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Collegiate advice

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Check it out. You’re in college. It’s college break. You’ve signed up for a week in Aspen for $400, which includes lifts and lodging. Now you’re here, the skiing’s great, and it’s going to be sunny for the next two days.

I mean, go off! That could, like, change a person’s life, you know?

As the boys at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center put it, “Colorado will be in a stagnant weather pattern for the next few days as high pressure dominates our region.

“Look for clear skies, warm temperatures and light winds. The next best chance for measurable precipitation may come toward the end of the week. Until then, keep your sunscreen handy.”

Today is supposed to be beautiful, with sunshine and warm temps. Tonight will be clear and cold, with lows from 1 below to 7 above (which is way too cold to pass out in a snowbank and live ? hint, hint).

Wednesday is to be mostly sunny with warm temps, again.

Thursday may see a little cloudiness, but basically, it’s time for our traditional early January high and dry conditions.

This kind of weather pattern can be a real drag if we don’t have snow (and I’m not saying we don’t need more snow), but the skiing’s just fine, especially in certain big high-altitude bowls that will go unnamed here today.

And, hey, what are you going to do about the weather anyway, but enjoy it?

If you are thinking about heading out into the backcountry, the word “tender” should be on your mind.

Yesterday, five avalanches were reported on the west side of Loveland Pass, according to the CAIC.

“All but one [a small skier-triggered slide] were shallow, natural releases on sunny aspects above treeline, likely from rapid warming around rock outcrops. Yesterday a snowmobiler was buried northeast of Breckenridge (Middle Fork, Swan River).

“Fortunately he had a hand sticking out [no beacon] and was rescued by fellow riders, but injured when he was pinned up against his sled.”

Did you know snowmobilers are giving snowboarders a good name in the backcountry these days?

Did you know that there is an avalanche awareness class sponsored by Mountain Rescue Aspen happening this Friday night and Saturday?

Did you know that Aspen Expeditions is conducting a level 1 avalanche course this Friday, Saturday and Sunday? Did you know such courses can keep you, or your friend’s friend, alive?

We say, check them out.

And also check out ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 12, from 4 to 5 p.m. as the 14th annual Audi 24 Hours of Aspen race will be broadcast.

Relive the glory and the pain from the comfort of your own couch.


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