Skico firm on mountain closures |

Skico firm on mountain closures

Tim Mutrie

Don’t get your hopes up. Highlands and Buttermilk will close Sunday afternoon as scheduled, and Ajax and Snowmass will shut down next Sunday afternoon.Despite continued winter conditions and an abundant base – no spring brown-out this year – the Aspen Skiing Co. confirmed yesterday it will not be extending chairlift operations.Upon hearing the news, one local skier cringed. “Duh,” he said.”It seems to be the question of the hour, and the answer, unfortunately, is no,” Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said yesterday.”We’ve done it several times in the past. I can remember one day when they opened the gondola for skiing up top on Memorial Day. And it’s something we’ve done based on snowpack and the fact that we didn’t have major mountain improvements going on. But because we’ve got that stuff going on, we’ve got to plow the roads and get equipment up and going.”The slate of projects includes three new lifts: the long-awaited Deep Temerity chair at Highlands, a six-pack from the bottom of Fanny Hill to the top of Sam’s Knob at Snowmass, and the “cabriolet,” also at Snowmass. (Hanle said yesterday the cabriolet is actually an enclosed gondola.) Over at Aspen Mountain, work will commence on the towers of the gondola line in preparation for the addition of new cabins for the 2006-07 season.”We’ll be busy,” Hanle said. “So get in all the skiing and riding you can in the next 10 days or whatever. Then it’s gonna have to be hike-to.”Tim Mutrie’s e-mail address is

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