Living the Dream in Aspen: Skiing, Lifestyle, Parties, Events, Travel, Gossip, Society, Entertainment, Restaurants and Bars, Nightlife, Photographs.

The POW, the PIX, the PEOPLE.

Go BIG, or Go Home.

This area does not yet contain any content.

Entries in chris klug (6)


Bill Johnson Strikes in Aspen (again) / Hall of Fame Weekend

Chirs Klug Inducted into the Hall of Fame.Have you ever been to Ishpeming, Michigan?  

I didn't think so.  

Ishpeming is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Lake Superior.  It's the birthplace of organized skiing in the USA and the home of the U.S Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.  I've been to the Ish and its worth the loooong ride to get there. It's about 500 miles North of Detroit.   The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame (Ski Hall) is a fascinating collection of artifacts, photos, films and stories about skiing and riding in the U.S.  It's awesome.   A visit to the Ski Hall is a must for anyone who is passionate about skiing.

This past weekend the HOF came to Aspen.  Every Spring the Ski Hall hosts it's skiing history week and induction ceremonies in a different location.  This year the ski community came to Fat City to celebrate their sport, the lifestyle and to facilitate the enshrinement of 7 snow sport legends.

The 7 Inductees for the Class of 2015:

Genia Fuller, David Ingemie, Harry Kaiser, Chris Klug, Jim Martinson, Bob Salerno, Edgar Stern

Their bio's can be found here. 2015 Ski Hall INDUCTEES.  Saturday's big gala induction ceremony held  about 500 people honoring the inductees at Aspen's posh St Regis Hotel.

CLICK 4 PIX:  Bill Johnson Strikes Again / Ski Hall of Fame

Bill Johnson's Family in Aspen to honor him.As part of the festivities  The Ski Hall commissioned video tributes to skiing super-stars STEIN ERIKSEN and BILL JOHNSON.  Both recently passed away But the most moving part of the whole weekend was the tribute and ski lap for Bill Johnson. Wild Bill burst onto the ski racing scene like a bomb.  He was the first American male alpine skier to win an Olympic Gold Medal in 1984. He's still the only American to win the Olympic Downhill.  Click Bill Johnson to learn more.  Johnson had quite a reputation as a non-conformist...but boy could he let his red sleds run.  It's been said that he challenged the entire skiing establishment in 1984...and then he backed it up.  Bill loved Aspen...and Aspen loved him.  Unfortunately he suffered a serious brain injury in a crash during a comeback attempt for the 2002 Olympics. That injury most surely contributed to his death last January at age 55.  

D.B. Johnson...bill's Mom let A.Party wear the GOLD.On Saturday more than 200 friends and family members of the late, great Bill Johnson gathered at the top of Ruthie's Run, at the start of the race course for America's Downhill on Aspen Mountain.  It was the site of Bill's huge World Cup victory in 1984.  A few words were shared...and the group...more than 200 strong skied down the race course together.  At the top of Aztec...the steepest , most technical part of the track...more honors were shared.  Aspen Ski Patrol exploded a 2 pound dynamite charge...BOOM...and the race was on.   At the finish line, marked, just as it was in 1984, the posse of friends grew...Bill Johnson's ashes were sprinkled across the finish.   Tom Kelly from the U.S.Ski Team shared a short speech that began "We're here to honor Bill Johnson"  Ka-BOOM...as if on cue, a giant lightening strike and thunder clap occurred...very close by.  The explosion was louder than the avalanche charge.   The skies opened up to reveal a serious hail storm.  The energy was incredible.  It was other-worldly. Everyone felt it... as if Bill Johnson were with us. I'm not one to fully believe in paranormal experiences...but this one was real and palpable and very fitting.

Just as Bill Johnson's name was invoked...a huge lightning strike occured on Aspen Mountain. Bill was there with us.All the lifts on Aspen Mountain were closed for over an hour due to the storm.  The mountain was deluged with hail, rain and powder snow.  A very unusual weather event even in April.  It was a fitting tribute to Bad Billy Johnson.  His friends and family (including his Mom and kids) retired to Nello to celebrate and toast the life of Mr. Bill Johnson...Olympic Champion.

The Ski History and Induction weekend was a rousing success in Aspen.  The Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame put on a great show. Generations of skiing legends spent the weekend in Aspen charging the steeps and than bragging about it at Apres' As always it was BIG FUN in Fat City.  

We'll see everyone from the Ski Hall next year in Stowe.   Meanwhile...if you happen to be in Michigan's Upper Peninsula...on the way to...I dunno...Northern Wisconsin...stop into the Hall of Fame.   It's a treasure of skiing history.  Oh yeah...and don't leave da U.P. eh? without trying the pasties. 


Three legends in the ski world. Klaus Obermeyer, Billy Kidd and Chris Davenport.Team Klug at Chris Klug's U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame induction in Aspen.The Kaiser's The First Family of Skiing at Harry's HOF Induction.U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Famers...team pic.Bad Bob Salerno was thrilled to be a Hall of Famer.Genia Fuller and her daughter. Genia was inducted as the first lady of free-styling.





Pioneers of Shred.


 Pioneers of Shred. Aspen, Colorado. Click 4 pix. The Pioneers of Shred, a.k.a the members of the board assembled last night at The Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.  The Aspen Historical Society created a panel discussion with some of the most influential Snowboarders in history for AHS's first Time Travel Tuesday session of 2012.  The snowboard community in America (and especially Aspen) owes a debt of gratitude to the 8 shredders who gathered on the Wheeler stage to discuss the history of their sport.  One thing was clear about all the Pioneers of Shred...each one has a HUGE passion for snowboarding and mountain sports in general, and the stoke is alive and well and thriving in Aspen, Colorado.

Click 4 pix: PIONEERS of SHRED

The Members of the Board:

Kevin Delaney. World Champ and Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Famer.

Jeff Grell.  Inventor of the High-Back binding and owned a Snurfer in 1968.

Chris Karol.  Pro rider and former program director for AVSC.

Chris Klug.  Aspen's own Olympic Medalist, an organ recipient. Colo Ski & SB Hall of Fame.

Larry Madden. Opened Aspen's first snowboard shop, alternative Edge in 1990.

Travis McClain.  X Games Gold Medal Winner and head SB Coach at AVSC.

Susan Saghatoleslami.   The first shred betty in a male dominated sport.

Chris Tribble.  Influential filmer, captured the birth of snowboarding on film.

The discussion was spirited and informative.  The audience was filled with friends and fans and mountain riders..snowboarders and skiers alike. Stories from the past flowed from the stage and the audience could feel the camaraderie amongst the Shredders.  It was evident that the snowboarding community remains very tight and that the members of the board were enjoying their reunion.

Apparently riding on one plank attracted plenty of attention from the ski patrol in the early 80's and getting kicked off the mountain was a common occurrence in Aspen back then.  Even without lift access these die hards were so determined to ride their shred sticks...that hiking up the mountain and inventing their own modified equipment was their only solution.  Aspen Highlands was a hotbed for snowboarding in the early 80's....that is once all the paper work and insurance forms were completed.

It's easy to forget that snowboarding is a relativly new sport.  Established in the late 60's and early 70's snowboarding didn't really take off until the early 80's and it became an Olympic sport in 1998.   It wasn't until 2001 that snowboarding was even allowed on Aspen Mountain.  The sport has evolved into the mainstream very quickly and according to local hero Travis McClain "the Olympics needed snowboarding more than snowboarding needed the Olympics".   Some industry insiders credit the growth of snowboarding with saving the entire ski industry.  From the first "snurfers" who rode their wooden boards with a rope and no bindings to today's shred masters ripping double blacks alongside the skiers..snowboarding is clearly a legitimate BIG TIME sport.  The friction that used to exist between skiers and riders no longer is part of the equation. In fact snowboarding has been very influential in the development of shaped skis and fat skis Chris Tribble admitted that in the early days snowboarders were "slow and kind of in the way" but now with better equipment and technique...they are leading the charge.  Former World champ Kevin Delaney laughed that he knew the sport had really made it when "skiers started wearing baggie pants".  All the pioneers agreed...it doesn't matter how you slide down the mountain, on 2 sticks or 1...its all about creating "smileage".

It was like a great big knuckle dragger family reunion at The Wheeler.  Kudos to Aspen Historical Society for assembling such a meaningful and enjoyable group to share the history of snowboarding.  If you enjoy history and you love Aspen...get into the mix with Time Travel Tuesday's (TTT).  The weekly programs are fun, interesting and informative...yeeeeah dude, you might learn something. 

Click for pix:  PIONEERS of SHRED

The Pioneers of shred. Time Travel Tuedays with the Aspen Historical Society

The Smiths and susan..the first shred betty. Click for more photos.Team photo; Aspen Historical Society at Pioneers of shred. click 4 more pix. 


The Ajax Cup: Aspen's Ski Race

The 2nd Annual AJAX CUP Weekend to benefit AVSC is underway.

12 highly competitive teams are ready to compete for The Ajax Cup.  The celebrities, the Olympians, the pro racers, the adaptive racers, the amateurs and the AVSC kids have all been handicapped for time and the lineups are set. The ski racing kicks off today at 10 a.m. on the Little Nell run at the base of Ajax. You can watch the pro skiers rip super fast laps on the GS course.  

AspenSpin will be snapping and posting pix from The Ajax Cup pre-party, at the race and of course at the #1 après ski event in all of skiing.

The Ajax Cup festivities began with a Welcome Party at Caribou Club where the smack talk between racers was pretty thick.  Everybody wants to get their name engraved on The Ajax Cup and take home the prestigious Ajax Cup belt buckle. Each 8 skier team is comprised of a Head Coach (a decorated racer with National Team pedigree, the Captain (organizer), 4 competitors and 2 AVSC student-athletes. Pro athletes include Chris Davenport, Chris Klug, Casey Puckett, Jake Zamansky, David Chodounsky, Wendy Fisher, Kim Reichhelm, David Stapleton, Kristina Koznick, Katie Monahan, Chris Anthony and Gella Sutro.

The Sponsor lineup is stacked too.  Aspen/Snowmass, Kjus, Gosuch, Bombardier, Fiduciary Trust Intenational, Caribou Club and Rowland + Broughton.  The Ajax Cup is a new tradition in Aspen, but it has quickly become a de rigueur event on the social scene.

AVSC will reach 2,100 children this Winter. Skiing and snowboarding helps build self-confidence and shows kids that they can overcome challenges on and off the hill.   AVSC kids  learn core values of COMMITMENT, TEAMWORK and INTEGRITY.  Click for more info: AVSC.

Click for Photo albums:


THE AJAX CUP RACE  (Race Day in Aspen)

The AJAX CUP APRES SKI PARTY   (Party of the Year).

Jeff Gorsuch proudly displays The Ajax Cup, An Aspen Tradition.The Ajax Cup pro racers are ready to grab bragging rights in 2011.AVSC racers from team Casa Tua. Click for pix.The pre party for The Ajax Cup on Aspen Mountain to benefit AVSC.

 Team Go Fast with Stapes, CDY, The Bucksbaums and Coffey. Click 4 more pix.Team Caribou finished Top 10 at the 2011 Ajax Cup Race on Aspen, Mountaain to benefit AVSC Everybody was a winner at Ajax Cup. But Team Ganzi will have bragging rights for 2012.


Summit 4 Life 2011

The 6th Annual Chris Klug Foundation Summit for Life Race sponsored by Novartis set new records in many ways. A 3,267 vertical foot hike up Aspen Mountain over 2 1/2 miles at night in December...you know the drill.  500 racers in 2 divisions was the absolute maximum capacity.  Two racers went to a photo finish in :47 minutes to decide the winner in what might be a new speed record. 

Learn more, Click:  CHRIS KLUG FOUNDATION.

Click 4 Pix:   PARTY 4 LIFE   and   SUMMIT 4 LIFE

The Full Moon was like God's flashlight providing a brite path up Ajax.  The crystal clear weather, cool tempratures and a hard-packed turf led many veterans to eclipse their personal best times. Fundraising numbers are still being tabulated but all signals point to a record take for The Chris Klug Foundation in their effort to raise money and awareness for organ and tissue donation.

Put yourself in the shoes of the 11 year old kid from Breckenridge who got a new liver 4 years ago and hiked Ajax last night.  Put yourself in the shoes of his Mom who also did the hike, but got smoked by her energetic young son.  Put yourself in the shoes of any transplant recipient who knows how great life can be.

"There's a lot of granola in this room" observed A. Party.  The Sundeck fed the hungry hikers and their famlies and friends with pasta and salad.  The soundtrack was provided by Cameron and Randolph from Jes Grew.  The good-times were flowing like The Mighty Colorado.

This event is about education.  That education about organ and tissue donation saves lives.  When you renew your drivers license make sure to check the box. 

Click Chris Klug Foundation to register as a donor.  


The Best Guys in Aspen

Two of AspenSpin's favorite guys in Aspen are getting busy. 

Raifie Bass and Chris Klug are both survivors and transplant recipients.  It wasn't long ago that both of these guys were laying on their death beds reflecting on their lives which appeared to be almost over.  Raifie and Chirs both faced down critical illnesses and came out on top.  Before they got sick, both Raife and Chris led incredibly active lives.  They are still doing that today, thank God.  Both overcame tremendous odds, so this is a a happy story....yeaaaaah. While, disease presented a huge obstacle to Raifie and CK, they both survived and now they are both prepping for the future. 

The Basses. Click to enlargeRaifie, is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He is a husband to Michelle and father of two super-active boys, Max and Andy plus 2 Pugs.  He works in Real Estate, he shreds, he bikes, he plays rec hockey, loves live music and he has an incredible hockey memorabilia collection. He is leading a normal life after a near death bout with Cancer. Raife is highly engaged with Aspen's Cancer Survivors Center and a big time hockey dad to the Aspen Squirt B's who are in the midst of a record setting season and on their way to the prestigious Silver Stick tournament finals in Canada.

The Klugs. Click to EnlargeChris is loved by everyone who meets him.  He is married to Missy and Daddy to 6 month old baby Bali.  He is a 3-Time Olympian, a Bronze Medal winner in 2002, and one of the best athletes in Aspen. He recently retired from the professional snowboard tour.  He too works in Real Estate... when he's not adventure racing, surfing, commentating, giving motivational speeches or tirelessly working for the Chris Klug Foundation (CKF).  Chris knows he's lucky to be alive.  Critical liver problems almost ended it all, but a different number came up and Chris received the gift of life in the form of a liver transplant.

Click to Pledge This Weekend, Dec 9-11, 2011, CKF is hosting their 6th Annual Summit for Life uphill climb on Aspen Mountain.  More than 500 hearty soles will hike, skin-ski or snowshoe up 3,267 vertical feet to the top of Ajax.  This event raises money and awareness for organ and tissue donation. Click SUMMIT 4 LIFE to get all the facts, to pledge,  to participate.

Raife's cause is a little less serious, but no less fun.  The Aspen Squirt B's went down to Denver and won the prestigious Silver Stick Tournament. They are only Aspen team in more than 30 years to win their region.  As Rocky Mountain Champions, they will travel to Canada to represent Aspen at the International Silver Stick Finals Tournament in January.  The Squirts (age 9-11) are trying to raise money to fund their trip.  You can help the kids out...click:  ASPEN SQUIRT B's. 

If you don't love Raifie Bass and Chris Klug...you don't like people.  They're both all-around great guys.  When I hear the phrase Joie de Vivre (joy of life) I think of my pals Raifie and CK. Please, if you can, dig deep and support the Chris Klug Foundation and Aspen Squirt B's.  Share the wealth and the Joie de vivre.

After hiking himself...Chris is the official greeter at The Summit for Life.

How can you say no? The Aspen Squirt B's. Rocky Mountain Champs. Photo: Raifie Bass click to donate.