Some snow wishes for this weekend |

Some snow wishes for this weekend

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Now we’re getting somewhere.

“Snow likely” today and tonight, says the forecast, with a 60 percent chance of precipitation and up to 2 inches of fresh glorious snow. Also expect north winds 15 to 20 mph.

Thursday is to be cloudy with “snow likely” in the morning. And then we’re back to partly cloudy Friday and Saturday.

There is another “chance of snow” of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

A storm did blow through the California Sierras on Tuesday, leaving 5 inches in its wake. And it’s heading West.

But don’t get too excited.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecast discussion said yesterday that, “On Wednesday morning a second wave will come in, but it’s hard to get excited about this one. The moisture will just graze the N mtns, so the Steamboat zone may be the only area to get much snow.”

Hmm, it sure would be nice to get some fresh, new snow before the opening of Highlands and Buttermilk this Saturday.

The Highlands plans to throw open most of Highland Bowl on opening day, although much of the snow there has been boot and ski packed and could use a fresh coating.

Also expected to open on Saturday is the Elk Camp section of Snowmass. Remember that close-in parking in Snowmass Village costs $10 unless you have four in the car.

Around the state this morning there are 18 ski areas open.

Silverton is winning the snow derby, with a 36-inch base at midway. Loveland is in second place, with a 34-inch base. Winter Park, Eldora and A-Basin are in the 31- to 33-inch range.

Ajax has a 19-inch base midway, and Snowmass has 22 inches around its midsection. Sunlight in Glenwood has a 21-inch base.

The lift derby is a different race. And Vail is the clear winner with 31(!) lifts open. Winter Park has 17 lifts running, and Breckenridge has 13 spinning.

Snowmass is operating 10 lifts, Aspen six and Sunlight two lifts.

And yesterday, the only mountain reporting powder conditions was Silverton, which is running its one access lift to get people up to where the tracks are rare.

Silverton’s ski area is more like lift-served snowcat skiing. For $99, guests are treated to a powder experience. A beacon and shovel are required, as well as basic avalanche understanding.

There are six more Colorado ski areas opening this weekend.

Besides Highlands and Buttermilk, Crested Butte and SolVista (near Winter Park) are opening Dec. 14.

Powderhorn on the Grand Mesa is opening Thursday, Dec. 12, and Ski Cooper near Leadville is opening Friday, Dec. 13.

Get on out there and check it out.

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