On the hill: Hoping March brings good end to the ski season | AspenTimes.com

On the hill: Hoping March brings good end to the ski season

ASPEN – It seems like anyone who gives a hoot about skiing or riding is holding out hope for a tremendous March. After skinning up Tiehack on Tuesday morning I ran into a patrolman who expressed the sentiment perfectly: “Maybe we’re back on track,” he said as we discussed the trudge up in 4 inches of wet, heavy powder.

Let’s hope we’re back on track. The season began with so much promise when a storm blanketed the slopes with more than a foot of snow in early October. We couldn’t buy a flake in November, and December wasn’t much better. At least it snowed enough in January to stop comparisons to the snow drought of 1976-77.

February finally brought a few more powder paydays and a feeling of optimism. Nevertheless, the weather has been weird. High winds and mild temperatures have raised hell with the snow conditions. The snowpack, as measured by the official Snotel site closest to Aspen, is about 66 percent of average.

But skiing is such a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately proposition. Sure, a deep snowbase is great, but at this point the best we can hope for is regular pulses of snow like we got Monday night into Tuesday. Snowmass reported 7 inches by early afternoon; Aspen Highlands received 6 inches; Aspen Mountain received 5 inches; and Buttermilk was covered by 4 inches.

If we keep getting those pulses through the last full month of ski season, December and January will be distant memories.

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