License to speed
February 17, 2004
Warm weather continued to keep the snow soft and the day pleasant for any and all who made it up the hill yesterday, except perhaps for a few snowboarders in the backcountry near Aspen Highlands.
According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, two snowboarders skiing out of bounds yesterday near Aspen Highlands triggered two slides.
One was a fairly large, loose-snow avalanche, the other a small slab avalanche. Both occurred on northwest aspects.
Temperatures no doubt stretched into the 40s in certain places around the resort yesterday, following an unseasonably warm Sunday. This marks only the second warm spell we’ve had all winter. But fear not fellow lover of snow sports: Snow is on the way.
The National Weather Service is predicting cooler temps today accompanied by an increasing chance of snow. By 5 p.m., the chance of snow will be 40 percent.
On Thursday, the NWS is predicting a 90 percent chance of precipitation ” just 10 clicks below perfect odds.
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The timing of the snow, if it falls as predicted, is perfect for the John Meyer Memorial Town Downhill, scheduled Friday through Sunday on Racer’s Edge at Tiehack.
The annual competition, which has been going on since at least the late 1970s (it was named for Meyer in 1997), is open to any and all who want, as a press release on the race puts it, “to ski faster than legal limits posted on the winding Colorado Highway 82.”
The skies are predicted to clear Friday, when training runs for the downhill are scheduled to begin. Both Friday and Saturday have been set aside for training in order to allow the nonracing public to acclimate to speeds that for the top racers will exceed 70 mph.
The cost to enter the race is $60. For more information call 544-5358.