Early-season snow sets the scene for winter | AspenTimes.com

Early-season snow sets the scene for winter

Aspen Times Staff

Lewis Sharpe, visiting from Philadelphia, makes his way across Fanny Hill at Snowmass on Monday afternoon. "We were going to go mountain biking," Sharpe said, "but today just didn't turn out to be a mountain biking day." (Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times)

Aspen and Snowmass got a jump on winter, even though the brunt of a fall snowstorm strayed east.The top of Aspen Mountain received about 8 inches of snow overnight Sunday, according to Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle. At Aspen Highlands, a crew working at the top of the Cloud 9 chairlift discovered 10 inches of snow, according to patrol director Mac Smith.”Who knows what we got in Highland Bowl,” he said. Scattered snow storms fluttered around Highlands Monday.

Summit County was in the storm’s cross hairs. Breckenridge reported 17 inches of snow in town and 24 inches on the slopes Monday morning, according to Colorado Ski Country USA, a state trade association.Copper Mountain reported 18 inches, and Keystone measured 17.Colorado Ski Country officials took glee in the fact that the storm steamrolled into Colorado from the north “after missing the entire western United States,” a press release stated.

The organization is trumpeting the word around the country about the snow. “It just gives us the early-season momentum that carries through the year,” said Ashley Boyden, communications manager for Colorado Ski Country USA.Rob Perlman, the trade organization’s president and chief executive officer, couldn’t help but gush about the snow. “These early snowstorms are the perfect harbinger of an unbelievable season to come,” he said in the prepared statement.Let’s hope the hyperbole doesn’t jinx the season.

Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are racing to be the first to open. They both received about a foot of snow from this latest storm, as of Monday morning. Scattered snowshowers were forecast throughout the next couple of days.While Aspen missed the biggest dump, the storm still helps set the mood for the season, Hanle said. “The phones do start ringing when we get the word out there,” he said.Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are scheduled to open Nov. 24. For a complete listing of resort opening dates, log onto http://www.coloradoski.com.