History. It's one thing that differentiates Aspen from almost every other ski town in the U.S. Aspen has roots as a Ute Indian hunting ground, a silver mining boom town and over the past 3/4's of a century Aspen has evolved into a cultural and athletic Mecca. Since 1937 The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (AVSC) has been teaching winter sports and life lessons to the children of the Roaring Fork Valley. If your math is rusty...that means 2012 marks the 75th Anniversary of AVSC. That pre-dates the Aspen Skiing company by 10 years. 2011 was a big year in the history of AVSC as it was named USSA (U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association) "Club of the Year" and also was chosen for the "Top of the Hill" Award from the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame.
Click 4 Pix: AVSC at 75
AVSC Executive Director Mark Cole recently spoke at The Aspen Business Luncheon hosted by Todd Shaver. Cole and a few of AVSC's coaches shared some of the details about AVSC's 75th Aniversary Season. Almost 2100 children will participate in AVSC's Winter programs this year, a new record. Coaching is available in Nordic, Alpine, Adaptive and Freestyle disciplines for both skiers and snowboarders through AVSC 450 of the kids compete at the nationally ranked team level, about 650 children are on scholarship. Almost 25% of all kids in the Valley participate with AVSC in some capacity.
AVSC has a long list of alumni who are World Class performers and Champions. Names like Andy Mill, Casey Puckett, Gretchen Blieler, Dave Stapleton, Jen Hudak and more. Currently AVSC has begat top riders like Wiley Maple, Katie Ryan, Noah Hoffman and Torin Yater-Wallace.
A long standing Aspen tradition is the AVSC Ski Day. AVAC Day is when Aspen Mountain opens up for friends of AVSC one day prior to the actual opening day. A $40 donation ($20 for kids) gets you out on Ajax a day before the general public. This year AVSC day was a super-beautiful bluebird day and Ajax was groomed to perfection and ready 4 shreddy. 165 acres of finely tuned white gold was skiing like it was mid January. Some of you may recall last year's AVSC day which was a full-on POWDER Day.... going HUGE on day 1. Either way...Bluebird or POW POW getting out there with the skiers, coaches, parents and friends of AVSC is a treat, but you better bring your A Game. Those AVSC kids rip!!!
AVSC is to be congratulated on their 75th Aniversary. Training World Class athletes is an important job...especially in Aspen. Training the 2000 or so kids who are not World Class is a special task too. Establishing core values of team work, discipline and training will help AVSC kids in any future endeavor they choose, weather its academics or athletics. If you've ever seen a pack of uniformed 10 year olds ripping down the mountain at mach speed, screaming with the joy of freedom and sporting huge smiles on their faces...then you know what AVSC is all about.
Congratulations to AVSC on 75 years and good luck for a great 2011/12 Ski Season in Aspen.
CLICK 4 PIX: AVSC at 75