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Aspen History: Predicting powder

Aspen Historical Society
One b/w photograph of the nearly complete Chateau Kirk at the base of Highlands after an early fall snow, 1961.

“Forest Service predicts new record winter,” stated the Aspen Times on October 6, 1961. “Off to a record start with the big Labor Day snowstorm, skiing is expected to draw more people than ever to Colorado slopes this winter, according to U.S. Forest Service officials. The season unofficially began over Labor Day when the first skiers attacked the slopes, the earliest ever in the memory of Forest Service personnel who supervise most of the ski areas in the state. Expanded facilities at existing resorts and the opening of several new areas should materially increase the number of snowbunnies and schussboomers on the slopes, the F.S. predicts. The number of skiers and spectators on national forest trails jumped from 278,711 in 1956-57 to 608,257 last winter. Most ski areas in the state, including Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands are either wholly or partially on Forest Service land.” The image above shows Chateau Kirk (nearly complete) at the base of Highlands after an early fall snow, 1961.


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