The fast-paced life of “Slo-man”


Scott Nichols

Bob Sloezen rafting the Roaring Fork River

Mountain guides are the pinnacle of Aspen’s outdoor community because of their ambition and dedication to doing what they are truly passionate about.

Bob Sloezen, more commonly known by his friends as “Slo-man,” moved from New Jersey to Aspen in 1974. Today, he is a well-known guide and mountaineer throughout the community and inspires many others in the valley who share a passion for the outdoors. Sloezen has spent his years in this valley paragliding, skiing, climbing, guiding, and more; embodying the outdoor lifestyle.

Before his outdoor career in Colorado, Sloezen worked in a diesel shop. He found himself infatuated with cars, engines, vehicles, and mechanics. He spent his weekends driving with friends to visit the race track.

“Aspen came to my knowledge from a Christmas gift from my brother-in-law and sister. They’d bought me a pair of ski poles, and they were Aspen ski poles. I don’t think I’d ever heard of Aspen before that moment. The ski poles were it.” Sloezen says

Upon arriving in El Jebel for the first time in 1974, when it was merely a trailer park with a laundromat, Slozen got a job at Pitemman’s motors and found himself spending his time on the mountains at any possible opportunity.

“We used to go and we bought this old rope and harnesses and these repelling devices and we would go and find cliffs with trees on top that we could anchor the rope to and repel down the cliff. The sport was to see how many times you touched the cliff, the least amount won,” said Sloezen

Through years of dedication to mountaineering, Slozen summited Everest three times in his life starting in 1991 as a pro guide. Although many believe this may be one of his greatest accomplishments, Solezen believes Cassin Ridge on Mt. Mckinley was one of his greatest.

“I was inspired to push myself and push my limits. It took a long time, probably 20 years of climbing before I had the confidence or skill level to do that,” said Sloezen

Sloezen, now retired, continues to spend as much time as possible outdoors. To this day, Sloezen remains passionate about mountaineering, hiking, biking, camping, and is extremely passionate about rafting. He also continues to embody Aspen’s values as a mountaineering and skiing town.

“The thing that made me passionate is the same thing that keeps me passionate these days: the self-challenge, the freedom of it, the scenery, the environment, the actual natural part of our life,” Sloezen said.