I caught up with Kelly Beairsto on day 47 of her 50 day mission to skin up the mountain. Yesterday, she completed that goal, and based on the topographic maps, she counts she covered 81,611 feet of elevation gain, which is, coincidentally, Aspen’s zip code.
By the end of her mission, there were many creek crossings and some skiing through the mud, but Kelly is grateful to Aspen Snowmass for grooming the runs for so long and enabling her to go out and enjoy the mountains every day. “It is like therapy for me” she sad, as it helped her deal with the situation and get her mind off the crisis and missing her family.
Throughout the course of her mission, Kelly was joined by friends, some of whom tried skinning for the first time, and she also kept a fun game on Facebook called “name that trail” where she’d challenge people to guess which trail she was on based on the pictures.
As I made my way up patches of mud and snow, I admired Kelly and her friend Kat skiing down the mountain on a sunny afternoon in May, after most of us have packed our winter gear away. Go Kelly!
Marc Fernandes has been doing a weekly mental health podcast since the beginning of quarantine. Partnered with his therapist Kathleen Callahan, they focus on coping strategies and real world scenarios that face all of us during these times.
“Kathleen and I had been speaking about starting a podcast about mental health on and off throughout my sessions. I purchased some microphones and a mixing board and began setting up a studio to do voiceover work – I was hoping to do books on tape, commercials, narration, things of that nature.”
Once the winter season started, Marc put this idea on hold as he was busy with his job as a ski instructor. “When it became apparent that the outbreak of COVID-19 was going to shut down everything in the valley, Kathleen and I realized there should be a lot of concern about people‘s mental health, especially people who rely on the tourism industry, food and beverage, hospitality in general – many people would be out of work and unsure of what was happening next. We decided to start the mental health podcast right then and there.”
Here, Marc prepares for the 8th episode of their podcast and the first one to include video stream. The episodes are streamed on his Facebook page and you can find past recordings on Facebook or SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/marc-ferna…/…/mental-helath-podcasts…
“We are in the process of coming up with what it will be called as we emerge from COVID-19, but our plan is to create a larger, bigger in scope mental health podcast that will continue on!”
When Ashley checked into the maternity ward at the Aspen Valley Hospital in early morning of March 17th, the world was going about its normal pace. But the world she walked back into with her newborn baby was slightly changed. “The nurses at first weren’t wearing masks and then they started wearing masks, so it felt like everything was changing every few minutes.” Ashley remembers the hospital being really busy while they were in there, as the labor and delivery department decided to induce everyone who was even close to giving birth. “I think they had 5 deliveries the day Phoebe was born, and usually they only have 300 deliveries a year. It was sort of chaotic.”
Their 3 year old daughter Georgia threw a huge fit in front of the hospital because she wanted to come in and see them. They had done a toddler class with her where she gets used to the hospital and learns how to be a big sister. But once it all happened, she wasn’t allowed in the hospital. “I think that was the worst part, that she couldn’t be there to participate in any of it when we spent 9 months talking it up to her because we wanted her to feel comfortable and included.”
Ashleys husband, Kevin, recalls how surreal it was as everything was happening at the same time. “I worked the day before, then we went in, and then work shut down, everything shut down. And then the financial panic started.”
Luckily, Kevin has been able to work from home, but that brings its own challenges with a newborn baby and a toddler at home. “Georgia is at an age when she’s just absorbing so much that you want to give her the attention, so how do I get work done and help foster creativity with her.”
Having just moved to Snowmass Village in June of 2019, Ashley and Kevin feel pretty isolated since they don’t know many people to start with. But they both agree that the best part about the whole situation has been all the time spent together. “With Georgia we had visitors almost every night, but now our sole focus is on each other which is a huge difference.”
Since the skatepark has been closed, Jeff and David have resorted to street skating. They have already had cops called on them, and they keep getting kicked out of most places.
Leslie has worked from home, first two weeks barely left the house, completely distanced themselves. After a while, let Eloise be quarantine buddies with the neighbor Olivia. E learned to bike, she loves it.
Leslie has enjoyed all the time she has spent with her, she decided this is going to be the time E remembers as spending a lot of time with mom and biking and not quarantining.
Kevin, Kenny and Chris enjoy a game of golf as Aspen Public Course reopens for the public. All three of them have been laid off since the beginning of quarantine, looking to get back to work soon.
Kevin McDonald – Ski Instructor and Hickory House
Has been laid off since the beginning of quarantine. He’s been collecting unemployment and is hoping to go back to work at Hickory house in June
Kenny Dahlberg – Taxi Driver
Hasn’t worked since the beginning of quarantine. Taxi company is working with skeleton crew.
Chris Vecchiarello – Chef at Roaring Fork Club
Has been laid off since the beginning of quarantine, going back to work next week, Club will only be open for take out
His mother has underlying health conditions and has been hospitalized for Covid-19 complications for 2 weeks.
May 17th Richard let me know that she was taken off life support.
As a DJ, Mike has a lot of spare time nowadays that he has been able to dedicate to his two youngest sons while home schooling them. Every day, they go on a bike ride to a nearby softball field, where he lets them roam around and explore, but at the same time he tries to teach them things in nature.
Youngest boy wears a spiderman mask everywhere they go and the mask is mandatory, nobody specified which kind of mask.
Received PPP from the government but summer will be slow as far as work.
Appreciates all the time he’s had to spend with his family. The two older daughters are more independent.
Luke Hudson (South Africa) and Lukas Marble (New York) are enjoying a warm spring day in Aspen. They have both been laid off from Shurefoot since the beginning of quarantine. They are grateful to the community that is helping them with rent relief (county paying for rent).
Luke’s visa expires in two days and he’s worried what is going to happen with his status.
some pros to being pregnant during this time. I have been getting lots of rest, and it is easy to schedule doctors appointments around working from home. Also, I have completely avoided obnoxious comments and unwanted touches from strangers. There hasn’t been any “Can I touch your belly?” “Are you sure there aren’t two in there?” “You look like you are about to pop! Are you due tomorrow?” or the worst… “Was it planned?” There has been no random unwanted parenting/pregnancy advice as well as being forced to listen to random birth horror stories. These are all things that I was worried about happening from what other women have told me.
cons. My husband is not allowed into the hospital at appointments. He can’t see the ultra sounds which can be totally magical to experience together especially since a dad can’t feel her in the same way that I can. Luckily Liam did get to come to one ultrasound before things got completely shut down. Only people with appointments are allowed in the hospital. I have to wear a mask and get screened before walking into the hospital. I have been three times since the shut down and will go again this week. The hospital has been mostly empty and seems like a safe place.
I got given a special sheet of information about when the birth comes. Only one person is allowed in the birthing center with you. They have all special regulations if you have covid and are giving birth and helpful info for if you are breast feeding and have covid. Hopefully I won’t have any problems with that. I am due august 1st and I am really hoping that Liam’s parents and my mom will be able to come from out of state to meet her.
Has been doing birthing classes online so hasn’t had a chance to meet other pregnant women
Jon and Erin both still working, which is really challenging with the baby. They’ve been seeing the grandparents but socially distanced, they can’t hold the baby. It’s great to be around for so many milestones for the baby. They haven’t picked up baking or any new skills, Amelia is taking up all of their time.
“Art is not just an escape but a sanctuary.”
Got laid off, on unemployment. Uncertain about the summer and the finances but loves how supportive the community is.
Since he got laid off at the beginning of the shut down, James has been enjoying the extra time off to go shed hunting, camping and enjoying the outdoors. He’s collecting unemployment so he’s not worried about not being able to make it financially through these times until he’s allowed to go back to work.
It’s been a rough couple of months as the world deals with such uncertainty. During covid lockdown I was fortunate enough to spend my time outdoors enjoying mother nature’s design. I spent days sleeping in my truck and eating meals by myself. I hiked steep hills in search of antlers that shed each year. To me there is no cooler feeling than finding a shed that was carried around all summer and into winter. Each one tells a story and I’m here to keep it going through my art.