Storm slows down ski-lift operations |

Storm slows down ski-lift operations

Jeremy Heiman

The quickie blizzard that smacked Aspen Wednesday temporarily hampered operations on Aspen’s ski mountains, but it should make for some quality skiing today.

Visibility dropped to zero at times, and winds forced some lifts to stop operating. Rose Abello, director of communications for the Aspen Skiing Co., said winds reached 59 mph on Aspen Highlands and 50 mph on Snowmass.

Buttermilk was the only area where no lift closures were necessary, Abello said. On Aspen Mountain, the Silver Queen Gondola and the Ruthie’s and Shadow Mountain lifts closed at about 1:30 p.m. The lifts started up again at 2:30, but the gondola remained still for the rest of the day. Three of Highlands’ four lifts closed temporarily, and several lifts on Snowmass were stopped for the rest of the day.

The afternoon storm dumped three to six inches of snow across all four mountains, with winds depositing bonus amounts in certain pockets.

Abello said Temerity on Aspen Highlands received eight to 10 inches. She had a further recommendation, too.

“For people calling in sick [today], the Y Zones are going to be great,” Abello said. Any place with gullies or trees that catch the snow will be excellent, she added.

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