Independence Pass to close Thursday | AspenTimes.com

Independence Pass to close Thursday

Skico still aims to open terrain on Thanksgiving

Independence Pass remained open longer than planned this month, but Colorado Department of Transportation officials announced that it will close for the winter season on Thursday, Nov. 17.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced that Independence Pass will close for the winter season at noon on Thursday.

The highway was originally set to close for the winter season on Nov. 7, but unseasonably warm temperatures and little snowfall this fall pushed back the closure indefinitely, CDOT reported last week. Thursday's closure date marks the latest winter closure for the pass in at least five years.

"Maintenance supervisors will run a sweep of the highway looking for any cars that may be parked at the summit or in campgrounds and on auxiliary roads," CDOT reported Tuesday.

The weather forecast calls for snow on Thursday, with 3 to 6 inches expected in the northern and central mountains, according to http://www.opensnow.com.

Two more storms are possible next week, but it's too early to forecast the amount of snow and specific storm tracks, forecaster Joel Gratz wrote on OpenSnow on Tuesday morning.

Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said the company still aims to open terrain at Aspen Mountain and Snowmass on Thanksgiving as scheduled.

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"At this time our goal is to get something open for skiing and it's all going to be dependent on the weather between now and (Thanksgiving)," Hanle said this week.

Independence Pass, which connects Aspen to Twin Lakes, typically remains open until Nov. 7 each year, weather permitting, and reopens on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend, also weather permitting.

Visit http://www.cotrip.org or call 511 for updated road conditions in the state.

Past Independence Pass closure dates:

2011: Nov. 2

2012 Nov. 9

2013: Nov. 4

2014: Nov. 12

2015: Nov. 4

2016: Nov. 17

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