Temperatures dove overnight Wednesday, falling into the single digits for the first time since that bitter, mid-December cold snap. The clear skies and cold temps Thursday cooled and dried the snow, making it squeaky under ski. If you were layin’ your fatties on the ‘roy, then you no doubt found the surface to be fast, yet grippy. If you ventured into what looked like classic, knee-eating crud and you had the same experience I did, it was soft as could be. You didn’t need fatties to get through what really wasn’t crud in the first place. The short and the long of it was that the snow was in fantastic shape no matter where you skied or snowboarded.Speaking of where you won’t be skiing or snowboarding, the Aspen Skiing Co. is going to make it impossible for you to pull any tricks in the Buttermilk superpipe come Jan. 9. According to Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle, the Buttermilk superpipe will close to the public that day in order to allow crews to set up for the ESPN Winter X Games Ten, which begin at the end of the month. Two terrain parks will remain open at the ‘Milk: Jacob’s Ladder and S3. Snowmass Ski Area opens its superpipe Jan. 7.For those of you who like to skin or walk up Buttermilk, the usual route will be closed this weekend. An alternate route will run up the Tiehack side, but no downloading is allowed on the Tiehack lift. Downloading will still be allowed on the Summit Express, but since parking will be limited at the base for the next month or so – parking will be cut in half this coming weekend – the ride down may not be of much use. Says Hanle, “Ride the bus, ride the bus, ride the bus.” The Highlands shuttle parking at Buttermilk will remain unaffected until the week of the games.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is considerable with pockets of high at and above treeline. Below treeline, the danger is moderate.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.
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A chimney fire on Ridge Road was the source of a visible plume of smoke in Snowmass Village Sunday morning, according to Kevin Issel, the incident commander and deputy chief at Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority.