More bowling lanes |

More bowling lanes

Tim Mutrie

First things first – the frontcountry.The Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol continues to open terrain in the G-zones; Highland Bowling lanes G-4 and G-5 recently joined G-6 and G-8 in the hike-to portfolio.Yesterday, a teeth-chattering day by Aspen standards, saw a small crew of ski patrollers and pro packers wading through G-3, one shot right of G-4, of course. Ah, just another day in what has become an endless effort to boot-pack the salvageable slices of snow. So look for a G-3 opening soon.A word of caution, however. After skiing G-4 Wednesday, one patroller remarked it was “some of the weirdest snow I’ve ever skied.””What we need is some posses of snowboarders to cut everything up,” he said.Knuckle-draggers may take that as a call to arms.Looking to the backcountry, the snowpack in the central mountains continues to stabilize despite yet another “wind event” Sunday night. Forecasters are calling for moderate avalanche danger above tree line and low danger below; Dick Jackson, owner/guide of Aspen Expeditions, concurred with that assessment Wednesday evening.”There doesn’t seem to be a lot of tension in snowpack right now,” Jackson said. “Above tree line, some slopes are scoured, just barren, and other slopes are loaded with wind slabs. So if you’re out there, I’d say avoid roll-overs and steep slopes over 35 degrees.”At and below tree line in most aspects, and especially shaded aspects and northerly slopes, we’ve got so much faceting going on, so much sugary snow, that it’s not supportive; you’re breaking through. And that’s the beauty of wide skis.”