Calm before the storm |

Calm before the storm

Nate Peterson

There were two skiers at Buttermilk on Wednesday. OK, maybe three.At least it felt that way one day before thousands arrived for this year’s Winter X Games.There was plenty of commotion on the bottom half of the mountain as an army of workers put the finishing touches on the base vendor village and the five courses for this year’s event. Cameramen were checking sight lines on the slopestyle course. A crew was erecting the finish-line apparatus for the boardercross and skiercross course. A helicopter circled overhead.But up top, it was as if the mountain had been deserted. On a few of the runs I managed to squeeze in before heading back to the office, I was the only one charging down the slope. I fell flat on my face on a rainbow rail and not a soul was there to see it. It was a welcome bit of calm before what undoubtedly is going to be a stressful week. Not to say that I’m not excited, but sometimes crowds and loud music make me claustrophobic. There’s also the whole issue of commuting to Buttermilk this week, which will undoubtedly test my patience.The extra runs Wednesday put me back in the right state of mind – the one in which I think I have the greatest job in the world. Just don’t ask me if I feel the same way next Wednesday after my last free Mountain Dew and five days without sleep. I’ll need a few days of Xtreme detox to provide a straight answer.Snow reportAspen Highlands picked up 3 inches of new snow overnight, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s 5:30 a.m. snow report. Aspen Mountain, Snowmass and Buttermilk all have 2 inches of fresh stuff.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is moderate. Be aware of wind-loaded areas above treeline, especially in steeper terrain, as these will be the most likely place for triggered avalanches.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit

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