Aspen digs out; more snow forecast
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” Aspen is digging out from a winter storm that dumped more than 2 feet of snow at local ski areas, but another foot or more could fall before it’s all over.
Meanwhile, Aspen schools are closed Monday due to the snowy roads, tacking an extra day of play onto the holiday break. Students had been scheduled to return to class Monday.
Snow began falling Friday night in the Elk Mountains surrounding Aspen, but the dumping really began Saturday with wet, heavy snowfall in town. An all-day snowfall continued Sunday and finally tapered off Monday morning. Snowmass has received 30 inches of snow since Friday, according to the Aspen Skiing Co. Aspen Mountain picked up 25 inches.
Another 8 to 15 inches could fall Monday, according to the National Weather Service. A winter storm warning remains in effect until midnight, and blowing and drifting snow is expected with strong southwest winds.
As of mid-morning Monday, though, it had stopped snowing in Aspen. Skies remained overcast.
The weekend dumping has significantly increased avalanche danger around much of western Colorado. An avalanche warning is in effect for the Aspen zone, where the danger rating was boosted to high on all aspects and at all elevations on Monday morning by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
Interstate 70 through the mountains was closed for a time both Saturday and Sunday due to multiple accidents. The interstate was open in both directions by late Monday morning after avalanche control work early in the day.
Chain laws are in effect for commercial vehicles on I-70 eastbound at Eisenhower tunnel and in both directions at Vail Pass.
Go to http://www.cotrip.org for updated, statewide road conditions.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.