State stands out as rest of West struggles |

State stands out as rest of West struggles

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Like a white beacon of hope for a great ski season, the first light bank on top of Little Nell was switched on Monday night.

It’s 24 Hours of Aspen week, and we can be glad we’ve got plenty of snow on the now bright course.

And happy to have a 22-inch base on Aspen Mountain with 640 acres of terrain and 69 of 76 trails open.

And overjoyed to have a 34-inch base at the Snowmass Ski Area with 1,482 acres and 56 of 84 trails open there.

Not bad, considering the seasons we’ve seen of late. And the seasons others now have on hand.

Canada, for one, needs snow.

The small Wintergreen ski area, 30 miles west of Calgary, has delayed its opening indefinitely due to warm weather and lack of snow.

There is no snow on the ground in Banff, and Lake Louise has one run open with artificial snow (although it was long enough to host a World Cup downhill).

Whistler is wanting, with an 18-inch base, 11 of 200 trails open and 12 of 33 lifts running.

Resorts in Oregon lack snow, and only Mount Bachelor and Timberline are now open. Bachelor has a 20-inch base thanks to snowmaking, and Timberline is operating up on the Palmer Snowfield.

It’s a mixed picture in the West, with Colorado sitting pretty.

For example, Vail’s got a 34-inch base, 193 of 199 trails open and 31 of 33 lifts running. They’ve got 5,161 acres open, which puts them at 98 percent capacity.

New Mexico is faring OK, with a 26-inch base and 36 of 67 trails open at Angel Fire. The Taos ski area has a 34-inch base and 70 of 72 trails open.

Utah needs a good dousing, especially in Park City, which has only a 16-inch base and 17 of 100 trails open.

Dear old Alta is 100 percent open with a 29-inch base. Snowbird is flying a bit lower, with a 31-inch base, 13 of 89 trails and five of 12 lifts running.

In Wyoming, Jackson Hole is just 30 percent open, with a 22-inch base, 18 of 96 trails and three of 10 lifts.

At Big Sky in Montana, they’ve got 15 inches on the ground, four of 122 trails open and three of 18 lifts running.

Sun Valley, Idaho, could be brighter. It’s got a 21-inch base and 16 of 75 trails open over 25 percent of its terrain.

In California, Heavenly is 27 percent open on top of a 24-inch base. Mammoth is big as usual, with a 48-inch base on top and 3,000 acres open, which is about 90 percent of the mountain.

Vermont’s got snow, too. Killington is reporting a 55-inch base and is running 12 of 31 lifts.

So, who would you trade places with this week?

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