Widowmaker avalanche path slides during CDOT mitigation work, covering US Highway 6 and delaying A-Basin opening | AspenTimes.com

Widowmaker avalanche path slides during CDOT mitigation work, covering US Highway 6 and delaying A-Basin opening

A person working on avalanche mitigation with the Colorado Department of Transportation walks Tuesday over a slide that crossed U.S. Highway 6 from the Widowmaker path. The slide near Arapahoe Basin Ski Area was triggered by CDOT while the highway was closed.
Courtesy Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

ARAPAHOE BASIN — The Widowmaker avalanche path above U.S. Highway 6 near Arapahoe Basin Ski Area slid Tuesday morning during mitigation work by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The slide closed the highway and caused a delayed opening for the ski area.

The avalanche mitigation work followed a recent storm cycle that dropped 43 inches in four days at A-Basin. The Widowmaker path, which is about a mile west of the ski area’s base, slid at about 10:05 a.m. Tuesday across the closed highway.

“Using a helicopter, CDOT deployed an explosive on the path creating an avalanche that deposited 6-8 feet of snow on US Highway 6 approximately one mile west of Arapahoe Basin,” A-Basin Chief Operating Officer Al Henceroth wrote on his blog.

CDOT was conducting avalanche mitigation work on Widowmaker as well as the Professor avalanche path directly across from the ski area’s base, according to an earlier blog post.

The highway was cleared and reopened at about 11:28 a.m., and Henceroth described conditions at A-Basin as “beautiful.” The ski area’s Tuesday morning report recorded 3 inches of new snow, bringing the total to 46 inches — nearly 4 feet — over the past five days.

“The skiing is pretty darn good,” Henceroth wrote.

To make up for the late start, the ski area announced that some of the lifts would be kept open later than usual. The Lenawee Mountain Lift will remain open until 3:45 p.m., and the Pallavichini Lift will be open until 4 p.m.

Summit Daily Sports & Outdoors Editor Antonio Olivero contributed to this report.

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