Mountain News 

Aspen, Sun Peaks set new industry standard

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To reduce the chances of altitude sickness, Hackett urges visitors coming from sea level to acclimate along the way. Thus, for somebody from Los Angeles he recommends the first night at Ridgway, with its elevation of 7,000, before continuing on to a lodge in Mountain Village, Telluride’s slope-side town, which is at 9,600 feet.

Who gets altitude sickness seems to be determined largely by genetics. However, high-calibre athletes are more prone to suffer from it than non-athletes. So are women and, especially, pregnant women because of their high levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Private jets saturate airspace

ASPEN, Colo. — It must be the human condition. No matter how much money a person is, there’s always something to grumble about.

Consider the situation at Aspen, where The Aspen Times reported a complaint-filled gondola ride for a mother and daughter from Arkansas. Because the local airport, called Sardy Field, is so busy, they had to circle the airport for 90 minutes in their private jet before being allowed to land. You locals, they said, need to do something about this.

The Times explained that because the number of planes often exceeds the amount of runway time available at Sardy Field, a situation called "airspace saturation," the Federal Aviation Administration imposes a rationing program. The program is applied at Christmas, Presidents’ Weekend, and spring break.

Slots are allocated by this program, with commercial airlines getting first dibs. Those lacking slots are forced to circle Aspen until a slot is available. An alternative is to land at another airport in Rifle or Grand Junction to the west, or even at a Denver-area airport.

Greg Dyer, a Federal Aviation Administration official, said that people with Gulfstream V airplanes are not the sort of people accustomed to being told ‘no."

Some believe that operators of fractional ownership jets have fostered an underground market for slots. According to this theory, the operators of fractionally owned jets snare slots – leaving the full-ownership jets without slots. The FAA discounted that accusation.

Colorado enjoying banner winter

VAIL, Colo. — All the stars remain aligned for Colorado to break its all-time record for skier days, which was set almost 10 years ago. While resorts in the southern tier of the state continue to have marginal conditions, the big resorts from Aspen north continue to report some of the best skiing conditions in years.

Vail, for example, surpassed the 200-inch mark before New Year’s Day, the second-best snowfall in the resort’s 43-year history.

Residents make room

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