February 9, 2004
Another lousy weekend in paradise. On the Hill’s sources reported delightful conditions everywhere Saturday and Sunday.
The big dump, of course, hit in the middle of last week, but Friday there were still huge pillows to play in on Aspen Mountain. It was uncrowded, of course, and east-facing spots like Hyrup’s and the mine dumps seemed to be perfectly wind loaded. The fields of fluff sparkled in the morning and skied like a dream.
Saturday was sunny and bright. It started out cold, and everyone seemed bundled up for a frigid day. But the anticipated storm didn’t really materialize, and though the wind blew up on top, the visibility was great, and the day ended up feeling more like spring.
Everybody was whooping it up in the Powerline Glades. Hanging Valley and the Cirque still held heaps of soft (even uncut) snow for those who chose to look in the woody pockets and hidden gullies. The Headwall has solid coverage this year and is skiing better than it has in a long time.
For those skiing with little ones, the tree trails off Coney Glade were full of perfectly posed owls, bears, porcupines, eagles and other wildlife. Don’t forget your camera. Off Fanny Hill, the buffalo bumps too were in superb condition.
The storm finally hit Sunday, but didn’t provide all the snow we might have hoped for. It did manage, however, to drop several inches on Highlands over the course of the day, dousing one On the Hill correspondent with periodic showers throughout the afternoon. He said it got deeper the higher he went, and he found his finest turns in Steeplechase.
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All in all, it was a good week. The local mountains received anywhere from 17 inches to 2 feet of new snow, with Snowmass leading the pack with a reported 25 inches. Snowmass has a 70-inch base, Highlands has 67 inches, Ajax has 54, and Buttermilk has 46.
The forecast looks good for skiers and snowboarders. There’s a chance of snow every day through Thursday, so think champagne thoughts. If it keeps snowing like this through February, then just imagine what March might hold.