The Bra Tree

by Jeff Shibley
How does that beautiful piece of cloth find it's way to the bra tree? Here's my encounter with a bra tree contributor.
No doubt traffic in the High Country challenges us all. Driving without traffic is hard enough. Add a few thousand cars and it’s surprising the demolition derby isn’t filming 24 hours a day. So what’s the solution to the traffic problem? Some say wider roads, fast trains and busses. All have advantages, but there’s a better solution starting to catch on: more ski lifts. It makes sense to have a lift/gondola go from downtown Breckenridge straight to the resort. Beaver Creek is adding at a lift from Avon to the slopes and Steamboat Resort is building a gondola from the town to the base of their resort.
 
      But why stop there? Ski lifts are great. You may have to wait in line, but have no fear; another chair (or gondola) is right behind that one. There are no stoplights and no stops to pick up more passengers on a ski lift. A lift can’t take that much longer than a bus, and I’m looking for more lift time.
The best times of my life have been on a ski lift. When you ride a lot on a lift, you’re bound to see it all and have stories to tell. I've seen people fall out of the chairs, run into the poles and cause the whole operation to be shut down for hours. Disturbing memories outnumbered by good ones that I'm less likely to share.
 
Bra Tree
Ski lifts can be particularly interesting when you are a “single.” I skied alone a lot this year. You see, my ski partner of more than 60 days last year seems to have found a girlfriend during the off-season, and much to my chagrin our time together on the slopes this year were limited. But skiing alone isn’t so bad. Riding the lift as a single can be as exciting as the run itself.
 
Most skiers are in a good mood. That, at the very least, makes for pleasant conversation with a complete stranger. Whether I know the person or not, I can’t stand being in close proximity to anyone for any period of time without saying something. It’s the same for me in elevators, car rides, and bus rides – you name it. I’ve got to say something to the person next to me. “Great day out here. Where you from? How ya doin’ today?” These are what I call “decent human questions.” Things I’d hope any decent human would say to a fellow human when you’re within two feet of each other for more than five seconds; whether they knew each other or not.
 
During this ski season I rode up on the lift with several folks from the Great Britain. It fascinated me to learn that they came all the way over to Colorado, USA for some fine skiing. There are a lot of places they could have gone that are closer than Colorado, albeit not nearly as nice. It was fascinating to hear their ideas and philosophies and impressions of Americans – no worries here, I lived up to my true American potential. I also rode up with folks from India, Columbia, Africa and New Zealand. I was provided fascinating insight to the world.
 
One day the sun was warm and the snow was soft. Unlike most of the other days, I don’t think I’ll ever forget this one. I made my way to the sixth lift of the day. There was a young lady arriving at about the same time and since we were both singles, we moved toward the twirling chair at the same time. As we approached the red line our skis got tied up and the mount was awkward. The “lifty” went for the red button but we stuck through it and loaded up without forcing a shutdown. The lifty didn’t hide his scowl. “Pay attention,” he yelled.
 
I looked over at my co-pilot. “Be gentle, this is my first time,” I said, thankful we both survived. She laughed and we seemed to bond over the blunder.
On the ride up, we asked and answered the “decent human questions” that the lift chairs have heard over and over. She was from Nacogdoches, Texas, enjoying a weeklong visit to Colorado. We made more small talk, and she was asking me something when it caught my eye in the distance. It always seems to give me a tingle. Is it weird to admit that? Surely I'm not the only one. Surely Moses had a similar feeling about a plant when he saw the burning bush.
 
The Bra Tree is one relic that has survived from the days when real hippies, not Focus on the Family, dictated the culture of a ski resort. Many resort traditions are now just memories kept alive by stories from gray-haired dudes with ponytails. So many traditions squelched, but the bra tree is a little piece of historical culture that’s still alive. It’s not just the lace and silk adorning the tree that I like. It’s what the tree stands for – taking it off in the face of The Man. She caught me staring at the handsome tree. Unlike a metro-sexual, I’ll admit I’m just a man. But I was still embarrassed. “I always wondered if they bring them up or take them off on the chair?” She asked staring along with me.
 
“Do you think it’s possible to take it off without falling out of the chair?” I joked, not meaning anything by it. In one fell swoop she pulled her coat over her head and handed it over to me. She pulled her sweater up and revealed a black… yeow!
 
“Wait a minute!” I pleaded. Everything started happening fast. I looked away. Held my hands up. Felt my body slipping out of the chair. My heart took off like a rocket. Thought, I'm not the one that’s supposed to fall out of the chair. I propped myself back up and put a mad grip on her coat and the armrest. I looked at her again then looked away embarrassed but my smile couldn’t be hidden. This gal took it off fast. A few seconds later, she flung it towards the tree where it made a perfect landing. It hung securely on a branch and dangled in the breeze. “Wow” was all I could say for the next few hundred feet as I gathered my wits and replayed what just happened in my mind. I continued gripping the armrest as I handed her coat back to her. “Guess you can take ‘em off on the chair without falling off,” I said, not so sure the same could be said for the co-passenger.
 
Wondered: How did the bra tree get started? Is there some deep meaning why a woman takes off her bra while riding up a ski lift and throws it onto a tree endangering her life and the person who she’s riding up with (even though he’d be willing to make such a sacrifice)? Concluded: WHO CARES? The young lady later admitted she was going through a transition period and she felt throwing her bra onto that bra tree was like a new beginning. Yadda, yadda, yadda…..
 
There have been a few times in my life where I have looked up to the Almighty and said, “Okay, I'm ready. It can’t get any better than this.” No doubt I was blessed to live another one of those rare moments on this day, and you can bet that tingle will return anytime I pass this and any other bra tree. More lift time please.
 

It's HUGE! 2018-19 Colorado Winter Guide

Directory of Colorado Ski Resorts and Communities
Maps, lodging, unique characteristics, the best quick reviews of things to do and more
Ski Area Opening Days
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Ski Area Closing Days
It is the saddest day, but at least you'll know when it's coming
Top Colorado 2017-18 Winter Festivals
EiC's picks of what's not to be missed
The Bra Tree
How does that beautirful peice of cloth find its way to a tree?
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Enjoy the Front Range before or after heading upDenverFort CollinsBoulderColorado SpringsPueblo
Activities and Things to do (besides skiing and snowboarding) - Sledding hillsSnowmobilingSnowshoeIce Skating and more
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Popular Winter Sports: Hockey, Ice RacingBasketballFootballMountain SportsFat BikeSnow SportsFishing (See the full Colorado Sports Guide)

 
Event Category: 

Events this week in Colorado

Week of February 18, 2019

Feb 07
February 7, 2019 To March 3, 2019

We begin inside a modern-day museum, where two security guards and a painter find themselves...

Feb 15

United Flight 232 recounts the true story of a DC-10 that left Denver’s Stapleton Airport on July...

Stefan Herheim’s inventive production places Tchaikovsky himself at the heart of the action,...

Feb 20
February 20, 2019 To February 23, 2019

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, this tells the story of a Lebanese boy...

The Academy Award-winning director goes on a new adventure! In 2013, film director and animator...

One of the most celebrated pianists of our time, world-renowned Sir András Schiff is also a...

As if being a firefighter wasn’t enough, these brave teams of five firefighters from around...

Feb 22
February 22, 2019 To February 24, 2019

Boulder Ballet is celebrating the landmark achievements of NASA’s New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt...

Braden Carlisle continues to curate the best magic. This show, in The Boedecker Theater, will...

The WinterWonderGrass in Colorado has found a home in Steamboat Springs and has sold out the last 6...

Feb 22
February 22, 2019 To February 24, 2019

The Wells Fargo Ski Cup is a snow sports competition for disabled skiers. The Paralympians focus on...

Current exhibiting artist Elizabeth Morisette will teach how to create a basket using the ancient...

The back country race spans 5000 vertical feet in elevation over 22 miles.

David Hare was recently described by The Washington Post as ‘the premiere political dramatist...

Name
Duration
Venue
Location
Tickets
Broomball Tuesdays
Dec 04 - Mar 26
-
Campfire Music Series Wednesdays
Dec 05 - Mar 27
-
Pine Creek Cook House Snowshoe and Cross-Country Ski Dinners Wed-Mon
Dec 07 - Apr 07
-
-
Four Points Snowcat Dinner
Dec 15 - Apr 06
-
Mini Rail Jam Friday 4-5pm
Jan 04 - Mar 29
-
Music at the Jane Fridays and Saturdays
Jan 04 - Mar 29
-
The Diary of Anne Frank
Feb 01 - May 17
-
Last Night and the Night Before
Feb 08-24
-
Ski Girls Rock
Feb 15-24
-
Winter Wine Snowshoe Excursion
Feb 19
-
Kikagaku Moyo
Feb 19
-
Alan Doyle
Feb 19
-
As It Is - Point North
Feb 19
-
Men I Trust
Feb 19
-
Susana Baca
Feb 19
-
Walk in the Moonlight
Feb 19
-
Pat Green
Feb 20
-
Tenmile Twighlight Tour & Dinner @ 10 Mile Station
Feb 20
-
Alex Cameron & ORy Molloy
Feb 20
-
Cocktails for a Cause is our Cause
Feb 20
-
Corb Lund
Feb 20
-
David Dondero
Feb 20
-
Sundressed - Awakebutstillinbed - Sunsleeper
Feb 20
-
Up & At 'Em Ski Race
Feb 20
-
Rocky Mountain Ski Fest: Chase Rice, Edwin McCain, Ira Dean, Chris Stefano and Jon Nite
Feb 20-21
-
Aspen Laugh Festival: Kathleen Madigan
Feb 21
-
Boombox Cartel
Feb 21
-
Conan
Feb 21
-
Marshall Gilkes Trio
Feb 21
-
Matt Skinner
Feb 21
-
Parker Gispert
Feb 21
-
Ransteez - Oceana
Feb 21
-
Ozomatli
Feb 21
-
Okilly Dokilly
Feb 21
-
The Infamous Stringdusters
Feb 21
-
Mountaintop Music Series: Matt Brown
Feb 21-22
-
Fireman's Firehose Relay
Feb 22
-
The Infamous Stringdusters
Feb 22
-
30th Annual Tim McClure Benefit
Feb 22
-
The Long Run - Colorado's Tribute to The Eagles
Feb 22
-
The Sleights
Feb 22
-
3 Amigos Feat. Roger Clyne - Johnny Hickman - Jim Dalton
Feb 22
-
Barbegazi Winter Festival
Feb 22-24
-
Bison Bone - Jess Parsons - The River Arkansas
Feb 22
-
Denver New Music Showcase: Sid Delicious/BOX/Sullen Jacks/flowlines/BankShot
Feb 22
-
Denver Vampire Ball - Court of Versailles. Let them Eat Cake
Feb 22-24
-
Maddy O'Neal and Freddy Todd With Megan Hamilton and Ginger Perry
Feb 22
-
The BellRays
Feb 22
-
Token
Feb 22
-
Lettuce - Jennifer Hartswick
Feb 22-23
-
Snowshoe Ecology Walk
Feb 22
-
Dawn Milo
Feb 22
-
Life is Dope
Feb 22
-
Ski with a Naturalist
Feb 22
-
Bud Light Curling Sessions
Feb 22
-
Ozomatli
Feb 22
-
Special Olympics Aurora Reservoir Polar Plunge & 5K presented by Westerra Credit Union
Feb 23
-
Annual Beaver Creek Talons Challenge
Feb 23
-
6th Annual Chili Cookoff at Sanitas Brewing Co.
Feb 23
-
Beginners Fly Tying Class w/ Adam Spoerl
Feb 23
-
Jennifer Hartswick and Nick Cassarino Duo
Feb 23
-
Buena Vista Wedding Expo
Feb 23
-
Carl Craig & Moodymann
Feb 23
-
Denver Bridal & Wedding Expo
Feb 23
-
Denver New Music Showcase: MetByFate/Bad Nostalgia/The Color of Sound/Ghost Country/Prism Palace
Feb 23
-
Gregory Porter
Feb 23
-
Love Canon
Feb 23
-
The Record Company
Feb 23
-
Ski the Wilderness in Winter
Feb 23
-
Maddy O'Neal & Megan Hamilton
Feb 23
-
Pandas and People
Feb 23
-
Bass Physics - Cofresi - Panda Say What?! - DJ Diabeats
Feb 23
-
Frisco Freeze Fat Bike Race
Feb 23
-
Our Gang Ice Racing
Feb 23-24
-
3rd Annual MADHORN Fat Bike Race Series
Feb 23-24
-
Ready, Paint , Fire hosts “Canvas Uncorked"
Feb 23
-
Jason Bishop
Feb 23
-
Ranger-led Snowshoe Walks
Feb 23
-
Special Olympics Lake Pueblo Polar Plunge Presented by Westerra Credit Union
Feb 23
-
-
Tellurando Race
Feb 23
-
Birds of Prey
Feb 23
-
Mountaintop Music Series: Lineage
Feb 23
-
Lettuce
Feb 24
-
Sunday Night Jam Session
Feb 24
-
RiNo Rocks Out featuring Thumpin
Feb 24
-
The Fritz - Voodoo Visionary
Feb 24
-
Snowshoe Ecology Walk
Feb 24
-
Buffalo Bill Birthday Celebration
Feb 24
-
Joshua Radin/ Lissie
Feb 24
-

Week of February 18, 2019

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