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Aspens first real snowstorm of the season has happened, and is not even finished. Over a foot of fresh snow has fallen up on the ski areas of Aspen/Snowmass, while down in town a solid few inches or more covers the sleepy off-season streets. We are just three weeks away from opening day both at Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Mountain. The vibe in town is certainly positive and optimistic for a great winter. Cold temps, along with the new snow, have let the world-class snowmaking commence as well. Preparing for the annual World Cup ski race at the end of the month is a priority, and having snow everywhere else on the mountain sends a signal to viewers of the race around the world that Aspen is where to go for your upcoming winter vacation.
The change in season also makes people think about what they will be wearing and skiing on this winter as well. Here at Miller Sports we have over 85% of our brand collections in-store already, with a few brands left to trickle in just before the season starts. Fashion ski wear collections from Toni Sailer, Postcard and J. Lindeberg are looking the best we’ve ever seen, while our more technical brands such as Mammut and Peak Performance are off the charts in quality and freeride style. Skiing is fun no matter what you wear, but being dry, warm and stylish makes it just that much better. Bright, popping colors from Peak Performance, shown in such styles as the Heli Gravity Jacket for men and women, while classic and elegant color ways from Toni Sailer stand out as season favorites. Toni Sailer has also come out with a new Urban Resort Collection, which consists of a line of long coats in three different lengths, made from shiny pearl nylon that is water-resistant, and keeps you warm on the coldest of days in town. These jackets not only look great and keep you cozy in mountain towns such as Aspen, but also work great in the big cities such as New York, Chicago and abroad.
Keeping your feet dry is another must during snowy days such as these. Apres-Ski sneakers from Gino-B do just that. Lined with real sheer ling fur, with a water-resistant suede and leather outer material, the Kitzbuhel shoe for women and men from Gino-B is the most comfortable thing to slide you foot into after a long day of hitting the ski slopes. Head into town for some shopping or to the bar at the Little Nell and you’ll be happy you’re wearing these winter shoes.
Winter will really be in full swing before you know, and the town of Aspen will be packed with visitors from all over the world. People will come with their families to have the vacation of a lifetime, and very rarely does this town disappoint. Searching for the best new products, from ski apparel to the skis themselves, the visitors to this special place will find more than just the perfect outfit or perfect set of skis at Miller Sports, they will find an experience of exceptional customer service. Aspen provides the location of serene beauty, culture and sport. We at Miller Sport provide a retail experience like no other, a perfect match for a town like this.
As we roll into the fall months, saying goodbye to summer and look onto the horizon of winter, its time to think about what kind of skis the visitors of aspen will have to choose from at Miller Sports. First off the buzz on the street is that a mega winter of epic proportions is upon us. They call it El Nino, where massive amounts of moisture in the Pacific Ocean surge inland, across the deserts of Nevada and Utah, and drop endless amounts of snow onto beautiful Aspen, Colorado. We shall see just how everything plays out, but so far it is looking very good for us to have a great winter. So as for skis, we at Miller Sports only rent the very best. We carry three major brands of skis; Kastle, Blizzard, and Rossignol. Kastle is certainly our number one, with 8 models to choose from. This includes powder skis, all mountain skis, carving skis, beginner/intermediate skis, as well as skis for the kiddos. Kastle has created the perfect rental ski for everyone from beginner to expert with the LX82 and LX72. A new graphic but same great design has made the LX series a shop favorite. Easy to turn on groomed runs, maneuverable in the bumps, and lightweight, the LX series is the go to setup for that everyday rental customer. For the looking to up their game and try something new the FX line by Kastle is a great option. Chris Davenports newly designed FX85 and FX95 HP will certainly be a showstopper, giving people the chance to ski any and all terrain. The Kastle FX95 HP is the perfect one ski quiver for that expert rental customer looking to ski everything from Aspen Mountain to Highlands Bowl. For the skier looking to rent something that can do everything but is a bit softer, lighter weight and a bit more narrow, the FX85 (non-HP model) is the perfect setup. Great for men and women, the Kastle FX85 has just enough early-rise to conquer the off-piste terrain, while staying strong and stable on groomed runs. For the deeper days, which are surely to be many, the Kastle BMX105 will keep you floating on top and motoring through the fresh powder snow. Terrain such as Aspen Highlands Bowl and the Cirque in Snowmass are perfect to try out this brand new model of all mountain powder skis.
Another shop favorite for the rental customer is the Blizzard Brahma. Coming in at 88mm in the waist, the Brahma has early rise for stay above the snow, but with just enough side cut to arc turns on the groomers. Blizzards patented flip-core technology gives the early rise a natural flex, making it easier for the intermediate to expert skier to rip powder and ski the entire mountain. The women’s version of the Brahma is the incredibly popular Black Pearl, voted number one women’s ski for two years in a row. With the same flipcore technology, gentle early rise and simplistic turning agility make the Black Pearl a go-to ski for our womens customer. Making it easy for the rental customer to enjoy their Aspen vacation on the mountain is our number one goal, which is why we choose these skis. Exceptional service, overnight storage, and competitive rental rates make Miller Sports the number one ski rental shop in Aspen.
Well it has been an interesting end to the winter season. After what was a reasonably mild start to the month, Aspen got nailed with an epic finish. Over a foot of snow fell on closing weekend, making for some of the best conditions of the season. Spring storms are different from those bitter cold dumps in January. The snow is considerably denser, and most definitely heavier, but when enough of it falls it makes for a creamy smooth snowpack. While most of the tourists were gone, all the locals were out enjoying this last dose of lift-serviced powder snow. I say lift serviced powder because although the mountain closed on Sunday the 19th, people were skinning up and out in the backcountry for weeks after.
Backcountry conditions were surprisingly quite good the past few weeks. Cloudy skies and frequent high altitude snow storms made for epic spring conditions in the backcountry. We at Miller Sports even made some last minute ski sales of Kastle FX94 and Kastle FX104 skis for people heading out into the backcountry. The FX series has been a touring mainstay the last two years, with its lightweight construction, slightly rockered tip and skin attachment point on the tip.
Next year the Kastle FX series, pioneered by Aspen local Chris Davenport, gets a major overhaul, with the 104 getting dropped and becoming the BMX105, while the 94 becomes a 95 and 84 becomes an 85. But one millimeter of width difference is far from the only change. They now have considerably more rocker, making for a true powder ski. They also come in two different models for each width, a regular non-metal version and a HP (high-performance) version with two sheets of Titanal. In our opinion both versions ski fantastic, but the HP version of the FX95 is the true winner. Kastle has also adjusted the length options, instead of having to make 10cm jump between lengths, there is now only a 8cm gap, so now the you can be on a 165cm, 173cm, 181cm or 189cm. The 181cm will be the expert skiers length of choice we feel, short enough with the rocker to be maneuverable in tight trees but quite stable at high speeds.
All in all the new Kastle Ski lineup for next year is the best yet. We will carry the new FX85 and FX95, BMX105, MX88 (duh!), LX72 and 82, and the all new CPM, which is a LX82 with metal and carbon fiber. An all black gloss and carbon fiber finish make this ski a eye-turner.
Well winter has certainly come back to our special world. In the past week Aspen Mountain has received 34 inches of snow. In the past week Snowmass has received 46” of snow! Last night alone it snowed just under a foot, and this was all after the lifts had closed. Which meant that today was the day to be out skiing. Cold temps kept the snow pack light and fluffy, and the mid-week timing of the storm made for not too crowded conditions. Then again whom are we kidding; Aspen is never crowded! Any lift line over 5min is a rarity; the only exception is the line at chair six at 9:30.
The way it works on a powder day is the gondola line starts loading up around 8:30. Sometimes this line can creep all the way to Durant Street and even then it can fan out in both directions. This is usually for the first powder day of the season, a massively big storm the night before, or when it hasn’t snowed in 6weeks or more. The skiers and snowboarders of aspen, locals and visitors alike (although its more locals who are in this line) are a powder hungry group, gunning for the epic untracked line down Bell Mountain and then to the dumps. Ok so back to the way it works, the gondola opens at 9am. When they start to let people on there is a huge bellowing of hoots and hollers from everyone waiting. Some people have been waiting over an hour, usually those right at the front, and always the usual suspects. The first people off the gondola head straight for face of Bell, which takes you straight to chair six. Don’t waist too much time buckling your boots or adjusting your goggles at the top because your friends will be gone in a heartbeat. Remember there are no friends on a powder day! Now if you time this transfer from the top of Ajax to Bell and down to six right you can have one of the most epic runs, steep and deep. Then it’s right onto chair 6 to get to the dumps as quick as possible. If you’re smart you ski right under chair six or just to the right and get back on a few more times. If you head down to the lower dumps then that means you have to get on t the gondola again. And if it’s a big powder day the line at the gondola will still be long. The key is to stay on the top of the mountain for at least an hour or so until the gondola line has petered out. Then you can ski one of the dumps back to gondola, earning a well-deserved 15min break to rest the legs and check your email. Wait did I just say that?! No cell phones on the gondy!
From this point on its really up to you where you want to go. Usually by 10:30 the fine folks of the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol have done their avalanche safety work, and classic runs such as Walshes and Christys are open, certainly ones not to miss on a powder day. However on a really epic snow day you can’t go wrong, there are no bad or sub-par runs on Aspen Mt. If you lose your friends don’t get too bummed out, just take a three lap and meet at the water station! When it’s all said and done you can head over to the Sky Hotel for a little après ski party action, which is certainly well deserved.
For events this week the 2015 Directors Cup has come to Aspen, and Miller Sports is the host sponsor as the official ski shop. We are providing the very best in ski rentals and race tuning for all the event participants, and this evening we held a wine and cheese party to welcome everyone and celebrate the first day of racing. This event brings in a very eclectic group of skiers from all over the world, and it’s an honor to have them in our store and our town.
Winter has returned to Aspen. In the past week over 16-20” of light Colorado snow has fallen, giving the Power of Four resorts, AKA Aspen-Snowmass, a much needed refresh of winter. The storm came in slow; with a few inches each night, then on the third day and night a solid 10” fell. It’s amazing what a nice storm can do to lift the spirits of locals and visitors alike. Each morning there were people waiting outside the doors of Miller Sports to swap out their rental skis for something a bit wider, if you are using our Aspen ski rental service this week we recommend the Rossignol Soul 7. People who purchased that sweet new pair of Blizzard Bonafides finally took them out to sample the goods. Getting a fresh wax on ones powder skis was also quite common this past week. A nice wax job or edge tune can make all the difference in ones ski day. This new storm also brought an upswing of technical ski apparel purchases. Items such as the Peak Performance Heli Alpine Jacket and the Nordwand Pro Shell by Mammut were in high demand, as people were looking for the ultimate in waterproofing and technical freeride features.
Snowmass took the win for most snow accumulated in one week, with over 20” as the final tally. Snowmass has its own little climate pattern, while sometimes Aspen can get just a few inches Snowmass will come in heavy with almost a foot. Of course this can flip-flop and the opposite can occur, but usually Snowmass takes the win. That’s what is so great about Aspen-Snowmass is that you only have to buy one lift ticket and that will give you access to all four mountains. Some people split their day with morning laps in the bowl at Aspen Highlands, and finish it out with high speed groomers and a little apres’ action on Aspen Mountain. Of course this usually turns into a night on the town, which after a great day on the mountain with family and friends what’s better then an epic dinner and some late night libations.
With just about 8 weeks of the season left, there is still plenty of time for some more epic storms, awesome parties, and the making of long lasting memories. Aspen is the perfect place to check all of these things off the bucket list. We at Miller Sports try to give you the items needed to make the most out of your ski vacation. Whether it be brand new ski rentals, the coolest in designer ski wear, or the most unique accessories you can’t find anywhere else, we’ve got you covered. Stop in and check us out, at the very least you’ll get a Jolly Rancher and a high five!
We got 5” of snow last night! That’s right today was a full-blown powder day, I’m serious! Well it was sort of a powder day, because after a solid month with very little snow, 5 inches goes a long way. A crisp, cold bluebird day followed this welcomed snowstorm, and people were enjoying everything from soft moguls on Bell Mt to silky smooth groomed runs down Ruthies. The nice thing about this storm was it started after the mountain closed on Monday, so there was a fresh blanket of snow for everyone to enjoy this morning. Every resort goes through a dry spell, and long-range forecasts seem to point ours letting up. It’s our guess that March will be a big month for snowfall, but I guess only time will tell.
Well besides talking about the weather, or lack thereof, lots of fun things have been going on in Aspen. Presidents weekend was very busy in town, visitors from all over the world were here enjoying all Aspen has to offer. If you drove past the airport you could see a literal parking lot of private jets, a sure sign that it’s going to be a busy weekend. Things started to pop off on Wednesday, with people arriving at Miller Sports to pick up their ski rentals. On Friday over in Snowmass was the Bud-Light concert series and Rail Jam. Local athletes throwing down their best rail tricks while music playing loud in the background. Later that night is the Ullr Night’s event at Elk Camp lodge, where tasty dinner and local music entertain the guests.
One trend we’ve noticed at the shop is people trying skis that are completely out of the comfort zone. Whether it be a mid-fat powder ski like the Kastle FX104 or the consumer race ski by Rossignol, AKA the HERO. The Hero comes in a long-turn and short-turn model, and with a waist of 68mm these badboys are meant for one thing… carving turns both short and long. Miller Sports is the only shop in Aspen to carry the HERO ST and LT. Everyone from customers to ski-school instructors have been coming in to test them out, and everyone come back saying the same thing, which is they rip, period. If theres one good thing the lack of snow has brought us it’s selling narrower skis. Ripping groomers is cool again, and having the right tool to do that is key.
The past two weeks in Vail have been the World Alpine Championships. Ski racing fans around the world were watching ski stars like Mikaela Shiffrin, Lindsay Vonn, Ted Ligety and Bode Miller represent the US in what is essentially the biggest ski race event besides the Olympics. Mikaela won the Slalom, Ted won the Giant Slalom, and bode had a spectacular crash in the Super-G, tearing a hamstring and possibly ending his career. A big surprise was Travis Ganong who took 2nd in the Downhill. He is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. One of our main apparel brands, J. Lindeberg, was the event sponsor, and we’ve certainly received lots of people curious and excited to check out this amazing skiwear brand.
As we are just days away from the New Year, we try to reflect on our first year of business. It has been an incredible first year, making our mark as Aspen’s newest and best ski shop. Its not an easy thing, as Aspen is home to some of the worlds best ski shops. We are very grateful to the local community and visitors alike for all the support through our first year, and look forward to many more in the amazing town.
It’s been a snowy and cheer filled Christmas time here in Aspen, Co. For the past two weeks the four mountains of Aspen-Snowmass have received over 2ft of snow. It has snowed in one form or another every single day for two weeks straight. This has been a gift from the sky, as everyone loves a white Christmas. Town has been packed with tourists and locals alike, with everyone enjoying the epic conditions and tranquil environment of the town of Aspen. Ski rentals have been at an all-time high, with many people taking out fat skis to fully enjoy the deep snow. The shop favorite has been the Rossignol Soul 7. For men and women alike, the Soul 7 is that perfect all mountain ski that’s wide enough to float on powder, while having the sidecut and camber to carve a turn while coming down Spar Gulch. Between our two stores, Miller Sports and Hamilton Sports, it has been difficult to keep a Soul 7 available for people to try. The moment a ski comes back, it goes right back out on a demo.
Another product pick has been heated gloves and mittens by Hestra and Zanier. After Christmas the temperature both in town and on the mountain has dropped significantly. Lows in the single digits, and icy cold mornings have made people take the plunge into the heated glove world. It’s one of those products your not sure if you need, not sure if its necessary, but once you put them on and give them a go you can’t imagine life in the mountains without them. Zanier is a new brand for us, coming from the Austrian Alps. The Aviator GTX glove and Hot GTX mitten are both constructed from the very best materials, including Gore-tex and leather, along with one of the longest-lasting batteries on the market. The glove has been a favorite among men, while the mitten tends to be favored by women. Our other heated glove and mitten brand is Hestra, with the Powerheater series. An industry favorite, the Powerheater incorporates a low profile design with excellent battery life and heating element.
People are excited to celebrate 2014 AND bring in 2015 in Aspen. Visitors from all over the world converge to one of the greatest places on earth, in hopes to ski and snowboard everyday ad party hard every night. While lift lines at Aspen continue to be a minute long affair thanks to our 4 ski mountains, restaurants and clubs are packed to the brim. This is a special place, this town of ours, and we at Miller Sports feel fortunate to be a part it.
After a slight lull in the white fluffy stuff we call snow, winter has returned to Aspen, and just in time. The coveted holiday season is just a few days away, with most visitors arriving the weekend prior to Christmas. People come to this special place from all over the world to celebrate the holidays. The mountain is full of skiers (well, not “Vail” full, that’s the way we like it), the town is hopping with shoppers and locals alike, and the general vibe is one of happiness and cheer. For a retail store such as us, the holiday season is very important. We do our best to make sure everyone is taken care of, from people shopping for gifts, to families renting ski equipment, our job is to make it a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
There are some very cool items being purchased right now at Miller Sports. The most stylish and technical skiwear is going out the door, with funky new colors from Peak Performance and Mammut, as well as stunning fur trimmed jackets from Toni Sailer Ski. But that’s just the designer ski wear, a new ski outfit for him or her, mid-layer, base-layer, socks, the essentials that create the foundation of your ski look and function. It’s the accessories we carry that are really turning heads this year and adding that extra something special. Our new goggle line Yniq has hit the shelves, and aren’t staying there too long. Hand-made in Sweden, the Yniq Model FOUR and Model ONE goggles incorporate a state of the art optical lens with a sleek and stylish rimless frame design. Another hot item at our store is Gino-B après ski sneakers. Made from leather and suede, with a sheer ling fur lining, these shoes are a little slice of heaven for your feet after a long day on the hill. The outside is fully treated to stand up to snowy conditions, and the classic yet sporty design is what we’re calling hipster chic. Yup, I just said that.
Stop in and check out the new digs at Miller Sports. Pick up something for that special someone, or just say hello and grab a mini Toblerone from the jar downstairs in the rental lounge.
The Aspen Winternational wrapped up last week with the ladies Slalom. American Olympic gold medalist and certainly the favorite to win Mikaela Shiffrin did not end up on the podium. Even after a super fast first run, which put her in the lead, her second run was not the typical Mikaela. She ended up in 5th place overall, while Austrian Nicole Hosp took the win, with her teammate Katherin Zettal coming in at 3rd place. It was certainly a clean sweep by the Austrians for the weekend. Eva-Marie Brem claimed victory in the Giant Slalom, and teammate Kathrin Zettal came in second. Known as ski racing “first country”, Austria produces more winning ski racers in both men and women than any other country in the world. Ski racing is basically like football or baseball here in America.
For you ladies looking to go as fast as Mikaela try the LX72 as your next Aspen ski rental, this ski is a light and nimble ski with the dependable stability and control of KÄSTLE. The course is groomed all season so you can lay down hi speed carves even if you were not here for the holiday races!
So as we start the first true month of winter, we hope the consistent snowfall we saw in November continues. All long-term weather forecasts point to an above average winter. Lets see what pans out in the next couple weeks as we get closer to Christmas, which regardless of new snow or not will be a crazy time of year, certainly our favorite at Miller Sports.
Strong snowfall in the middle of November cued the good folks at Aspen-Snowmass to kick into high gear and open Aspen Mountain 1 week early. Nothing gets the stoke of ski season going like an early opening, especially when that opening is not only some fantastic groomed runs but full on powder conditions. On the morning of Saturday November 22 Aspen Mountain opened for the season. The line at the gondy was all the way to the street and then fanned out in both directions. People were hoopin’ and hollerin’, ready to get back on the hill that had been closed since memorial day (not bad actuallyJ). For the two weeks prior it had been snowing off and on. For several days straight it snowed, and snowed hard. A community as active as Aspens’ can get a little stir crazy when the weather is bad and the mountain isn’t open yet. So its fair to say that everyone was ready to get up there and sample the goods.
The skiing was more than excellent on opening day. The groomers were silky smooth and the off-piste runs were powder. The Aspen Mt ski patrol does everything possible to get new runs open for everyone to enjoy. Just yesterday they opened Walshes, which is a locals favorite. An east-facing run, Walshes holds great snow throughout the day. You can always find some fresh turns on the far skiers right by the trees. With the combination of deep snow on opening runs and the groomers in great shape, our choice for an Aspen ski rental this week is the Blizzard Bonafide. Even with a few days of high pressure and warmer temps, Aspen Mountain is skiing great, and the buzz in town is one of great anticipation for a above average winter.
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