Exploring Aspen: Local Legend Christy Mahon

Christy Mahon’s prowess as one of the top female ski mountaineers has been well documented. In 2010, she received widespread acclaim after becoming the first woman to ski all 54 of Colorado’s Fourteeners (peaks over 14,000 feet). Few people know that after she tackled that, she skied the highest 100 peaks in Colorado, and now she’s working on the Bicentennial—climbing the highest 200 peaks with her husband, Ted.

The further you go outside, the further you go inside.

—Christy Mahon, mountaineer

Around Aspen, Mahon is known for a wide smile that stretches her ageless freckled face to the breaking point; her infectious laugh; her jubilant, bubbly outlook on life; and the humility with which she views her athletic accomplishments, from winter exploits skiing high peaks to long-distance trail running in the summer months. “I’m just a normal person who does abnormal things,” says Mahon, who works full time at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) as development director and squeezes in adventuring on the weekends. “The ethos of being connected to the outdoors and the natural world is central to both my work and my personal life,” she says. “You learn so much about yourself; the further you go outside, the further you go inside.” —Alison Margo

Bone Marrow, a specialty at Plato’s


“I love skinning up Aspen Mountain in the morning. I think it’s pretty incredible that you can get 3,000 feet of vertical [climbing] in before going to work,” Mahon says. Before stepping into her skis, Mahon hits up Jour de Fête (710 E. Durant Ave., 970.925.5055) for the best coffee in town, across the street from the base of Aspen Mountain. After she skis down, Mahon heads to 520 Grill, owned by her close friend Troy Selby, for a big breakfast, because she’s earned it. “The Seibert Bowl has scrambled eggs and smashed avocado over jasmine rice and is totally amazing.” 520 E. Cooper Ave. LL5, 970.544.0035

Christy Mahon


“At ACES, we’re all about connecting people to the natural world, because we know if you experience it, you love it, and that’s how you get people to protect it,” Mahon says. “I walk through the Aspen airport and think, ‘How do I get these people to care?’” She has come up with a few ways: From naturalist-guided tours on Snowmass ski area and snowshoe tours in Castle Creek to adult courses and family events, ACES hosts programs year-round; most are free and open to the public. 100 Puppy Smith St., 970.925.5756

Aspen Thrift Shop


On the rare occasion that she’s not traveling to a climb or ski expedition on the weekends, Mahon loves to enjoy a quiet romantic dinner with her husband at Plato’s, a restaurant at Aspen Meadows with Bauhaus architecture and unobstructed views of Aspen Mountain (845 Meadows Rd., 970.544.7824). And despite Aspen’s famed designer boutiques, Mahon is most likely wearing a dress she sewed herself. “I love to shop at the AspenThrift Shop and then reconstruct what I buy there. Working at ACES has taught me to reuse everything I can, and that includes my wardrobe.” 422 E. Hopkins Ave., 970.925.3121

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