Thanksgiving and the long weekend it kicks off typically mean just two things during this slow time of year in Aspen: turkey dinners and turns. But Aspen Mountain opened early, and our favorite gluttonous holiday is well covered elsewhere in these pages, so here are some decidedly non-Thanksgiving-related goings-on not to miss during a week when there are some exciting happenings to report from downtown Aspen.
It’s not often that a new, young gallery lands a big show, but that’s exactly what Skye Gallery, open only since June, has done. Friday marks the opening reception for “Big Picture, Baby,” a group show guest curated by Danielle Krysa, aka the Jealous Curator, a writer and artist who has amassed a huge social-media and blog following and has curated shows from coast to coast.
Thanks to the Jealous Curator’s deep art-world connections, the large-scale paintings of five big-name female artists – Megan Hildebrand, Ashley Longshore, Daisy Patton, Janna Watson and Krysa herself – are on view at Skye Gallery, at the corner of Cooper and Hunter, through the end of 2018. And if you can’t make it to Friday’s opening event from 5-8 p.m., all five artists will be on hand during an artists’ reception on Dec. 13, from 6-9 p.m.
“These are big, bold pieces of art by amazing, big, bold women artists,” says Anna Hazard, communications director for Skye Gallery.
Think Aspen has enough ski and snowboard shops? Think again! Two welcome new locations have recently been opened by longtime local snowsports experts.
Cripple Creek Backcountry, which started in Carbondale six years ago and opened a Vail location in 2016, became downtown Aspen’s only shop focused exclusively on ski touring when it settled into The Hub space at 616 E. Hyman Ave. earlier this month. In fact, says head technician Matt Hoogenboom, Cripple Creek is one of the only touring-specific shops in the country.
But the uphilling craze is sure to bring the shop – which will be open seven days a week come Dec. 1 – plenty of customers. Citing some 200 people per day skinning up Aspen Mountain recently, and some conflicts with mountain operations, Aspen Skiing Company is enacting stricter uphilling policies on its four mountains this season.
“We’re focused on getting people outfitted in the right lightweight touring gear for their goals, whether it’s hiking up the resort or getting into the backcountry,” says Hoogenboom.
To that end, Cripple Creek primarily sells touring-specific skis, bindings and boots. A partnership with Mike and Steve Marolt’s business, 8KPeak, includes Fischer gear in the mix, and a limited rental fleet will be available starting in December.
Meanwhile, Aspen’s only snowboard-focused shop is expanding with a second location. Radio Boardshop was founded in 2005 by Aspen native Travis Mclain and Michael Young, both former competitive snowboarders (ironically, that shop got its start in the Hub space as well), and has earned a devoted following for its cool, local vibe and great selection of snowboard, skate and lifestyle gear and apparel.
Now open in the Basalt Bike & Ski space at the corner of the Cooper Ave. and Mill St. malls, Radio Boardshop’s second location focuses on demos and rentals – including skis – and service, the latter enhanced by the acquisition of a state-of-the-art Wintersteiger tuning machine. The shop also carries a selection of snowboarding apparel and accessories, so it’s a one-stop shop – even for blended families of skiers and snowboarders.
“We’re staying true to what we do, but we’re focusing on a new kind of customer experience when it comes to rental,” says Radio’s Zak Ferrara. “Come in for a high five, good time, and demo the highest performance snowboards on the market.”