Around The Hoop

Wired on Ajax

One scribe's long, strange journey to find Wi-Fi at 11,212 feet

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenAugust 19, 2010
It took me an hour and 40 minutes to get to the top of Aspen Mountain yesterday.

And, no, I didn't hike. I took the Silver Queen Gondola.

Craving a high-altitude run along Richmond Ridge to break up my work day, I decided it would be much more convenient — and much cooler in every sense of the word — to combine my work and play.

So I asked a few friends at the TV station whether they knew if the Sundeck has Wi-Fi access.

“Good question,” they responded.

They referred me to the friendly folks at the ticket windows in Gondola Plaza.

“Good question,” the woman told me through the plate glass.

She referred me to the Aspen Skiing Company switchboard where surely someone could find out.

The nice woman who answered my call kept up the refrain: “Good question.”

She transferred me to someone up at the Sundeck who didn't answer. So I left a voice mail.

After taking care of a couple of errands and still no answer, I called the switchboard again. Another friendly woman said she didn't know either, but gave me the voice mail of yet another manager.

At this point, I lost hope that the top of Aspen Mountain could serve as my office for the day. So I changed into my running gear and began to walk to the gondola. And just as I ascended the stairs to see the Silver Queen cars just a short distance away, my phone rang. It was one of the Aspen Skiing Company managers. She informed that, yes, the Sundeck does have Wi-Fi and it's free for everyone.

A view from the Real Aspen mobile office.
Troy Hooper

Excellent news! I headed back to my Forerunner to grab my laptop and a change of clothes for after the run, then began to hurry back to the gondola. Whoops! Forgot my cell phone charger. Back to the Forerunner it was to retrieve said charger. And off I went to write and report from the top of the world!

But, wait, with all those tremendous views waiting up top, I really must grab my camera and all its accompanying gear.

For the third time, I walked past the St. Regis where surely the doormen thought I was insane, opened my Forerunner and snatched my camera. This time I decided not to rush, just in case I forgot something else. I smiled foolishly at the St. Regis doormen and, lo and behold, made it to the gondola. Along the way another Aspen Skiing Company manager called me back to give me the good news. I was satisfied with the Aspen Skiing Company's customer service, which was prompt and friendly.

Just under 15 minutes later, I was at the top where I went for my run and conceived this silly blog so that if you're ever wondering whether there is Wi-Fi access at the top of Aspen Mountain, the answer is an emphatic YES!

But you're apt to get to it much quicker if you leave your work behind and enjoy the scenery instead.

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