The thrill of new snow; Ski for the Pass event will proceed Feb. 18 | AspenTimes.com

The thrill of new snow; Ski for the Pass event will proceed Feb. 18

Staff report

Participants in last year's Ski for the Pass head up classic tracks to Lincoln Creek Road. This year's event is Feb. 18.

Fresh snow has been so sparse this season that it caught the caretaker of Aspen Skiing Co.'s online snow report off guard Tuesday morning.

The initial snow report emailed to people at 6 a.m. showed zero new snow at the four Aspen-Snowmass ski areas. That was corrected at 6:32 a.m. to reflect 5 inches of new snow at Snowmass, 4 inches at Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands and 2 inches at Buttermilk. Snow continued falling after day break Tuesday and Snowmass ending up reaping 7 inches.

The new snow couldn't have come at a better time. The Independence Pass Foundation announced this week it will plow ahead with its Ski for the Pass fundraiser on Feb. 18. The event appeals to both competitive cross-country skiers and people just out for a relaxed tour. For racers, the event is part of the Aspen Cup Race Series.

The 7k classic tour and race starts at the winter closure gate 5 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82. A classic track will be set to the Lincoln Creek turnoff. The event starts at 10 a.m.

Registration is $15 at the Ute Mountaineer or online at http://www.utemountaineer.com. Click on the link for events and go to the "Ski for the Pass" picture.

All proceeds go to the Independence Pass Foundation's summer restoration projects.

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"Don't miss your only chance of the year to ski a groomed classic track on Independence Pass," says the promotion for the event.

Independence Pass Foundation is the nonprofit organization with a mission to restore and protect the ecological, historical and aesthetic integrity of the Independence Pass corridor and encourage stewardship, safety and appreciation of the pass. It was founded in 1989.

The organization's signature fundraising event is the Ride for the Pass. The 24th annual ride on a closed Highway 82 will be held May 19.