Chance of snow for Christmas |

Chance of snow for Christmas

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Ah, we all dream of Christmas morning powder.

This year, while we will have good skiing, we may not have deep powder. But there is a chance for a dusting of fresh snow on Christmas day.

The forecast for today is party to mostly cloudy with highs between 15 and 24. There’s a chance of snow tonight, with lows between 2 and 9 degrees.

Tuesday is to be cloudy with a chance of snow and a high of 21. Tuesday night will be cold again, with lows from 3 to 8 degrees.

Christmas Day is forecast as mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow, with highs from 11 to 20, which are not all that high.

Best Christmas present? Could be a new gator or hat. Although new skis are always appreciated …

Friday night’s big snowstorm never did come to town, but now that the forecast is back to a trace or an inch of snow, maybe we’ll get dumped on.

We’ve got 4,233 acres of skiing open across the four mountains, with a snowpack ranging from 28 inches at Buttermilk to 36 inches at Aspen Mountain, 40 inches at Highlands and 51 inches at Snowmass.

And the skiing this past week has been excellent, leaving many locals with sore legs and happy hearts.

But be careful out there, as this is traditionally one of the busiest weeks of the year on the mountain, especially in places like the bottom of Spar Gulch on Dec. 26 at 3 p.m.

In fact, Aspen Mountain Manager Steve Sewell said he’s beefing up the enforcement in the mountain’s well-marked slow-skiing zones.

He said skiers and riders should adjust their speed to the skiers and riders around them. Which means you can’t haul ass through a bunch of slow skiers in a slow zone, even if you did teach Alberto Tomba how to turn.

Last week’s abundant snowfall (27 inches in the last seven days at Snowmass), means that the Cirque poma lift at the top of the Big Burn will open on Tuesday. This will be the earliest opening in the often-quiet lift’s history.

Along with the Cirque lift, some more double-black diamond terrain could open at Snowmass, including the Cirque headwall and possibly trails such as AMF and Gowdy’s.

And the big winner in this season’s snow derby appears be the resorts in the California Sierras, as 10 feet of snow in 10 days recently fell on Tahoe-area resorts.

Oregon and Montana still need more snow, and the recent snowfall has helped resorts in Arizona and New Mexico. Some areas in Canada are still hurting a bit, as Lake Louise only has 11 trails open, and Sunshine Village in Banff has under half its trails open. Europe is having a good winter, with the French Alps and Italy getting lots of snow.

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