It’s white throughout Colorado ski country |

It’s white throughout Colorado ski country

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

Colorado ski resorts are reveling in their recent bounty of snow.

Silverton has set a record for the highest snow base ever for a resort in December, with 110 inches on the upper mountain, according to Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade association for the state industry. Silverton’s midmountain base is 88 inches.

Wolf Creek ski area, also in the southwest part of the state, is running neck and neck with Silverton in the “crazy pow” category. It has received 13 feet of snowfall and has settled into a 106 inch midmountain base.

Ironically, shortly before the big dumps started in Colorado, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said patterns this year tend to create dry conditions in the Southwest. It hasn’t happened yet.

In the Roaring Fork Valley, the snow base totals don’t match those of the Southwest, but skiers and riders are still wearing smiles after the dumps last week. A Denver Post article Tuesday quoted Picabo Street as saying that Friday was one of her best days of powder skiing, ever. The Aspen Skiing Co. couldn’t buy publicity better than a testimonial from Picabo.

Like Aspen, Crested Butte and Monarch got walloped last week. Monarch is boasting a base of 62 inches after getting eight more inches of powder Monday night. Meanwhile, the Butte’s base has built up to 58 inches and has enjoyed 11 feet of snowfall so far this season.

Some parts of the state remain dry, relatively speaking. Steamboat usually reaps all the snowstorms. As of Tuesday it was sitting with a base of 28 inches. Vail also has been bypassed by some of the storms. Its base was at 29 inches Tuesday.

For daily snow reports for resorts across the state, visit Colorado Ski Country USA’s website at

According to Wednesday’s report for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the avalanche danger in the Aspen zone is considerable on west, northwest, north, northeast, and east aspects near and above treeline. There is new windloading on the top of the snowpack and weak, old facets on the bottom. Elsewhere the danger is moderate.

Says the CAIC: “Recent lack of results from avalanche mitigation work at a local ski area indicates that last week’s storm snow has settled well. Signs of instability have been minimal on southerly aspects. On westerly, northerly, and easterly aspects, we continue to receive reports of collapsing and cracking, but avalanche activity has diminished. Avalanche conditions will continue to be a bit tricky.”

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