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Saturday’s secret

Allyn Harvey

There were about six people skiing at Aspen Highlands on Saturday, and it seemed like half of them were Aspen Skiing Co. employees.

Too bad for everyone who wasn’t skiing at Highlands, because, thanks to the hard work of the ski patrol, Highland Bowl reopened. Not only did Highland Bowl reopen, but it was snowing – big time snowing.

The bowl had been sitting closed most of the week, the victim of unseasonably warm temperatures that caused much of the sun-exposed zones to slide. A massive slide down the middle of the bowl filled up about half of the valley at the bottom where all runs lead.

Patrollers were forced to string ropes all the way around the slide debris. And, no doubt they had to dig a lot of pits and throw a lot of bombs. And no doubt they were continually questioning each other’s judgments, just to make sure they were making the right ones. (Have no doubt that the patrollers on Snowmass and Aspen were doing much of the same good work.)

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By Saturday, the Bowl was open. Guess nobody knew that though, since there were only about six people skiing that day. The G-Zones, from G-8 to G-2, were all open. At about noon on G-6, there was snow up to the top of the shins; by 3 p.m. on the same run, all the tracks from earlier had been filled in, and the snow was over the knees.

And then there was Sunday. The Skico’s daily snow report was claiming up to 9 inches of new snow at Highlands and Snowmass. But as anyone who walked, or ran, up the ridge to the top of Highland Bowl can attest, there was a lot more snow than that, because it was blowing in from the Maroon Creek side all night.

In a run down G-8, long after the Bowl hounds had had their way with their lover, the snow was thigh deep. (Thigh deep on a 6-foot-1 man with long legs.)

Snowmass and Highlands are reporting 81 and 80 inches of snow at the top, respectively. Aspen Mountain’s got 59 and Buttermilk 38.


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