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Entries in Fallen Friends (4)


Springtime in Aspen: The Party Never Stops

Wow!!  Unless you've experienced Springtime in Aspen first hand it's difficult to conceptualize what it's really like. AspenSpin attempts to bring it to you in your eye-balls digitally, so here goes.

In addition to the fantastic Spring skiing conditions and the fabulous (but unpredictable) weather, March in Aspen translates into a major league party atmosphere.  Aspen's social schedule is so jam packed with events that no one can do it all.  A.Party tried and failed...but the photos linked below will give you an indication of what it's really like.

ASPEN INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEK:  The new organizers behind AIFW gave an honest effort and created a fun fashion showcase. AIFW hosted 3 days of cat walk shows in the center of town and numerous in-store events and parties.  AIFW created positive energy.  It was no easy task to rekindle interest in AIFW, an event who's previous incarnation left a trail of unpaid bills and broken champagne glasses in its wake. The new AIFW was upbeat, professional and appeared to stay within a more modest budget.  There are still plenty of kinks to be worked out with AIFW, but we wish them luck in the future. Featured brands included; Dennis Basso, Perfect Moment, Columbia, Gorski, Obermeyer, Mountain Hides, SIA Snowlink, ALR Style Tribe and Helly Hanson.

As always AIFW was a good time.  But shouldn't it be more than that? What's the call to action?  I can't quite put my finger on what the main objectives are for AIFW. Obviously they want to highlight mountain style and showcase the participating brands...but why March?  The most important ski industry events, the ISPO show in Munich and the SIA Snow Show in Denver along with most of the buying for next year have already taken place.  No offense, but I didn't get the impression that key taste-makers and trend-setters were sitting in the front row.  Maybe it's geared more for the consumer...which is fine.  Hopefully AIFW moved the needle on the retail front.  It was a good effort...but AIFW has some work to do before it can be considered a meaningful event on the fashion calendar and the Aspen party docket.  The drinks were flowing, the models were showing and I appreciate AIFW inviting me to participate.























ASPEN PARTY WEEK:  It all started in 1961, led by the Crawford Brothers who hosted the first Wine Party, the infamous on-mountain soiree centered around vino.   53 years later it has evolved into a full week of parties and drunken revelry.  Most of the guys are in their 70's and 80's now, but their chicks are in their 40's and 50's. If you ask most of them...Aspen Party Week is the highlight of their year.  The guys don't ski quite as hard as they used to...but they can out party anyone.  It's an unofficial group that consists of about 300 interchangeable members.  Their calendar is full.  The Wine Party, The After Wine Party, the Lemon drop Party, the Tamale Party, the New Jersey Party, the Cheeseburger Party, the Snowmass Picnic and the longest running dance party in Aspen..the Sneak-a-Peak which morphed out of the Sneaker Ball (RIP).  I can't keep up...but I tried.  


FALLEN FRIENDS & BIG AIR:  The Ski Co. throws their gig...The Core Party every spring.  Free music, booze specials, a mobile champagne bar and plenty of activities.  Every year the highlight for me is FALLEN FRIENDs, a celebration of mountain lifestyle which honors the friends we have all lost to the mountains. As we say in Detroit " for the brothers who ain't here".   Fallen Friends which benefits AVSC, is one part slope-style comp., one part costume party and 100% fun.  I always love seeing guys in leotards throwing back-flips and pre-teen rippers dressed as minotaurs straightlining the course.  It's a great way to celebrate the season and to honor and to never forget our fallen friends.  This year's Fallen Friends event received a picture perfect, text-book clear, extremely beautiful Colorado Bluebird day on which to celebrate.  With Out A Paddle (Wylie Adams, Blake Axelson and Brandon Rohrbaugh) topped the podium.  A special Aspen Spinnie Award goes to the Fab Five (Packy and Ben Westfeldt, Michael and Peter Olenick and Ryan Odell) for skiing in leotards and owning it.  That takes balls.

The previous night the testosterone was flowing as BIG AIR Aspen took place on Ajax.   A 70 foot kicker was built at the base of Aspen Mountain for the comp. Both skiers & riders hucked their meat under the lights in front of a crowd of thousands (well maybe hundreds).  Big Air awards cash prizes so it's always a battle to see who has the skills to pay the bills...and for bragging rights.  In the end Aspen Local, Charlie Lasser stomped the skiing comp. and Justin Morgan topped all the knuckle draggers to score victory and take hope the cash.  We heard they were poppin' corks all over town.




Fallen Friends Memorial (& BIG Air)

Crocodile Dundees 3 peated at Fallen Friends. click 4 pix:The 5th Annual Fallen Friends Memorial was held at Aspen Highlands on Saturday.  Fallen Friends is a tribute to those skiers and riders who are no longer with us.  It's a celebration of the mountain lifestyle and a remembrance of those who have lost their lives in the mountains. Fallen Friends is an athletic competition, a party and a fund raiser for AVSC scholarships, but most of all its a reminder of the fragility of life. 

18 teams in full costume ripped laps down the modified slope-style course on Scarlett's run, just above The Merry Go Round restaurant.  Guys, gals, kids, adults...everybody threw tricks off the kickers and rails and natural features on Scarlett's.

Click for pix:  FALLEN FRIENDS (& BIG Air).

Every year, those of us that live in Aspen are exposed to death in the mountains and within the community.  Every ski season lives are lost in a variety of ways in the Rocky Mountains.  Fallen Friends memorializes the brothers (and sisters) who have paid the ultimate price and did so pursuing the life they loved in the Rocky Mountains.   Every Spring the Fallen Friends event brings the skiers and snowboarders together to throw down...to remember the good times...and to honor the lives of our Fallen Friends.

On the same night on Aspen Mountain the KickAspen BIG Air contest was held.  An 80 foot kicker was built at the base of Ajax on the Little Nell run. Athletes from near and far were sending their biggest tricks in front of a packed house.  Skiers and Snowboarders alike were hucking their meat under the lights for cash and prizes.  Everybody was whipping out the 720 corks and 1080's from their trick bags.  The best BIG Air specialists around were going for broke on the BIG Stage in Aspen.

Click for pix:  FALLEN FRIENDS (& BIG Air)

They gripped and they ripped at Fallen Friends 2013. Click for pix.The Ghost Riders at Fallen Friends 2013. Aspen Highlands. Click 4 pix.White Trash at Fallen Friends. Click 4 pix.Berkel & Tae went HUGE over the 80 foot kicker at KickAspen. Click 4 pix.The kicker was enormous on Aspen Mountain. Photo: Aspen/Snowmass Clcik for more pix.


Fallen Friends and Protect Our Winters

If you've been to Aspen, Colorado than you know our Valley is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  The majestic Rocky Mountains, the roaring rivers and the high alpine forests provide us with the beautiful natural amphitheater in which we live and play.

Whether you are a local or a tourist it's easy to understand the attractions of Aspen.

 Saturday AspenSpin attended fund-raisers for two extremely important issues, Fallen Friends and Protect Our Winters.  They are issues that affect us locally but have global implications.  At A-Spin we tend to focus on the good times... but these two subjects are becoming increasingly crucial in mountain communities across the globe.

Clic 4 Pix:  Fallen Friends & Protect Our Winters

FALLEN FRIENDs is a memorial event at Aspen Highlands to honor those skiers and riders who have paid the ultimate price. Many of our friends have lost their lives...sure, it's doing what they love, but it's not worth it.  Fallen Friends is a blow out party "for the brothers who aren't here", but it's small compensation for the pain and sorrow of losing a loved one.  Aspen and other ski towns have lost waaaaaaaaaay to many young people to the mountains. Skiing and riding have always been inherently risky endeavors...the syndrome of "pushing the envelope" has created an increasing number of fatalities in the mountain and action sports communities.  We get it...going BIG is fun.  An adrenaline rush is a great feeling.  Sending a previously un-skied line or hucking an un-huckable cliff might get you sponsored or get you a starring role in a ski flick.   AspenSpin will say it loud and clear.  IT'S NOT WORTH IT.   Think before you go.  If it seems to sketchy...it probably is.  RESPECT MOTHER NATURE because she can take you any time she wants to.  Nuff said. 

PROTECT OUR WINTERS.   AspenSpin is not a climate change expert and we cannot solve this immense  worldwide problem with our little blog. But we can help raise money and awareness to fight climate change.  All of us on earth have a COMMON GOAL to find a solution to PROTECT OUR WINTERS (POW).  Chris Davenport and Jeff Halverty along with The Regal Nightclub gave back by throwing an informational fund-raiser.  Click the POW link to find out how you can help.  Act locally... start doing the little things at home. Recycle and re-use.  If we all work together we can Protect Our Winters and keep shredding.

Enough preachin'.  Click my SICK PIX....thaz wut i do.


HBO's Jon Frankel and POW Host Chris Davenport at the Protect Our Winters Event


KICK ASPEN / Spring Loded

KSPN's Blitzenbanger Ball (40th annual) went off at Aspen Highlands.18" of Fresh POW sent the Aspen Fashion Week crowd off with a bang. Spring has officially sprung in Aspen. It wasn't the super- light blower we luv so much, but a foot and a half of POWDER SNOW dropped in Aspen on Friday followed by the bluest bluebirds on Sat. & Sun.  It was easily one of the siiiiickest weekends of the season.  AspenSpin has been employing the 3" rule all seaz, so based on the Partyian Theorem, the entire staff at A-Spin gets the next 6 days off.  3" x 6 dayz = 18".  Our whole company needs a vay-cay because it was a HUGE weekend of POW-POW, parties & music to celebrate the vernal equinox.

See pix from  KICK ASPEN (a ginormous BIG Air event on AJAX). FALLEN FRIENDS Memorial *and KSPN's BLITZENBANGER BASH at Aspen Highlands--capped off by the VAMPIRE WEEKEND show in downtown Aspen.  Everyone in Aspen went BIG this weekend,  CLICK any link or photo to see our photo albums on FaceBook.  

Vampire Weekend played to a HUGE crowd in Downtown Aspen. Photo: Jeremy Swanson /ASC

Sam Ferguson hucks the 80 foot booter on Ajax for KICK ASPEN. Photo: Jeremy Swanson / ASC

The Ninja Turtles took top honors at the 2nd Annual Fallen Friends Memorial at Aspen Highlands.