aspen Center for Physics: The name explains itself. They have conversations open to the public at the Wheeler Opera House if you're in the mood to feel exceptionally stupid.

Aspen's words: The writers, famous, aspiring and delusional, come to establish contacts, work and read.

AVSC: The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club prepares Olympic skiers. Their average skis of 9 years are better than ever.

APCHA The Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority is a home subsidized by taxpayers and possibly the longest lasting socialist experiment in the United States.


Bar menu: Select items from the main menu that are served only at the bar, usually with a cheaper price for locals.

Tummy up: The place of slash dance club music with some DJs and quite amazing musicians.

Boot packing: Voluntary team preparing the preseason of the Bowl to get a season pass.

The bowl
Paul Conrad | Aspen's times

The bowl: 1) Take the Loge Peak Lift. 2) Stop by the ski patrol station to buy straps for $ 10 in cash. 3) Whether you take the snow cat about a third up or just start from there, be sure to unpack, as it will get hot on the walk and then immediately cold on top. 3) It usually opens around 10: 30/11 and closes around 2 p.m. The deeper the fresh snow is, the longer it takes to open.

Breakfast at Bonnie's house: Restaurant in Ajax where it is about pancakes.

Bell Mountain Buck-off: Informal ski race at Bell Mountain on the closing day of Ajax, directed by the Buckaroos ski band.

Burlingame: Housing complex against whey.


Capitol Peak: About 14er with a crazy "razor's edge" and a complicated descent that has taken the lives of many locals.

Caribou Club: The exclusive exclusive club for members nicknamed "the Club Cougar". They open their carpeted plaid rooms to the public on Halloween. Check out the rare Warhols next to the bathrooms.

Cathedral Lake: This rigorous hike to a beautiful mountain lake is named after the walls of the cliffs that give it a majestic cathedral.

Cemetery Lane: Residential neighborhood north of 82 between Maroon and Castle Creeks with a suburban atmosphere and a golf course.

Centenary: Subsidized housing with a blue roof named after the Colorado nickname, the Centennial State.

Cloud 9: Mountain restaurant in Aspen Highlands, where not only dancing is recommended, but spraying champagne, it is mandatory.

Riddle: Popular camping trip or long day hike to the high Alpine hot springs.

The couch: Slow-moving quad in Aspen Mountain.

Crowns Chicago family owns Aspen Skiing Co. (which also owns The Little Nell and Limelight hotels). His fortune comes mainly from General Dynamics, an aerospace and defense corporation.


John Denver

Denver, John: Hugely successful "Rocky Mountain High" singer who has sold more than 33 million records worldwide. He lived in Aspen until he died in a plane crash in 1997.

Devil's Punch Bowl: Popular water well to jump cliffs to the Independence Pass. Literal death trap until water levels recede later in the summer.

Ducky Derby: Rotary Club charity event where thousands of ducks float on Roaring Fork. Theoretically, one could earn $ 1 million, although that reality seems doubtful.

The garbage dumps: Where the miners used to throw dirt and rocks and other things, now there is an excellent Ajax powder.


Eagle Club: Private club of salt of the earth.

The Jebel Together with Willits, Basalt and Carbondale, these "dormitory communities" of Aspen extended along Highway 82 between Aspen and Glenwood Springs.


Fourteen: The 53 Colorado peaks over 14,000 feet.

Skillet: Popular basalt fishing river.


Gay ski week
Aspen Times file

Gay ski week: 2,000 gay boys (and some girls) ski and party for a week in January.

Glory Hole Park: It is not as fun as it seems. Only a small park on Original Street.

Gondy Nickname of Silver Queen Gondola in Aspen Mountain.


Highland Closure: The biggest party of the year on closing day at Aspen Highlands.

Hunter Creek: Somewhat confusing, Hunter Thompson lived in Woody Creek. Hunter Creek, unrelated to the writer, is the drain between the Red and Smuggler Mountains. It is also the name of a large residential complex nearby.


The public enjoys music at the JAS Labor Day Experience in Snowmass VIllage on Saturday, August 31.
Lynn Goldsmith / Special for The Aspen Times

JAS Abbreviation for Jazz Aspen Snowmass, producer of large summer festivals and winter series JAS Café.

J-1: The temporary work visa is often associated with a friendly young man with an accent.


Mawa's kitchen: Not so much secret as out of the way, amazing place for lunch and breakfast at the AABC. Mawa recently opened a crepe restaurant in Snowmass.

Moonlight skiing: Everyone dresses with buttermilk under the full moon and parties on top.

Mountain Club: Private club next to the Sundeck with a six-digit initiation fee.

Mountain valley: Neighborhood east of the city along the Smuggler mountain.

My party: A relatively new staple for the Food & Wine Classic festivities in June, there is a "silent disco" and drunk people in a mine.

MLS: Ask a real estate broker.


Todd Cassan and teammate Steven Phillips came out of Boulder's fist bump in the final leg of the Grand Traverse race on Saturday morning.
Anna Stonehouse / The Aspen Times

Power of 4: The SkiMo race in March that begins in Snowmass, covers the four mountains and ends in Gondola Plaza, also a summer version by bicycle.


Repeat sports: Second-hand sports equipment at the post office. Excellent for selling and buying almost anything related to sports.

Roaring Fork Swap: Facebook group for apartments, rooms and cheap things for sale.

Roundabout: Traffic center at 82, Castle and Maroon Creek Roads. More importantly, a sociopsychic boundary that delimits "Aspen" from the "valley."

Ruggerfest: A non-small rugby tournament held in September.


Ski change: The big sale of equipment at Aspen High School in October. The best offers of the year for all your winter equipment.

A group that uses skins to climb
Aspen Times file

Drums: Special adhesive strips that allow you to climb the mountain on skis and then ski.

Thaw: A snow prevention technology that channels warm water under the sidewalks and driveways so that the snow does not have the opportunity to accumulate, so it is not necessary to shovel.


Hunter S. Thompson
Aspen Times file

Thompson, Hunter: Famous writer who lived in Aspen for many years and once ran for the sheriff on a "Freak Power" platform.


Ute Trail
Aspen Times file

Ute (Trail / Tribe / Mountaineer, etc.): The Ute Indians were the indigenous peoples of the valley. "The Ute" is a punishing trail through Aspen Mountain that will put you in shape quickly. Ute Mountaineer is a gear shop in the center.


Woody Creek: The neighborhood and wild desert most famous for Hunter Thompson who lives there and Woody Creek Tavern.


ZG: Old license plates, which means they have lived in Aspen for a long time.


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