Uptown Girl Meets Outdoorsy Boy: Q&A with Aspen Peak Editor, Etta Meyer and Ian McLendon


In Alfred Hithcock’s mid-century masterpiece, Rear Window, Grace Kelly plays an impossibly chic, New York fashion editor who falls for a rakish travel photographer. Will the adventure-addict be tamed by the uptown beauty? Will she trade her stilettos for combat boots?

Whether they make it in the end is up to interpretation. For their modern day, and real life, counterparts, Etta Meyer and Ian McLendon, things are looking much better. After a career in fashion photography (Steven Klein, Art+Commerce, DuJour magazine), Etta, now editor-in-chief of Aspen Peak magazine, left New York City for life in the mountains to make Aspen her home. Her grandparents first came in 1950, by way of the Upper East Side.

Ian moved to Aspen as a young ski racer and became the valley’s most sought-after hunting and fishing guide. He now brokers real estate for Sotheby’s.

Between the two of them, there probably isn’t a trail, turmeric latte or trout steam they haven’t tried. But that kind of knowledge didn’t happen overnight. Etta observes, “As an Aspen transplant myself, I know how keen visitors are to discover those special experiences that lie just beneath the surface. There must be an app for that, and Aspen is ready for it.”

“it” would be Winnow, which has been designed to create bespoke escapes with family and friends, quickly and easily. To glean some extra insider knowledge to help you on such a journey, we asked them about a few of their favorite Aspen things.

What do you appreciate most about Aspen?

Etta: That the mountains are right next to town. There are plenty of places that are in the vicinity of nature, but Aspen is surrounded. You can leave your dentist’s office, walk five minutes and be in pristine national forest.   Ian: The other night we came home from dinner and a doe had just given birth to a fawn, right on our driveway. That’s how “in the bush” we are and still only a ten-minute drive from a Nobu restaurant. I can’t think of another place like that.

"In the bush"

What's your "Aspen idea" of happiness? 

Etta: A full day—one that includes an outdoor sport, work, community, intellectual life and sleeping with cool mountain air coming in through an open window.

Ian: Bluebird corduroy, a fish on the line, friends and family around the dinner table.

Your favorite Aspen view?

Etta: The Elk Mountains from the top of Ajax. [Also, an excellent place to Perfect your asanas with mountain-top yoga$250 per guest2 Hoursenjoy a yoga lesson.]

Ian: The view from the top of Hayden. It’s not the highest peak, or the wildest skiing, but the view, and that sense of accomplishment is unbeatable. [Browse Winnow’s guided peak adventures here.]

Your favorite Aspen meal?

Etta: Tumeric latte with homemade nut milk and a big peanut butter cookie from Spring Café.

Ian: Miso soup, Adam roll, and some new style sashimi at Matsuhisa

[If you are looking for healthy, delicious food like this, check out Winnow’s private chef options.]

A local favourite: Matsuhisa in Aspen

Definitely not going to miss this summer:

Etta: Art Aspen. It’s the 10th anniversary and gets better every year. That and the new Herbert Bayer show at Get to know the Aspen Institute Collection on a private tour$145 for 10 guests1 HourThe Aspen Institute, which is probably one of the more interesting Bauhaus retrospectives you will see in America. [For Winnow art tours click here.]

Ian: Every summer I ride over Independence Pass to Twin Lakes at least once. It keeps my head clear during our busiest season.

Ian charging over Independence Pass

Any new editions in the Aspen area you are excited about?

Etta: I love the new Res Ispa store. Odini and Joshua have a shop in Nantucket and just opened one here. Their clothes and objects are sourced from all over the world. Ian loves his new camo-printed loafers (sold exclusively at the Aspen boutique).

The Res Ispa store, one of Etta's favourites

Ian: Etta gave me one of those new CBD oil massages and I have to admit, it really helped out my broken body, which I have sort of pushed to the limits for the past 30-odd years. [Winnow has some amazing Pamper yourself with a private in-home massage for the ultimate unwind$225 per guest1 Hour 30 Minutesmassage/Fall in love all over again on a couples retreat$1200 for 2 guests4 Hours 30 Minutescouple massage options.]

"Where the adventurous and the stylish can both live happily ever after."

Etta and Ian will be married this December at the Christ Episcopal Church in the West End with a reception upstairs at Casa Tua’s private club. Perhaps Aspen is the perfect place where the adventurous and the stylish can both live happily ever after.

Etta and Ian

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