For a more invigorating workout, nonprofit worker Chris Lane uphill skis near Aspen four times a week.

Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

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Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

For a more invigorating workout, nonprofit worker Chris Lane uphill skis near Aspen four times a week.

Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

It’s spring break season and families and college students are heading to Colorado’s ski resorts. You’ve heard of downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, but a growing trend in these areas involves people skiing uphill. It’s midday in Aspen, Colo., and uphill skier Chris Lane is on a break from work at a nonprofit. He clicks into his ski bindings and begins his 1,600 vertical foot journey uphill — on skis. He’s going against downhill traffic, so he stays on the side of the ski run. “We’ve always gone one of two ways — either this route. Or, we just go straight up,” Lane says, referring to the steeper and more physically demanding path. “When you go straight up it wears your legs out faster, but I like that because I like the work out.” Like cross-country skis, Lane’s boots attach to the binding at the toe so his heels are free for climbing. Synthetic fur “skins” attached to the bottom of his skis provide traction on the snow. In the winter, Lane stops going to the gym, opting for this outdoor workout instead. Normally, he’s out before the sun’s up, sliding his skis up groomed trails. “It’s almost relaxing,” he says. “When I go up in the mornings in the dark, sometimes I’ll close my eyes for like a minute and just go uphill with my eyes closed … and it just feels so good.” Aspen mayor Steve Skadron has his ski boots on at his desk. He wants to capitalize on his sport and bring mountain culture back to downtown. “I skin, I uphill, participate in this hiking up the mountain,” Skadron says.

Aspen, Colo., Mayor Steve Skadron wants to make the mountain town the North American hub for uphill skiing.

Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

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