On the hill: Fortuitous snowfall for Aspen
December 24, 2009
ASPEN – There was a collective sigh of relief from most Aspenites and particularly Aspen Skiing Co. executives when that storm blew through Tuesday night and throughout Wednesday.
While not a big dump, the timing couldn’t have been better for several inches of powder. A dry spell had created hardpack. But now, softer conditions prevail as the holiday throngs are starting to amass. Give the snowcat crews something to work with at the local ski areas, and they perform miracles.
Aspen Mountain was the big winner in this storm. The Skico reported Thursday morning that 7 inches of snow had fallen at Aspen Mountain in the prior 24 hours and 11 inches in 48 hours. Snowmass collected 7 and 9 inches over 24 and 48 hours, respectively.
Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk reported slightly less. Highlands gained 4 inches in 24 hours and 6 since Tuesday morning. Buttermilk tallied 3 inches on Wednesday and 6 inches overall.
Speaking of snow conditions, one more bit of information on the Skico’s reports would be extremely helpful. When you’re trying to decide whether or not to duck out of work on a snowy weekday morning, the vital information is how much snow fell overnight, not in 24 hours. Every once in a while, when copious amounts of snow fall, the Skico’s recorded telephone message will report snowfall since the chairlifts closed the prior day. Not so with the online report.
A former Skico executive once said the company had to report snowfall in the prior 24 hours because that was the industry standard. If the company reported just the overnight powder, it would occasionally look skimpy compared to the competition. Fair enough. We get that point.
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But the Skico has always been a leader for the Colorado ski industry. We think they can start a helpful trend by adding information to their snow report. The report is usually made at about 5 a.m. In addition to reporting snow from the prior 24 and 48 hours, Skico needs to let us know what fell in the prior 12 hours. How ’bout it, fellers?