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Missing pooches

Allyn Harvey

Dogs have gone missing all over town. The No. 1 call on the police scanner in The Aspen Times newsroom yesterday afternoon was about pooches on the lamb.

On the Hill suspects it was a result of the blasting yesterday on Aspen Mountain’s Trainer Ridge. The Aspen Mountain ski patrol dropped 17 blasts into the slushy snow on the ridge that skirts across the upper portion of Shadow Mountain. And big blasts they were: 5-pound explosives as opposed to the standard 2-pounder.

One of On the Hill’s top snowboard correspondents reported that riding the lower portions of Aspen Mountain felt a lot more like small-wave surfing than big-mountain snowboarding. Is it Aspen, or Waikiki?

A handful of skiers were missing yesterday too, choosing instead to lounge about the pool at the Sky Hotel, taking in the sunshine and one another. Swimsuit weather in March. Go figure.

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The daily snow report from the Aspen Skiing Co. has been, shall we say, a bit optimistic with at least one of its midmountain snow measurements. The 40-inch base count at the midway point on Buttermilk sounded a bit inflated, so On the Hill called the flake counters at the Skico and asked for confirmation.

A patroller sent up Buttermilk discovered that the actual base at the midway point was 35 inches, 5 below the published amount. Given the extremely warm temperatures of the last week, 35 inches at The Milk sounds right. As bases go, however, that’s a lot better than the bottom of all four mountains, where snow depths are approaching zero; and in a few of the avalanche-devastated sections of Highland Bowl the base is zero.

Temperatures in the mid- to upper-40s are predicted to continue through the end of the week, according to the National Weather Service. It might even rain in Aspen today.

Surf’s up.


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