Aspen Highlands big winner with 15 inches overnight; dry week ahead |

Aspen Highlands big winner with 15 inches overnight; dry week ahead

Staff reports
Powder and animal tracks welcomed skiers and riders Sunday at Snowmass after the weekend stormed dropped a foot of snow on the resort.
David Krause / The Aspen Times

Snow was expected to continue into Sunday evening, but a winter storm warning was canceled Sunday morning as the storm pushed through southern Colorado.

In the Sunday morning snow report from Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen Highlands picked up 15 inches in 24 hours; 20 inches in the past 48 hours. Over the past week at the resort, 3 feet of snow has fallen.

Snowmass reported 12 inches overnight and 16 inches in the past 48 hours, and Aspen Mountain had 11 inches since Saturday morning and 15 inches in two days.

The National Weather Service said snowfall was “moderate to heavy” through the weekend in the Elk and Gore mountains.

The weekend storm created slick road conditions, which local and county law enforcement officials said led to several slide offs and minor accidents Friday through Sunday, including a roll over on lower Brush Creek Road. There were no major injuries, officials stated.

The snowstorm also raised avalanche concerns for the backcountry, and an avalanche warning has been issued through Sunday night because of “intense snowfall and strong winds.”

Strong winds atop Sheer Bliss

The Sheer Bliss lift opened Saturday at Snowmass to some windy conditions. Snowmass picked up a foot of new snow Saturday.

Posted by Snowmass Sun on Sunday, December 15, 2019

In the avalanche warning, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said slides in the backcountry could be deadly with all the new snow on the older layers.

“You can trigger avalanches from a distance or from below slopes. These avalanches will be large enough to bury and kill you,” the CAIC warns. “Wind-drifted slopes will produce the deepest and most dangerous avalanches, but you can very easily trigger a slab avalanche on any steep terrain. Travel in and below avalanche terrain is not recommended. You can find safer riding options on lower angle slopes in wind-sheltered areas.”

After this storm moves through, the rest of the week will be dry and colder starting Monday through midweek “with a slow warming trend at mid slopes by late week. … Expect drying weather for the remainder of the week and weekend.”