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By Tess Weaver Strokes | June 23, 2017 | Lifestyle
Three of Aspen's wintertime all-stars talk summer sports in the Elks.
No snow? No problem... For world-class skiers Wiley Maple and Colter Hinchliffe and snowboarder Jordie Karlinski, all of whom grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley, work and play continue in the Elk Mountains long after they go green.
A former competitive freestyle snowboarder, the 27-year-old Snowmass local will run her first marathon this summer—the Aspen Backcountry Marathon (August 12)—on the same high-country trails where she rides in winter. While she trains by trail running in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, Karlinski also fly-fishes in the area’s many streams and lakes and spends many weekends backpacking. “With all three, I get to go off the beaten path and explore parts of the wilderness I wouldn’t normally see,” she says. “I love how you can discover new routes to places you’ve already been.”
After free-skiing around the world all winter (and often into the summer), the 30-year-old ski-film star heads back to Aspen to bartend and work as a rock-climbing guide with Aspen Alpine Guides (aspen alpine.com), devoting as much time as he can to climbing at crags up Independence Pass and around the valley. “There are actually a ton of climbing areas and new zones that keep getting developed,” says Hinchliffe, who appreciates the sport for both its physical and mental exercise. “Whereas your progression might plateau in skiing or biking, you can always climb a harder route.” When he’s not climbing, he enjoys high-country dirt bike rides, camping, cliff jumping, and the occasional downhill bike ride in Snowmass Bike Park.
The 26-year-old ski racer spends most of the summer training at the US Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence in Park City and on snow in Europe, Chile, and New Zealand to prep for the World Cup season, but he gets to come home to Aspen in June to mountain bike (in addition to bagging peaks and swimming in high alpine lakes). “You can get way up in the mountains in a relatively short time compared to hiking or trail running,” says Maple. “And you get the thrill of the descent on the way down.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRAD UNGLERT
(HINCHLIFFE); ZACH MARAZITI (MAPLE);
DEVIN POOL (KARLINSKI)