Big Burn finally ready | AspenTimes.com

Big Burn finally ready

Aspen Times Staff

The Big Burn at Snowmass is finally expected to make its 2006-07 debut on Tuesday although it might not be when the lifts first open in the morning, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.

The Burn section of the ski area couldn’t open on Thanksgiving because there was a lack of snow between the top of the Sam’s Knob chairlift and the Big Burn chairlift. The Skico couldn’t get people across the flats even though snow conditions on the Burn were bueno.

So, the snow-covered, inaccessible Burn tempted and teased skiers and riders throughout the holiday weekend like a pastry displayed for a devout Catholic during Lent’s fasting season.

Well, it’s good-bye to the fast and hello to the feast. Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said there will likely be a “delayed opening” for the Big Burn on Tuesday. No precise time was available.

Hanle hedged just a bit and said the opening would occur Wednesday if something went haywire with preparations for Tuesday.

Crews were able to make snow on Saturday and Sunday nights to cover the flat area between the chairlifts. “We’ve got the snow made and pushed around,” said Hanle. “We’re about there.”

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Mother Nature is expected to add to the man-made stuff. The National Weather Service forecasted three to seven inches of snow for Aspen on Tuesday and another two to four inches Tuesday night.

When asked today about the conditions on the Big Burn, Hanle said: “It was really good before the wind.”

Wind gusts of up to 40 mph plagued the ski area. It blew snow off some of the Burn’s sections and loaded it on others. Overall, he said, it remains in pretty good shape.

The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.