Aspen’s snowpack nudging closer to 30-year average
ASPEN – The snowpack in the Aspen area climbed close to the 30-year average thanks to last weekend’s extended snowstorm, but it still remains spotty throughout the Roaring Fork River basin.
The basin-wide snowpack was 92 percent of the average established between 1971 and 2000, the Natural Resources Conservation Service reported Tuesday. The federal agency has automated stations measuring snowpack in seven locations around the Roaring Fork basin, which includes the Fryingpan and Crystal river valleys.
The snowpack was 97 percent of average Tuesday at a site between Aspen and the Independence Pass summit, according to the conservation service. That site is at 10,600 feet in elevation.
The snowpack in the Crystal Valley has been higher all winter than the Fryingpan’s tally. Schofield Pass was at 100 percent Tuesday while McClure Pass was at 99 percent. North Lost Trail, near Marble, was at 92 percent.
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In the Fryingpan Valley, snowpack fared well at higher elevations but was substantially below average at lower elevations. At Ivanhoe Lake, the snowpack was 93 percent of average Tuesday. That site is at 10,600 feet in elevation.
At the Kiln site, at an elevation of 9,600 feet, the snowpack was just 72 percent of average. At Nast Lake, even lower in elevation, the snowpack was just 68 percent of average Tuesday, the conservation service data showed.
Snowpack remains above average in the southern part of the state and below average to the north. Vail Mountain’s snowpack was 77 percent of average Tuesday while Copper Mountain was at 75 percent. Rabbit Ears Pass, in the Steamboat Springs area, had a snowpack only 53 percent of average.
Down south, the Wolf Creek summit had a snowpack 120 percent of average on Tuesday. Lizard Head Pass, near Telluride, was at 113 percent of average.
Three major river basins in the southern part of Colorado were at or above average, including the Gunnison basin, 100 percent; Dolores basin, 109 percent; and San Juan, 112 percent.
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