Wind and rain |

Wind and rain

Allyn Harvey

What’s a little rain matter?Aspen put on its worst face yesterday – blowy, gray and rainy – for one of the busiest weeks of the ski season. That filled up the coffee shops and restaurants and emptied the mountain from the looks of things midday at the gondola (where an On The Hill correspondent saw very few souls, much less skiers). At $74 a day and $785 a night that just doesn’t seem fair. But just in case the rain didn’t ruin your mood, there was plenty of wind to make your ride up the mountain long and wet and cold and (if the guy sitting next to you was the wrong sort) miserable. The Big Burn lift had to slow several times and even stop once or twice after gusts exceeded 50 mph. Alas, with the changing face of Aspen’s holiday visitors (chubbier, framed by fur and almost never rosy-cheeked with wind burn), one has to wonder how many people really cared that it was raining in one of the world’s ski meccas.But even the Ski Grinch has to fess up to the good news: Snowmass Ski Area management reported that a fair number of vacationers and locals stuck it out on the slopes in spite of the weather. “Once you got down in the trees, it was pretty good skiing,” said one source at Snowmass.Even as the snow turned to rain on Fanny Hill around 1:30, it was snowing across most of the mountain. By 3 p.m., Snowmass was reporting about 6 inches of new snow on top. This morning, the Aspen Skiing Co. was reporting a foot of new snow atop Snowmass and Aspen Highlands. Aspen Mountain had 11 inches and Buttermilk had 7.That also means you should get out first thing for some good skiing, provided that’s what you’re here to do.