Silverton sees three feet in 24 hours |

Silverton sees three feet in 24 hours

Alan Gathright
Rocky Mountain News
Brett Schreckengost/TellurideA skier blasts through record December snow on the slopes above the town of Telluride.

Silverton Mountain ski resort is wallowing in a record “dumpathon” of fresh powder ” if only you could get to it.

A barrage of snow storms have closed Silverton, along U.S. 550, and the road leading to the southwestern Colorado resort.

The resort estimates it’s received 40 inches ” more than 3 feet ” in the past 24 hours.

By the end of today, Silverton Mountain expects to tally a record-smashing 200 inches ” or 16.6 feet ” for the season ” and counting, said resort spokeswoman Jen Brill. That tops last year’s record, when the resort hit 200 inches by Jan. 6.

“It is pretty darn deep,” a Silverton employee said on the resort’s phone recording today. “Have a powdery day!”

The access road was too clogged even for employees to get to the resort today. But you won’t hear any complaints.

“The roads being closed has been challenging,” Brill said. “I mean, today would have been a great Christmas day for us.

“But, I never will say that there’s any such thing as too much snow. You won’t hear that out of my mouth,” she said, laughing.

The resort expects to reopen with the roads Saturday as the storm is predicted to end tonight.

“The avalanche danger is pretty high,” Brill said. “So, mostly I’m watching people ski down the road to get a cup of coffee.”

The storm didn’t hit as hard in the Vail Valley, with Vail reporting five inches and Beaver Creek reporting six Friday morning. Snow began falling more heavily Friday and there is a 40 percent chance of snow on Saturday and Sunday.

Also in the bull’s-eye of the blizzard, Wolf Creek ski lifts were operating and the resort phone recording said “surface conditions are powder” with two feet of fresh white stuff.

Alas, the only key road to Wolf Creek, U.S. 160, was closed by blowing and drifting snow at midday.

The resort Web site’s “mountain cam,” indeed, showed lifts operating, but few people were riding them in the poor visibility and strong winds. The only visible human was a worker shoveling snow outside the lodge.

Telluride, like Beaver Creek Mountain, reported record snowfall for December for the second straight year. The resort says 100 inches of snow have fallen at the resort this month.

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