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Eagle mulling summer flights to Chicago



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While all the mothers are lynx that were transplanted from Canada or Alaska, the next major goal is reproduction by lynx born in Colorado.

Townhomes booming

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Townhomes are coming into their own in Steamboat Springs. In November, a unit was sold for $2.28 million, a record price. Located under the ski area gondola, it is in a complex of 4,200-square-foot townhomes.

Townhomes comprised 16 per cent of total sales during 2004, The Steamboat Pilot reports. One theory is that they can offer the size and quality of a single-family home, but without requiring as much land, which is becoming more of a premium in Steamboat’s base area. Townhomes that previously were selling for $100,000 to $200,000 are now going for $200,000 to $300,000.

Uphillers, groomers butt heads

ASPEN, Colo. — As they have elsewhere, ski groomers and "uphillers" have been butting heads recently at Buttermilk, a small ski area near Aspen. The full moon particularly turns out the uphillers, who skin up or hike up the ski trails to get a good cardiovascular workout. It takes those who are reasonably fit about an hour to go up Buttermilk.

But snow groomers recently lectured several hikers who left footprints in the fresh corduroy of the terrain park, causing bruised feelings. "I’ve been doing this for 20 years," one hiker told The Aspen Times incredulously.

"We know they’ve been doing it for years, and we’ve not been happy with it for years," responded Hans Hol, who manages mountain operations and the ski school at Buttermilk. "Our cat operators take great pride in the work they do," he added. "On a full-moon might, the whole mountain is covered with footprints."

Ski area operators could close the access to the uphillers. Not only does the Aspen Skiing Co. own the lower portion of the mountain, but the permit from the U.S. Forest Service on the upper portion allows the ski area operator to exclude non-paying customers. They have chosen not to do so.

But the ski area managers say that especially those tracks left in the new corduroy during evening, when the snow is still soft, detracts from the experience of paying customers the next morning. Ski area managers also fear accidents, especially with the winch cats used to groom terrain parks and steep places.

"Those cables do break – they let go," Hol said. "That cable will snap around like you wouldn’t believe. The cat operator is protected behind a double windshield in the cab, but the cable can slice a person in its path in half."