Snowmass Ski Resort in Colorado has Mammoth Mountain, the California ski area, beat.
Not that it has more snow. Nor better terrain. Nor a bigger mountain.
But Snowmass has a REAL mammoth. And a mastodon. And a couple prehistoric bison.
And a prehistoric ground sloth.
This is all true.
Last year while enlarging Zeigler reservoir the crew unearthed a huge bone. Then another. Then a lot. And they weren’t no chicken bones.
The Denver Museum was called and enthusiastically came up to check it out. It turns out that Snowmass was a dinosaur graveyard. It is the holy grail of U.S. archeology finds. Over 5,000 bones and fragments were found. The find is so big that the paleontologists had to call in extras to help excavate it. Now the excited scientists are busy putting the pieces together like grannies with a naked George Clooney jigsaw puzzle at the retirement home.
The tally of the find so far is four Columbian mammoths, parts of thirty (!) mastodons, four prehistoric deer, four Ice Age bison and a giant ground sloth. And Snowmass had to wait for its reservoir.
The find was so striking that money is being put aside for a museum to house the skeletons. And it will bring flocks of tourists for other reasons than skiing, hiking or carousing. As though Aspen ever had a shortfall of tourists.
Mammoth, when it comes to its namesake, has zilch. A couple bears maybe, but no cool prehistoric fuzzy behemoths.
This could lead to some momentous difficulties. What if Snowmass wants Mammoth’s name? One would have to admit, it does seem more appropriate for them. Mammoth haven’t even come up with one real mammoth yet. Unless you could somehow include that nice, big statue across from the main ski lodge.
If they ever wanted to take their moniker away, it could be a real battle to stop them from it. They are richer. They have more political pull. They have more lawyers and those Aspen area lawyers are more used to big time wheeling and dealing. Not to mention they also have Micheal Douglas and Jack Nicholson living there and anyone who has seen ‘Romancing the Stone’ or ‘A Few Good Men’ know these are characters not to be lightly dealt with. Not to mention Kurt Russell who proved he could be a real badass in ‘Escape from New York’. They could probably peel the name Mammoth away like the hide off a rabbit and leave them nameless and naked.
Mammoth would probably then have their castoff name foisted upon us. Snowmass. Big whoopee. After last years 700 inch snow dump it would have been appropriate, but not this year’s dismal minute flurries. ‘Snowmass’ somehow lacks the power and majesty that ‘Mammoth’ has. Then again, maybe if they dug around a bit they could find their own mammoth and legitimately regain the title. Or maybe find a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Wouldn’t it be too cool to have a ski resort named Tyrannosaurus?