Snow for us | AspenTimes.com

Snow for us

Paul E. Anna

You know it’s a good day around here when Jim Markalunas gets his name in the local papers.And Tuesday was, indeed, a good day around here.Markalunas, who has created a legacy in these parts for an assortment of good deeds, is perhaps best known as the go-to guy when one wants to check how a snowstorm rates on an historical scale. You see, Jim keeps copious notes and detailed records on all the significant weather occurrences that have taken place in the Roaring Fork Valley for the last, oh, let’s call it, 300 years.Hence the Jim Markalunas quotes in Wednesday’s Aspen Times that this week’s snow event was “an old-fashioned snowstorm” coupled with an emphatic “This is a biggie” confirmed what many of us had been suspecting – this was, officially, a big old-fashioned snowstorm. Not many things cooler than that.This was the kind of snow that kept dogs inside, that canceled schools and made Christmas spending money for the snowplow drivers And while it was predicted, kind of, by the weather media, it nonetheless came roaring out of a very dry November. Anyone who skied over Thanksgiving, while appreciating the feel of rails cutting into soft, white, machine-blown snow, had to have a twinge of “gee, this ain’t right.” There was a pervasive feeling that maybe we blew our budget in October with those teaser storms.Well as Borat might say … NOT.This week will live in memory for quite some time, and not just for the amount of snow that fell. In addition to quantity, this storm brought quality. Light, fluffy, almost blowable-by-breath snow covered the hills and dales. And the timing, well, the timing was perfect. Just after the Thanksgiving crowds had packed up and gone home and about four weeks before they return, we got a storm to call our own. This dump is all ours.Times sports editor Nate Peterson nailed it Wednesday in his “On The Hill” column when he wrote of the intensity that a storm like this brings out in locals. The fast shuffle to the gondola, the interminable ride to the top, the fine, fine feeling that the first turn brings. An early opening was a gift, but this, this is a revelation.Later in the year, perhaps on the Sundeck on a bluebird day in March or on a snowcat heading to Highland Bowl, someone will mention how good the first part of the season was, and heads will nod knowingly. This storm will be the reason why.Ullr (Norse god of snow) willing, we will have many more days where the local media will be speed-dialing Markalunas’ phone number, but the only sure thing in life is the last storm.So pull out the powder skis and head to the hill.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.