Sun and slush factor |

Sun and slush factor

Brent Gardner-Smith

Midafternoon yesterday, we just had to check in with the top of Aspen Mountain to see how hot things had gotten.

The patroller shagging phones said the new digital thermometer read 69 degrees, which seemed high to him. He figured, though, that it had to be in the high 50s in the shade.

Around the state, temps were reaching 40-plus degrees even above 12,000 feet.

“It’s plenty hot,” he said.

And he said that the snow from Monday’s powder day has not been skied down yet because so few skiers and riders have been out pounding the snow.

The snow was heavy and wet in some spots as the sun cooked along yesterday. But there was nothing wrong with throwing around some spring slush. And you’ll get your chance this weekend.

Friday should be mostly sunny in the morning and then becoming partly cloudy, with highs in the lower 50s to mid-60s.

Tonight should be mostly clear with lows between 17 and 28.

Saturday should be mostly sunny in the morning with partly cloudy skies in the afternoon, with highs still in the lower 50s to mid-60s.

Sunday should be windy and mostly sunny in the morning and then partly cloudy, a bit cooler with highs in the mid-40s to lower 60s.

And more moisture could be in the forecast on Monday.

From a snowpack situation, we’re in a much stronger place than last April, when we probably had half the snowpack and a long series of hot, dry windy days had already moved in. It felt a lot more like summer.

The 90-inch snowpack at Snowmass will only be open for your turning pleasure until Sunday, April 13, and then the only game is in town on Ajax until Easter Sunday, April 20.

But, boy, the skiing is good. As we try and compile the list of the best days of the season, more than one person has talked about how great last Sunday and Monday were. Sunday was the last day at Highlands, and it was yet another deep winter day up in the bowl.

And then Monday was the sleeper day, with a full-on winter snowfall on top of an unusually deep base on Ajax. And no one was out.

So that day is on the list.

We noted yesterday, incorrectly, that opening day on Ajax this season was Nov. 28, 2002.

No, the great early-season snow moved up the opening to Friday, Nov. 15. Then came the weekend of the Couch Rebellion, when Lift 7 troubles prompted widespread looting of lower closed slopes. And then the mountain reopened for the season on Saturday, Nov. 23.

So, anyway, keep working on that list of best days and we’ll keeping working on our dates.

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