`Better late than never’ | AspenTimes.com

`Better late than never’

If the Aspen Skiing Co. measures success in smiles rather than skier visits, then it doubled its season business this weekend.

A foot or more of powder has a way of making skiers and riders happy and lifting the mood of a ski town.

“Better late then never for the new snowfall that has graced the mountains of Aspen-Snowmass,” said the Skico’s recorded snow report.

“Enjoy the pow pow,” said the lift operator’s blackboard at Sam’s Knob at Snowmass.

Locals who have been avoiding the slopes because of lack of snow would be well advised to get out while the getting is good. About nine inches hit the upper slopes Friday night and another four inches greeted skiers and riders Sunday morning.

“Why are you stopping?” one skier asked the leader of his group at the top of Dipsy Bowl under chair three at Aspen Mountain Sunday morning. “I’m just soaking it in. It’s fantastic,” the leader replied.

Walsh’s, Hyrup’s and Kristi opened at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and provided about the closest thing to heaven that skiers have experienced this season. Those who chose Hyrup’s had a sensation of skiing in a bottomless supply of cotton.

Although Saturday provided more snow, Saturday night’s cold temperatures and four additional inches of freshies created the champagne powder for which Colorado is famous.

That wasn’t lost on a middle-aged couple who had to return to the East Coast Monday. While they were thankful for the fresh snow, they lamented having to leave just when conditions made a turn for the better.

When asked during a ride on Lift 3 where they ski out east, the woman replied, “We don’t.” The man added, “We’ve been spoiled in your back yard.”

They come out every season for several weeks and plan to return to Aspen later this winter.

Two Brazilian teens making their first trip to the area were thrilled to find nine inches on the Snowmass Big Burn Saturday. Their only complaint while the wind continued to whip new snow around was they wanted the snow to fall at night and the days to be cloudless.

They got their wish Sunday.

The Big Burn was closed most of last week after a severe wind scouring, but its trails were skiing well Saturday.

The improved conditions brought higher prices at Snowmass and Buttermilk. Prices there were increased from $45 to $57, matching Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain.

Even as the powder became cut up Sunday morning, skiers on Aspen Mountain were still obviously having a ball. A helmeted youth who appeared to be about 5 years old found a tiny powder stash behind a tower on the couch chair. “Mommy, I skied the powder,” the kid cried out.

All skiers and riders hope they will be able to

yell that frequently during the second half of the season.

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