Winter wonderland |

Winter wonderland

The Aspen Skiing Co. reports: “A powerful winter storm rolled through Aspen/Snowmass, dumping nearly 2 feet of snow on area mountains since Sunday. Snowmass received 22 inches of snow, and Aspen Mountain received 23 inches in the last 48 hours.

“Current snow depths on Snowmass and Aspen Mountain range from 30 to 47 inches.

“This storm was perfectly timed for the holidays and the opening of Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk,” said Mike Kaplan, senior vice president at the Skico. ‘We had great snow in November, and this was just the icing on the cake.'”

Additional terrain is now open, including sections of Hanging Valley.

Snowmass has 1,492 acres open and hopes to open more terrain before this weekend, according to the Skico release. Aspen Mountain opened many of its double blacks like Walsh’s and the Dumps and will open more terrain soon.

Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk open Saturday, and the recent snow “guarantees a large portion of each mountain will open,” the Skico release says.

“Aspen Highlands will debut with 588 of 790 acres, including almost all of Highland Bowl, all of Oly Bowl, all of Temerity and most of Steeplechase. Highlands currently has 49 inches on the ground in Highland Bowl and 37 inches at midmountain.”

The snow conditions improved markedly between Monday and Tuesday, as cold temperatures sucked the moisture out of the upper layer of snow. Skico officials said the warm and wet to cold and dry nature of the storm was ideal for the base.

As of yesterday, Aspen Mountain was reporting a 37-inch base on top and 30 inches midway. Snowmass’ numbers were 47 and 32 inches, respectively. Both sets represent a vast improvement over the numbers reported first thing Monday morning (Aspen 19/13, Snowmass 28/17).

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