Aspen ski conditions look good, but when is the opening? |

Aspen ski conditions look good, but when is the opening?

Scott CondonThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado
Ted Mahon/Special to the Aspen TimesAspenite Chris Davenport skied the fresh powder on the Back of Bell on Aspen Mountain Tuesday morning and reported "epic" conditions to Aspen Skiing Co. officials.

ASPEN – Rumors of an early opening for the Aspen Skiing Co. accumulated as fast as the snow Tuesday.There was a lot of speculation on Facebook and Twitter as well as around town that the Skico planned to open this weekend at Aspen Mountain, a handful of days before the scheduled opening on Thanksgiving. Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said there is no such plan, at least not yet. He spent Tuesday afternoon trying to quell the early opening rumor.”The rumor mill is exploding,” Hanle said. “I’m telling everyone I can stop, stop, stop.”Shortly before 3:30 p.m., the Skico posted this on its Twitter account: “We’ve heard the early-opening rumors too! As of yet, nothing to announce. Keep the snow coming & stay tuned.”Hanle said there is nothing to announce because no decision has been made and there hasn’t been great debate about opening early. The snow conditions might make it seem like opening would be easy, but conditions wouldn’t necessarily hold up well with hordes of skiers heading onto the terrain, he said.Skico reported 7 inches of snow at Aspen Mountain and 3 inches at Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk over the prior 24 hours as of about 1 p.m. Tuesday, with snow continuing to fall. There had been 5 inches of fluff at Snowmass over 48 hours and 11 inches at Aspen Mountain. The Skico was reporting a base of 18 inches at Aspen Mountain and 25 inches at Snowmass.Whiteout conditions hit the valley at about 5:30 p.m., as commuters on Highway 82 could attest. Motorists reported visibility was reduced to about a quarter-mile because of brief heavy snow and high winds.At the least, skiers and riders are assured there is enough snow to open as scheduled next week. Snowmass and Aspen Mountain are scheduled to open Nov. 25. Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are scheduled to open Dec. 11. A fundraiser for the Aspen Valley Ski Club is traditionally held on Aspen Mountain the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day. Season ski passes aren’t valid that day; a lift ticket purchase is required.”The top of Aspen Mountain is looking good,” Hanle said. “If we keep getting cold temperatures, top to bottom is looking good.”Steady snow this month is helping several Colorado resorts have impressive openings. Winter Park is scheduled to open Wednesday. Vail Mountain plans to open Friday with about 550 acres of terrain. The ski areas of Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Loveland and Wolf Creek are already