Skico gives skiers a Valentine’s gift

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The pressure is off guys.

‘Cause all of us are getting a Valentine’s Day present on Friday, Feb. 14.

Starting on that red-letter day, certain key lifts across the Skico’s mountains will be open till 4 p.m.

This means the days are getting longer and the remaining days on your season pass are getting shorter.

You might consider responding appropriately.

The late lifts at Snowmass include Fanny Hill, Coney Glade, Big Burn and Sam’s Knob.

At Aspen Mountain, you can linger on the Silver Queen. At Highlands, Exhibition will be open later. And at Buttermilk, the Summit Express will keep spinning until 4 p.m.

And if she just doesn’t buy that somehow you arranged the lift on Friday afternoon to stay open late just for her, you can at least give her some chocolates at the top of the last late lift of the day …

Heard some interest of late as to how other ski areas around the western mountains are faring in terms of snowfall. The Associated Press runs a daily ski report with upper-mountain base depths and acres open for most ski areas. Here’s a partial list:

Aspen Mountain: 39 inches/673 acres; Arapahoe Basin: 45 inches/485 acres; Aspen Highlands: 42 inches/790 acres; Beaver Creek: 55 inches/1,625 acres; Breckenridge: 60 inches/2,208 acres; Buttermilk: 35 inches/377 acres; Copper Mountain: 54 inches/2,324 acres; Crested Butte: 41 inches/1,058 acres; Snowmass: 57 inches/2,910 acres; Steamboat: 59 inches/2,918 acres; Sunlight: 36 inches/100 percent open; Telluride: 44 inches/1501 acres; Vail: 54 inches/5,161 acres; Wolf Creek: 69 inches/1,600 acres; Big Sky: 78 inches/3,600 acres; Taos: 73 inches/1,121 acres; Alta: 81 inches/2,200 acres; Snowbasin: 63 inches/2,500 acres; Jackson Hole: 76 inches/2,500 acres; Alpine Meadows: 125 inches, 2,000 acres; Kirkwood: 132 inches/2,000 acres; and Mammoth: 98 inches/3,500 acres.

There is room for some base envy on this list. While Aspen/Snowmass is near the top of the chart when compared to other Colorado resorts, resorts in California have a phat base.

Kirkwood, for example, has a 132-inch base depth, over twice that of Snowmass. And Alpine Meadows is up to 125 inches. And Mammoth is up to 98 inches.

So, yes, California has gotten dumped on. Which it often does. Something about the Pacific and the Sierras.

Weather wise, the winds today should be a bit gentler, in the 10 to 20 mph range out of the west, but there will still be gusts up to 30 mph. Highs will be in the mid 20s to lower 30s.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, windy and cold, with lows from 3 to 8 degrees.

Wednesday will be partly cloudy with highs in the upper 20s to upper 30s. (Picture that – upper 30s!) And maybe more snow on Thursday.