The Freaks of Aspen

The cable car nudged out of the station building and dangled in relative safety for a brief moment before it soared skyward toward the towering spires of the Mont Blanc Massif. Three men in their mid-20s stood at the front of the car, faces pressed against the Plexiglas windows, jaws agape.

Usually prone to the kind of interpersonal banter you hear from people that have been ski buddies since they were 11 years old, Sam Coffey, 27, Baker Boyd, 26, and Victor Major, 25, stared silently at the growing abyss below and the massive granite cathedral above. This was the first time in the Chamonix valley for any of them and, even to the initiated, the Aiguille De Midi’s 8,400 foot ascent—the highest vertical ascent and the second-largest span width of any cable car in the world—is an awe-inspiring ride.

The three are part of an Aspen, CO-based “ski gang” dubbed the Freaks. Ski gangs have been an integral part of the local scene in Aspen for nearly half a century. Aspen’s oldest active ski gang, the Dogs, have been skiing together since 1970, though at their inception they called themselves the Acme Ski Racing Team, after the Road Runner cartoons, and can still be seen howling and barking as they pass other skiers almost every day of the season… 

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