Paul E. Anna: High Points
December 26, 2008
Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Too much love, too much money, too much champagne? How about too much snow? The question is pure heresy to ask ” here in Aspen where we live for the slopes to be covered by deep fresh snow. But with snow and gray skies for 12 of the last 13 days, with more of the same fore cast for the foreseeable future, I dare to consider the concept of “Too Much Snow.”
Too much snow brings us a number of things to worry about. First and foremost is the potential for avalanches. One- hun dred inches in 30 or so days means that the conditions are ripe for slides. This year there have even been inbounds slides in a number of resorts including Telluride, Vail and Snowbird. The backcountry should scare everyone, especial ly with more snow in the forecast.
Then there are the flights in and out of town that have been disrupted. Every retailer in Aspen has had fingers crossed for a big holiday week. With the weakening economy and with bookings already down, the triple whammy was canceled flights. Not only that, people are likely getting the impression that it may just be too hard to get here for Christmas. St. Kitts never gets snowed out.
And how about the snowplow drivers. M y guy went home for Christmas Eve dinner with his family after working 80 hours the previous seven days, only to get ready to go out at midnight because of the impending Christmas storm. The plow guys like the snow, but I detect even they have had just about enough.
And if you live off the beaten path the prospect of getting snowed in is a real possibility. There is so much snow that even if your plow guy has been diligent or you have your own plow or blower, with each storm your window gets a little narrower and the walls of snow get a little taller. For rural mountain dwellers the key is to have a full pantry, a healthy sup ply of firewood and some good reading material.
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Though records are kept for the snowiest winter seasons, I contend that from Jan. 1, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2008, we may have the most snow ever recorded in a 12- month period. More snow has fallen so far this December than last, and we still have more to come. Coupled with our January, February and March numbers that could mean a record. We’ll have to get Jim Markalunas on it.
I know, I know, I’m beginning to go a little Sheldon Fingerman here, kvetching about the weather. And I sure do love ski ing the powder, and I look forward to April corn conditions and skiing on Aspen Mountain again in June like last year.
But I wonder if we have an average snow year next year if we won’t all be too spoiled to enjoy it after the dumps of these past two Decembers.
I guess that’s a problem we’ll be lucky to have.