Independence Pass re-opens after snowstorm |

Independence Pass re-opens after snowstorm

Independence Pass re-opened today after motorists were stranded because of heavy snowfall.
Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office |

Independence Pass reopened at about 12:30 p.m. Friday after the season’s first snowstorm forced closure of the mountain road Friday morning, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Still, sheriff’s deputies recommended travelers go around, especially if drivers have a two-wheel-drive car.

“We are into winter-weather driving conditions,” said Deputy Alex Burchetta, director of operations at the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s a mess.”

Deputy Josh Bennett said he headed up the pass at about 6:40 a.m. Friday and encountered a car stuck in a 3-foot snow drift at the last turn before the summit. The car had been there since about midnight, though deputies offered the two men inside a ride down at about 2 a.m. and they declined, Burchetta said.

A tow truck arrived in the morning to pull them out. However, a plow tried to go around and got stuck, blocking the road for any other traffic, Bennett said, adding that he was walking in snow drifts above his knees. Workers were still trying to dig out the truck Friday afternoon, Bennett said.

Bennett also said he piled a hockey coach and his two children plus all their gear into his vehicle and gave them a ride to the Aspen Recreation Center for a tournament this morning.

Burchetta recommended that drivers have adequate tires and an emergency kit with blankets, water and food in the car.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.


Wildlife officials: Even with abundant natural foods for bears around Aspen, people need to secure sources

August 19, 2019

An abundant bounty of natural food is expected for bears around the Aspen area but serviceberry, choke cherry and acorns are generally maturing late because of all the snow last winter and a wet, cool spring. Wildlife officers stress that even with abundant natural food available, people need to eliminate food sources for bruins because they will always go for an easy meal.

See more