Paul E. Anna: High Points
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
While it seems as though the jet stream is not quiet ready to give in, this Sunday marks the end of the 2010-2011 ski season at Aspen Highlands
Yes, after an April that has seen numerous powder days leaving a base of more than 10 feet on the top of Aspen Highlands, the fly wheels will turn for the last time on Sunday. It has been a terrific snow season on all four Aspen ski hills but the late closing and the last two weeks have brought some epic, uncrowded conditions for those who have stuck around and taken advantage of the spring skiing.
In just the last seven days, as of this writing on Thursday afternoon, nearly 20 inches of fresh powder has fallen on Highlands. Those who skied on Tuesday say it was one of the best days of the entire ski season, bar none. There are doubters who suggest that the snow this time of year is too heavy to ski and not worth the work. But those are folks who are making the call by looking at what’s on their cars in town at 8,000 feet. The die hards – those hearty guys and gals who charge higher, 4,000 feet higher – know that, while it may not be champagne powder, it is at least prosecco powder and that is a sweet drink as well.
If you’re not skiing and have instead opted for the joys of the summer and spring sports, the conditions thus far have been, shall we say, a bit challenging. Road bikers begin their journey in the sunshine and get sleeted upon halfway into the ride. Mountain bikers are more like mudders as the melting snow is augmented by downpours that turn into snowstorms. The river runners have yet to see enough flow to get them going and the flyfisher folks will have a better time when some of the mud floats through.
As I said, that jet stream has not yet given us too many spring days to cheer for. And looking down the road it appears we may have to wait awhile before we get back-to-back sunny days. There is not much worse than checking that weather app on the iPhone and getting five days of showers on the horizon.
But fear not, Resurrection day is Sunday and once Easter rolls through we usually, OK, occasionally, get to enjoy those sweet spring days. There is hope throughout the valley that there will be a slight shift in the jet stream, a dip here or a dink there, and we will get into a sunny pattern.
Think sunshine. Think a change of seasons.