News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

Avalanche workshop setASPEN Talk about perfect timing.Just as conditions are starting to change in the backcountry, an avalanche awareness course is being offered in Aspen.The Roaring Fork Avalanche Center is teaming with PowertothePeople.org to offer an avalanche awareness course Wednesday, Dec. 5. The event will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Rio Grande Commons (formerly the Aspen Youth Center space).Brian McCall of the avalanche center will discuss the effects of the long, dry fall followed by the recent heavy snowfall on the winters avalanche outlook. He also will offer hints on staying safe in the backcountry.Representatives of Orthovox and Back Country Access will attend and demonstrate their new avalanche beacons.Powder to the People will discuss twists in the on-going debate over backcountry access, particularly on the back of Aspen Mountain.The event is free but space is limited, so those who want to participate must register in advance at PowdertothePeople.org and put RSVP in the subject line.The event is one of three avalanche-awareness talks planned this winter by the avalanche center and PowderToThePeople.org. The next events are scheduled for Jan. 16 and Feb. 27. In addition, a transceiver competition at the Richmond Ridge Beacon Basin on top of Aspen Mountain behind the gondola building will be held on March 23.The Roaring Fork Avalanche Center is a local nonprofit dedicated to accurate avalanche forecasting in the Roaring Fork Valley. Powder To The People is a local nonprofit dedicated to backcountry access, safety and etiquette. The two organizations frequently work together on joint initiatives.

Group lost, bivouacs on way to Benedict HutASPEN Four women spent the night in a bivouac after getting lost on the way to a 10th Mountain Hut and Aspen Mountain Rescue was called out. The women were found safe at the Benedict Huts, recuperating from the night out, according to a press release from the Pitkin County Sheriffs Office. The sheriff received the lost skier report from a spouse of a skier at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, after the women did not return as planned. Mountain Rescue Aspen members were called out and the first team reached the Benedict Huts at 11 p.m. Sunday night. The women informed the rescuers that they had decided to spend the night at Benedict after the night out and that they planned to return Monday morning. The side-by-side Benedict Huts are approximately five and a half miles north of Aspen on Smuggler Mountain, above the Hunter Creek watershed. Eleven Mountain Rescue Aspen members responded to the call.

Snowmass eyes the futureSNOWMASS VILLAGE The Snowmass Town Council looked in a crystal ball Monday and the picture wasnt pretty.As part of the towns comprehensive plan process, town officials are studying demographics and statistics to see what the town needs in the way of housing, roads and transportation. And with a projected 61 percent population increase countywide in the next 25 years, and increased traffic and commuters to new jobs at Snowmass Base Village, town officials predict problems with everything from parking to traffic and a lack of housing.The town will require at least 95 new deed-restricted units to maintain current ratios of affordable housing, officials said. Local parking lots are already beyond capacity.The data will be used as baseline information to craft the comprehensive plan and for future comparison.