Paul E. Anna: High Points
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
We may think we’re pretty cool. Aspenites and all. But, in reality, all we really are is snow farmers.
Let’s face it: We’re only as good as the snow on the hill and right now that is pretty weak. Oh, I know there is enough snow, much of it man-made, to get from Point A to Point B, but the surroundings are bleak and we really could use a healthy dose and a helping hand from the snow gods themselves.
Unfortunately, a high-pressure system has moved in and taken root over our neck of the mountains at just the wrong time. This “dome,” as they call it, has kept the sun shining and the temperatures temperate. Not what we need when we are trying to harvest tourists and the seed is snow.
Rain has started to fall in California as a pair of major weather events have soaked the coast from San Francisco to Seattle. The National Weather Service has called for rain amounts in the 10-plus inch range on the coast and the storm will move eastward. The Sierra Nevada and the Tahoe resort farmers are awaiting a big dump that could bring 2-3 feet of snow above 8,000 feet. Sun Valley is under a Winter Storm Warning with expectations of 2-4 feet over the weekend above 7,000 feet.
But here we are basking in the high 40s and low 50s with golfers still swinging their clubs and bikers still riding the trails. The best the forecast can come up with in the near term is a “slight” chance of snow showers – in the 20 percent range. Nothing to write home about, that’s for sure. We need somebody to do something about this cruelly wicked high-pressure system and quick. Something has got to change. And soon.
As a community everyone is affected when the snows go north or south. It doesn’t matter if you serve the public by teaching them how to ski or by bringing them their dinner. Whether you are building them houses or selling them cashmere. Those who sell ads in the papers and those who cook custom meals are as impacted, as those who heal the broken and broker the art. From a financial standpoint a bad winter sucks for everyone. Not just the Skico.
But even more important, a bad winter hurts our collective psyches. We moved here because we love the mountains in their snow-covered glory. When we can’t go sliding a part of our souls is missing.
There is not much we can do about it but wait out the lull and hope that Ullr and any other gods of winter do their best to make things a better by rearranging the winds just a bit and bringing us that thing we need most, a crop of fresh snow.
Be brave comrades. Be brave.
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