Heading to Aspen and am wondering people are using to carry their skis when hiking the bowl?
There really isn't anywhere at Squaw where you would need to hike the same type of distance it takes to get up to the top of Highlands Bowl.
I've done it a few times. As said above, they sell a basic strap at the patrol shack near the gate. You definitely want to carry water in some fashion. My ski jacket has big pockets so I can just slip a normal-size water bottle in there. If that doesn't work for you, getting a backpack with ski-carrying ability is probably a good idea.
Osprey packs make some small hydration packs with ski-carrying ability (see: http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/group/vertical_endeavors__snowplay/karve_series).
When I ski the big resorts out west, I always ski with a pack. Mine has a hydration pocket and ski straps built in. Mine is from EMS but the Dakine Heli Pro is pretty nice too.
I like skiing with a pack at these big resorts as I hate to have to head to the bottom or the condo to shed a layer or to add an additional one. I go up in the morning and don't come back down till late afternoon. Everything I need is in my pack including snacks and minor tools just in case.
Once you get used to skiing with a pack, you don't even notice it is there, assuming it fits you properly and you have it adjusted right.
Highlands Bowl is great! When I hiked it about 10 years ago, it was before I had a pack with ski straps. That hike made me buy one. If you are not used to hiking in high elevation, you will need 30-45 minutes to hike the bowl. Locals do it in 1/2 that time.
Palisades is probably less than a 1/4" of the distance and at the top of the bowl, you're at 12,400ft! I always take my avi gear anyhow.
I was thinking of granite peak--takes me about 30 minutes, takes my son a lot less. I didn't say Squaw skiers' attitude makes sense, it's just a macho thing.
If you have to ask the question, then you need more that the strap or backpack.
I see often "neophyte" skiers with expensive packs or straps,,but not used correctly.
Let me explain.
I watch tadpoles tie up some skis on backpack with ski tails well below pack. Quess what happens when they hike up?
The tails constantly hit heels of boots.
There is a "correct" way to tight up skis, to carry skis. Learn how to do it. Watch some older skiers.
Next time you buy a pack sack look for those sleeves or collars on the bottom sides of the unit. Yes that is where you insert ski tails!
Oh above suggestions are also interesting; blondes, horses, mules, etc,,,
I like mine.
Bumping since there are some Aspen Gathering attendees who might want to use the Aspen patrol's strap when they hike Highlands.
Found some good pics of how it gets put on a pair of skis.