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(Crested Butte) The discovery of what experts say are a bulwark of ancient Anasazi ruins has closed the popular Headwall to skiers until further notice. The cliff cascades to the crumbling structures, thought to be dwellings or temples, and then drops into Paradise Bowl, where no further presence of the Ancient Ones has been detected.

     The Anasazis, like their brothers at Mesa Verde may have lived here as long ago as 800 AD. When, or even if, they built anything resembling these ruins is not clear. Historians know that Utes, who lived in the Elk Mountains later on constructed lavish hunting camps and winter cities yet, because they were made of straw and/or sticks did not survive attacks. The Anasazi built their house of brick.*

     Despite the inconvenience suffered by skiers, the news was greeted with excitement by local history buffs who say the discovery proves the Anasazi were alive and well in the Gunnison Valley. Sources at Western State College plan a series of field trips to the area so as to collect data and possible artifacts.

     “Up till now we thought the Anasazi were concentrated up in Vail,” said Dr. Billy Glacé, of the Old History Department at the college. “We’re relieved that these revelations have suggested that the Anasazi may have spent at least weekends here.”

     Other observers say the Ancient Ones were only second home owners and should not be considered legitimate residents.

     “We don’t think these indigenous people had enough time to create ancient ruins by design,” said Almont resident and author of Totem Pole Blues-Arts Festivals in Native America, Gabby Haze.

     “Their itineraries were demanding, their agenda pressurized,” Haze offered. “Most of their time was spent growing food and hunting. Housing was a distant priority and the architecture was determined by what materials were close at hand,” he explained. Actually none of us has a clue as to who built all this or who may have hung their head dresses here, but, since there were no white folks around in those days, we have agreed that it’s probably Indians.”

     The find has also provoked interest within the construction industry in that it may save thousands of years in the study of effective condoization of remote spots all over the world.

     “We can’t afford to build anything that good around here,” said local developer, Betty Marmotbreath, “not if we want it to fall down in time for resale.”

     Ski officials did not say when the Headwall may be reopened. At present it appears that the ruins will be covered with visquine until spring. Until then skiers will be rerouted to the northeast and allowed access to the run. Then in June, unless  the world ends, teams of archeologists will descend on the place in order to determine the origin and condition of the ruins.

* In Ute legend these flimsy, yet fortified bunkers did not survive even the most minimal of assaults, especially the calculated excursions by the Big Bad Wolf, aka US Cavalry, between 1876 and 1884.