Snow dumps at Aspen, Snowmass
December 23, 2008
ASPEN ” A winter storm began pounding western Colorado Monday afternoon, leaving nearly a foot of new snow at Snowmass by Tuesday morning.
A winter storm warning remains in effect for the mountains surrounding Aspen and Snowmass through Tuesday at midnight and another storm is poised to hit the resort starting Christmas morning, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather service is calling for up to 16 inches of total accumulation from the current storm system, and another 10 to 20 inches from the next one, on Thursday and Friday.
Snowmass reported 11 inches of freshies over the past 24 hours at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, while Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands picked up 9 inches. Buttermilk reported 7 inches. By the time the lifts opened, several more inches had accumulated.
Elsewhere around the state, plenty of ski resorts picked up double-digit powder. Wolf Creek in southwestern Colorado reported 27 inches of new snow and Crested Butte was boasting 18 inches. Beaver Creek reported 17 inches. Vail and Sunlight picked up 13 inches, and Durango and Powderhorn both reported 12 inches. Breckenridge got 11 inches, and Copper Mountain and Winter Park both had 10 inches.
For holiday travelers looking to hit the slopes, though, the snow is a hurdle. A slew of flights into the Aspen airport Tuesday morning were listed as either delayed or canceled.
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The eastbound lanes of Vail Pass on Interstate 70 were reopened in phases Tuesday morning after they were closed for bad weather, The Associated Press reported. Go to http://www.cotrip.org for updated, statewide road conditions.
In the backcountry, the avalanche danger is high across much of western Colorado, including the Aspen zone, where an avalanche warning is in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Go to http://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php for the full report.