More powder forecast for Vail Valley |

More powder forecast for Vail Valley

Jack Affleck/Vail ResortsA skier crashes through powder at Beaver Creek after the weekend's heavy storms.

VAIL, Colorado ” The last four days have been the best skiing Sal Rutigliano has ever had.

Rutigliano, of New Jersey, has been “to a lot of places” and Vail is his favorite, he said.

“What’s good about Vail is you always find fresh powder,” said Rutigliano, who arrived Saturday.

Rutigliano and other skiers could find more new snow Thursday and this weekend. Between four and eight inches of snow were expected from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning and there’s “a decent chance” of new snow this weekend, said Ken Ludington, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

Ludington did not know how many inches skiers and snowboarders should expect Friday and Saturday.

“We don’t fine-tune those amounts quite that far out,” he said Wednesday afternoon.

Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains reported 5 inches and 3 inches of new snow Wednesday morning, and the snow kept falling. The mountains have reported almost three feet of snow each in the past week.

December was the snowiest in Vail since 2000. Vail is one inch ahead of the 11 inches the mountain typically gets during the first nine days of January. Vail averages 64 inches of snow in January.

Peter Bookmyer and Jake Elliott were skipping class at the University of Denver to snowboard on Vail Mountain Wednesday.

“That’s what our lives are all about ” determining which days to skip class and come riding,” Bookmyer said.

Sarah Corneal, of Maryland, spent Wednesday in the trees on the front side of the mountain.

“It was all powder ” definitely got stuck waist deep in it,” she said.

An awning with around two feet of snow sitting on top collapsed in front of the Gourmet Cowboy in Minturn. No one was injured, said Minturn police Chief Lorenzo Martinez.

Minturn has had so much snow lately that the town’s receptionist had to be called from his regular duties to help some other workers remove snow, Martinez said.

“Everybody was worried pretty early on,” he said about early in the ski season when Vail and Beaver Creek delayed their openings. “But it seems to be dumping now.”

There were seven car accidents reported in Vail Wednesday and 96 have been reported in the last two weeks.

Around 40 accidents were reported between Vail and Avon Dec. 30. Vail Pass was closed for almost 24 hours after heavy snow and winds.

“As long as people keep it safe we can all get to the powder,” Vail police Sgt. Annette Dopplick said.

An accident closed one lane of Interstate 70 near Gypsum Wednesday morning, but it reopened after that.

No accidents were reported in Avon as of Wednesday afternoon, said Krista Jaramillo, spokeswoman for Avon Police Department.

With all the recent snow, people probably have been getting used to driving in it in Avon, she said.

“Keep it coming,” skier Paul Rossmore said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or

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