Paul E. Anna: High Points | AspenTimes.com

Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. AnnaThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

Is this feeling a little familiar? Time is rolling on from mid- to late -November with alacrity. The temperatures are hovering around 50 degrees, the sun is shining high in the sky, and there is moderate to negligible snow on the slopes. Oh, I know they have been running the guns, and we did get some snow around election day, but this is feeling a lot like last year. You remember the dry Thanksgiving and the snows that followed. We got more than 2 feet of snow the first weekend of December, and we never looked back. From Nov. 28 toDec. 9, it snowed 77 inches. Thats over 6 feet for those of you who are mathematically challenged. It was an epic season, one that all of us will talk about deep into our years when we look back at the great winters of our lives. Will we see a repeat? Is this the perfect way to get into a ski season, with sunny skies until the last possible minute and then an overnight change of seasons? We can only hope that we will be so fortunate two years in a row. The Aspen Skiing Co., in the person of Jeff Hanle, seems to be reasonably optimistic that the season will get off to a credible start. Last year the ribbon of snow that led down to Lift 3 on Aspen Mountain was more of a novelty act than a ski run. I thought about that with a chuckle last June when the snow was terrific and the lifts opened for three days during Food & Wine. A story in yesterdays Aspen Times from The Associated Press said that a NOAA weather forecaster named Klaus Wolter is predicting a La Nia, a cold Pacific flow that will bring a normal to above normal snowfall following a dry fall. Of course, last year Wolter missed the mark by calling for a dry winter following the December storms. Lets hope that the 50-50 rule works for Wolter and he atones for last years missed call. While the weather websites call for sunshine through most of the week here, there are signs that things could be a-changin come Thanksgiving. NOAA shows some rain moving through San Francisco and Seattle next week with some storms behind those as well. Lets keep our fingers crossed. In any event, dont forget to get out on the hill this Thanksgiving. It is one of our great blessings, regardless of snow conditions, to be able to get a few tracks in and have Turkey all in the same day. Happy Thanksgiving, and think snow.


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