Ski Town Robberies

Post by blogger | July 29, 2006      

I just heard about Life-Link in Jackson being burglerized. As happens on occasion, the perps made dumb moves and got caught like fish in the proverbial barrel. Ski towns like Jackson don’t have much property crime, but sprees happen.

Hearken back to about 1969, Aspen. A crew that included a couple of ski instructors decided to haul off nearly the entire ski inventory of the Highlands Ski Shop which was owned and run at the time by Forrest Bertholf. Apparently there was some bad blood between Forrest and an employee or two. Said individuals got a gang together, loaded up a van with choice planks, then headed out of town with the booty. The men were soon caught.

One of the robbers happened to be a friend of my family’s and eventually one of my main climbing partners. To protect the guilty we’ll just call him G. As one of the best Aspen area rock jocks of the day and a terrific skier as well, it turned out G had somewhat of a sociopathic streak. But he was a fun guy in many ways, and I admired his chutzpah and rebellious streak. True to form, G got himself off the hook by ratting out the other guys in his posse. Then he mended his ways and lived with my mom for quite a few years (yes, we have a colorful family).

Turned out G’s gang was a rough crowd. During my first construction job in Aspen I met one of the other guys, he seemed okay, but I found out a few years later he died of a heroin overdose.

Olden times in the old ski town. Life is an adventure, but it helps to keep it between the lines however much you weave. And speaking of forgiveness, Forrest hired G back to work in the shop. If that seems a bit extreme just remember it was the 60s – -peace and love reigned supreme, at least if you weren’t in Vietnam. Later, G would make a huge contribution to modern adventure sports by founding a major outdoors magazine. Indeed it is good to be a bit edgy at times and think outside the box, so long as you’re not moving someone else’s goods from their box to yours.


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