whatever you do, DO NOT LEAVE TRASH OUT, or otherwise tempt or feed bears. they will DIE. we have now in place a 'one strike policy' due to the frequency of bears coming into town to dine (used to be 3 strikes). the wealthy have built mansions in the bears habitat, and all it takes is one call to 911 or animal control & they will have no choice but to kill the bear. and they are harmless. if you see one, back away slowly, facing the bear. they are more afraid of you! i used to stand there (quietly) and just photograph them. they are also on the trails- don't freak out, just go about your business...they are not grizzlies :D
photo #1 after 14 yrs of living in a cabin in the woods, 'big red' finally found his way into my home.
photo #2 the hunter creek loop was closed that day due to mama bear protecting her cubs~ you don't wanna mess with her!
Please be careful in the backcountry. 30 US skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers died in 2003. Click the link below which outlines many of the deaths and where they happened.
The Avalanche Organization
Also, I found some stories about just a few of the avalanches, but there's not enough room on this page to put them all.
"67 year old man killed in avalanche just outside of Aspen Highlands boundary."
"39 year old woman killed in avalanche on the backside of Aspen Mountain (AJAX)."
March 14, 2002
"4 backcountry skiers caught, 2 partly buried, 2 injured, and 1 buried killed by Ashcroft (area along the side of Aspen Mountain)"
Click here for these stories
"2 out of bounds skiers at Aspen Highlands were killed by avalanche."
"Backcountry skier killed on backside of Ajax Mountain"
Click here for these stories
Check out this story about a couple of guys that survived an avalanche at the "Highland's Bowl Area".
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has weather and avalanche reports, as well as warnings.
Another great place to learn how to protect yourself when skiing or hiking out of bounds is "Mountain Rescue-Aspen", (see the link below). Their goal is to educate the public with a 2 day "Community Avalanche Seminar" at the St. Regis Hotel yearly, where they teach avalanche skills both in the classroom and on the hill.
They also teach children what to do if they are lost through the national "Hug-A-Tree" program, participate in search and rescue missions, and offer ongoing trainings as well; for example, they have a two hour avalanche beacon class.
It is not uncommon to see Black Bears in Aspen in the summertime. Unfortunately these bears have had difficulty nourishing themselves in their natural habitat and have become dependent on foraging dumpsters and breaking into homes and cars. If you are renting a place - always keep doors locked - they can open doors. It's also not a good idea to leave food in your car.
Located 7,900 feet above sea level, the air is very thin and dry. Be sure to drink more water than you normally would. It is not uncommon to feel lightheaded, dizzy and nauseous if you are coming from sea level. Don't over-do it. You may also feel the effects of alcohol a lot quicker than you would at home.
Skiers/boarders contemplate a leap into Highlands Bowl. (Note the warning sign.)
(Picture from Aspen Classifieds.com)
Here are some skiers/boarders on their journey to tempt fate.
(Picture from Aspen Classifieds.Com)