Winter conditions hamper travel
Aspen, CO Colorado
BASALT ” Travel on several highways in the Colorado mountains, including Highway 82, remained difficult Wednesday because of road and weather conditions.
Commuter traffic moved slowly through the Roaring Fork Valley Wednesday morning because of snowpacked and icy conditions on Highway 82. Traffic was traveling less than 40 mph along the Basalt Bypass at 8 a.m. Traffic flowed better in the midvalley by mid-morning despite limited visibility because of light snow and fog.
Elsewhere in the state, the maintenance crews with Colorado Department of Transportation opened several passes and routes that were closed into Tuesday.
Red Mountain Pass on Highway 550 between Ouray and Silverton remained closed as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday because of snow slides. The pass has been closed since Sunday, according to CDOT spokeswoman Nancy Shanks. She said wind and blowing snow have been a bigger problem than snowfall.
Maintenance crews were able to open Molas Pass and Coal Bank Pass, both on Highway 550 so people in the town of Silverton were no longer snowbound.
Lizard Head Pass on Highway 145 southwest of Telluride, Wolf Creek Pass on Highway 160 northeast of Pagosa Springs, and Douglas Pass on Highway 139 north of Loma were all open Wednesday after being closed for part of Tuesday.
Go to the CDOT website at http://www.cotrip.org/ for updated information on road conditions. There are links for both “road conditions” and for “alerts and restrictions.”
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.