March was second snowiest on record for Aspen

James Harvey rides through powder on a run off of High Alpine at Snowmass Ski Area on March 7. This March was the third snowiest in the last 24 years at Snowmass.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

This March was one of the snowiest ever in the past 84 winters in Aspen, but it didn’t set a record.

The Aspen Water Treatment Plant recorded 63.1 inches of snow this month. The record is 76.50 inches in March 1965. The city of Aspen has snow and precipitation records back to the 1934-35 winter.

“The snowfall we did receive was relatively high in moisture and the total precipitation was record-breaking,” said the water treatment plant’s monthly report, filed by Laura Taylor. “6.04 inches was measured, surpassing the old record of 5.53 inches from March 1995.”

The records confirm what everyone probably suspected. The month was way above the average for precipitation, which is 2.38 inches, and it also was well above the average of 27 inches of snow at the water plant.

March came in like a lion. It snowed for eight of the first nine days of the month. It snowed 6 or more inches five of those days.

That created epic conditions on the slopes, particularly over the first half of March. Jeff Hanle, Aspen Skiing Co.’s vice president of communications, said Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol scoured their records to see how the first part of March compared.

“It was tied for the snowiest two-week period ever,” Hanle said he was told.

For the month of March, Aspen Highlands collected 117 inches of snow. Snowmass hauled in 96 inches and Aspen Mountain logged 95.

That was the third-snowiest March in 24 years of records at Snowmass, according to Hanle. There were 119 inches logged in March 1995 and 100 inches in 2008.

For the season from Nov. 1 through March, Aspen Highlands scored 338 inches of snow. Snowmass was a close second at 313 inches.

Aspen Mountain collected 253 inches from November through March while Buttermilk recorded 143 inches.

The season-to-date snowfall amounts are running about 20 percent above average for the ski areas, Hanle said.