High pressure, low expectations | AspenTimes.com

High pressure, low expectations

Steve Benson

It’s a multiday forecast that at this time of the year makes me cringe – you know the one that has an image of nothing but 40-degree temps with smiling orange suns? Well that’s what next week’s forecast looks like. I love spring skiing, but the mention of a big high pressure at this point in the season makes me cringe like a little kid eating vegetables.What all this comes down to is the post-ski-season months. Last year, we all watched – some with grief, others with delight – as record-setting high temperatures and dry weather dominated what’s supposed to be our snowiest month. One of the best ski seasons in recent memory suddenly turned uglier than a big, fat mud puddle (bad analogy, since that’s what actually happened). Half the snowpack melted, so when Indy Pass did finally open, the corn fields were thin and sun cupped and the touring season was short. I don’t want that to happen again, especially this year, which has been monumental by recent standards. I don’t want anything to change the magnificent, glistening, fat backcountry base that taunts me from the top of Highland Bowl, or out my window as I look up to Indy Pass … not yet at least, it’s still too early. Imagine building a model airplane – like you did when you were a little kid – with each piece representing a snow storm. This model has taken you months to build, and it’s looking really big and beautiful. That’s what a good winter is like. Now imagine that you’re almost done with that model when the neighborhood bully comes along and stomps it into the ground, and lights it on fire until all that’s left is half a wing, or a piece of the tail. That’s what a long, warm, stubborn high pressure in March is like. The model, of course, represents the winter’s snowpack. And I, of course, spend way too much time thinking about weather and snow.


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