Nighttime the right time for a tour | AspenTimes.com

Nighttime the right time for a tour

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS ” A full moon during a chilly winter night is best seen outdoors, preferably with good company and some warm drinks.

At least the staff at the Snowmass Cross Country Center thinks so. The center’s instructors are offering a free tour Monday night ” under the full moon ” that will begin promptly at 7 p.m. The tour is scheduled to last about one hour.

Snowshoe and ski rentals from the center will be discounted to $5, and will be available beginning at 6:30.

Reservations are not necessary for the rentals or tour, but be sure to arrive early if you need to rent gear. Rentals include snowshoes or skis, poles, and boots.

A credit card will be required for all rentals, and availability is not guaranteed. Everyone from beginners to experts, young and old is welcome. Hot drinks will be provided.

Along with the free tour, Snowmass Cross Country Center staff will offer waxing tips and advice on good routes in the area.

The Snowmass Cross Country Center is located in Snowmass Village on Clubhouse Drive, just off Brush Creek Road. The center is on the no-fee interconnected ski trails of Aspen and Snowmass, courtesy of an intergovernmental agreement between the city of Aspen, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County. The system comprises 70 kilometers of trails, all of which are groomed and free to the public.

For more information on the full moon tour, or rentals and lessons at the Snowmass Cross Country Center, go to http://www.utemountaineer.com/Snowmassxc.aspx.

The Aspen Skiing Co. reported no new snow over the past 24 hours in its Sunday morning report.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center report for the Aspen zone on Sunday, Jan. 20:

The avalanche danger is considerable on northeast, east, southeast and south aspects near and above treeline. Natural avalanches are possible and human-triggered ones probable. Triggered avalanches may be large and destructive. The avalanche danger on all other aspects near and above treeline and all slopes below treeline is moderate. Human-triggered avalanches are still possible on these slopes as well.

As the snowpack adjusts to the weight of our last storm, avalanches become harder to trigger. During this period, backcountry travelers commonly trigger slides in areas where the slab thins out or where more weak snow exists, around rocks, trees, or vegetation. Unfortunately, we don’t have x-ray glasses that allow us a look into the snowpack. Avoidance of likely trigger points, careful terrain selection, and conservative route finding will help you avoid triggering big avalanches.


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