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Earn Your Turns...more...

If you are a local you most likely embrace and enjoy a day of uphill on any of Aspen's four mountains. For those not aware of the "Uphill Movement", it is in simple terms Hiking up the mountain on skis. Before heading 'up' you will need to do a little research though as your Alpine ski equipment won't quite cut it and, of course, you will have to check out the Uphill policies and procedures of each resort as they are all very different. We are fortunate in Aspen to have a ski company that recognizes and supports Uphill and allows very generous opportunities and events across all of its mountains. For equipment you can use any type of ski but the lighter the ski the better - remember once you reach your uphill destination you will be skiing down so use a ski of proper length and feel that will allow you to enjoy your well-deserved downhill descent. It is best to have All Terrain boots which will look similar to your Alpine boots yet they for the most part will be lighter and provide more flex for your forward movement. Your bindings will need to connect the boot to your toe while allowing your heel to be free with adjustable heights to be set to the pitch of the slope, then once at the top you will need to affix your heel and lock it down for a comfortable ski down - unless you're setup for Telemark, then you're free-heel all the way. Typically your poles should be a little longer than your Alpine poles to assist in your climbing - ideally, long going up, then shorter coming down. A telescoping pole is ideal. Ready to go? Not quite... as you still need the essential to allow you to climb - Skins! The Skins will adhere to your skis and are typically made of nylon with typically mohair synthetic fur on the bottom allowing for your ski to grip the snow as you advance uphill and yet still glide smoothly over the snow much as a cross country ski would. So you can go smooth in the uphill direction, but have traction against the pitch and gravity in another. A sticky pre-made substance is coated on the other side of the skin then affixing to the base of the ski with clips at the tip and base of the ski. In the Aspen area you can visit Four Mountain Sports or Aspen Expeditions for complete set-ups to demo as well as guided tours and lessons. For events, checkout The Power of Four Race on February 25 and Full Moon Dinners and Uphill at the Cliffhouse on Buttermilk each month And whether climbing on skis, running shoes, hiking boots, Yak Trax, Snowshoes or whatever - don't miss Aspen's annual 'Americas Uphill' on March 11 where you climb from the base of Aspen to the Sundeck at the Summit covering over 2 and a half miles and over 3,000 vertical feet. So go out and eat pizza, drink beer and don't worry about calories as you earn your turns - you are an uphiller now!

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