If you’ve skied A-Basin in the couple of seasons, then you’ve probably noticed the truck camper belonging to hardcore ski bum Charlie Toups parked in a lot near the CDOT garage.
From the story:
Toups first ran afoul of the Forest Service, which prohibits living on public land, in 2007 when he was back living in Loveland in the ski area parking lot.
So, he fired up his most recent home — a tired Ford, its hood and doors closed with ropes, its bed topped with a dilapidated camper. He rattled over Loveland Pass, towing a trailer full of old skis and a rusting Honda motorcycle. He landed in the Colorado Department of Transportation utility lot on Forest Service land next to Arapahoe Basin ski area.
On Nov. 14, five months after a Forest Service cop issued Toups a ticket for camping on public land in the CDOT lot, they came for him with a warrant for his arrest.
Toups had missed two mailed summonses, sent to an Aspen-area post office box he never visited.
While there are other ski and snowboard bums living part of the year in parking lots, snow caves, campers, buses, cars, trucks, yurts, teepees, closets, porches, sheds, garages, and attics, few seem as dedicated to skiing as Toups.
“I ski because it is a portal, a gateway to health,” he said, noting that in all his years on skis he has never been injured. “But when I moved into that lot, I was desperate. Sure, I may live like a bum, but I do not behave like one.”
Here’s hoping that Toups is soon back on the slopes.
UPDATE: There’s now a FREE CHARLIE TOUPS! Facebook page. It has 583 fans as of 9:45 p.m. MST on Monday, Jan. 11.
UPDATE 2: Charlie is free, receives deferred prosecution.