Pow! It’s DEEPcember on slopes again in Aspen
December 24, 2008
ASPEN ” Eleven straight days of snow have delighted skiers, stressed plow drivers and boosted Aspen Mountain’s snowfall level ahead of last December’s pace.
The Aspen Skiing Co.’s official tally is 79 inches for the month at the top of Aspen Mountain as of Tuesday morning, spokesman Jeff Hanle said. Last December the measurement was 76 inches as of the morning of Dec. 23.
Throw in the November snowfall amounts and this season is off to an even stronger start. Eleven inches of snow fell this November after the start of ski season compared to 6 inches last season.
Aspen’s on an incredible snow streak. Snow has fallen all but six days this month.
There have been nine days with 4 or more inches of powder.
Last December saw bigger dumps. There was a day with 21 inches and another with 20. (The largest snowfall total so far this month was 15 inches.) The snow kept falling throughout last December: the month ended with 98 inches on Aspen Mountain.
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Prospects are certain that Aspen will add to its snowfall this month. The forecast calls for a chance of snow every day until Sunday, with a big storm slamming the area Thursday night into Friday.
All the recent snow fell on a weak base layer, sending the avalanche danger soaring.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said natural avalanches are frequent in the backcountry right now and human-triggered avalanches are probable.
“Backcountry travelers should use extreme caution today,” the avalanche center’s
report for the Aspen zone said Tuesday. “Don’t venture into steep terrain until you have thoroughly evaluated the local avalanche danger. Avoid the runout areas of avalanche paths.”
As of about 5 a.m. Wednesday, the Aspen Skiing Co. was reporting 11 inches of new snow on Aspen Mountain within the past 24 hours, and 26 inches within the past 48 hours.
Buttermilk had 7 inches over the past 24 hours and 19 inches over the past 48 hours, while Aspen Highlands reported 5 inches over the past 24 hours and 17 inches over the past 48.
At Snowmass, 6 inches had fallen in the past 24 hours and 21 inches over the past 48.