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Storm dumps on Aspen, Snowmass

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” A winter storm has dumped 14 inches of new snow at Aspen Highlands and 13 inches on Aspen Mountain, and additional accumulations are expected.

The storm moved into the area late Sunday afternoon and snow continued to fall Sunday night and into early Monday. Snowmass reported a foot of new snow and Buttermilk picked up 10 inches over the past 24 hours, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s 5:30 a.m. report on Monday.

A winter storm warning remains in effect for the mountains surrounding Aspen and Snowmass until 6 a.m. on Tuesday ” extended from midnight Monday, when the warning was originally scheduled to expire.

Snow stopped falling in Aspen before 8 a.m. Monday, but the National Weather service is forecasting a lull, followed by more snow later in the day, with periods of heavy snow again Monday evening.

The weather service is still predicting 10 to 20 inches of total accumulation above 9,000 feet, though local slopes are already boasting new snow totals that are well within that range.

The wet snow produced slick conditions on Aspen streets and Highway 82 in the upper valley, keeping law enforcement officials busy Monday morning with a spate of accidents and at least one stuck truck.

On Interstate 70, chain restrictions for commercial vehicles are in effect in both directions at the Eisenhower Tunnel and Vail Pass. Highway 6 over Loveland Pass is closed because of adverse conditions, though access to Loveland Ski Area remains open. Loveland reported a foot of fresh snow on Monday morning.

In fact, ski areas across western Colorado fared well from the latest storm. Silverton and Wolf Creek, both in southwest Colorado, both reported 16 inches of new snow on Monday morning, while Telluride, also in the southwest, picked up 10 inches.

Crested Butte received 15 inches, Sunlight Mountain Resort near Glenwood Springs reported 9 inches and Steamboat picked up 6 inches.

Copper Mountain picked up 11 inches, Beaver Creek and Breckenridge received 9 inches, Keystone reported 8 inches and Vail got 7 inches.

The avalanche danger, which had stabilized considerably around western Colorado, jumped with Sunday night’s storm.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s report for the Aspen zone on Monday rates overall danger as considerable, up from a moderate rating on Sunday morning.

Said the CAIC: “Where heavy snow and wind drifts have accumulated, human-triggered avalanches are probable on Monday, and they have the potential to break into snow layers near the ground.”

The CAIC boosted the danger rating to high in the Vail/Summit County zone, as well as in southwestern Colorado.

Go to http://avalanche.state.co.us/ for the full, statewide report.


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