Valley hit with more powder |

Valley hit with more powder

Veronica Whitney
Cody Downard/Vail Resorts Edwards resident Rich LeBlanc floats through some deep powder of Wednesday on Beaver Creek Mountain.

BEAVER CREEK – It finally looks like winter everywhere in the valley. Snow rests heavy on evergreens, roofs are covered by several inches of snow, roads are snowpacked and the parking lots at Beaver Creek on Wednesday were almost as full as on New Year’s eve.The first major snowstorm of the new year brought more than 16 inches of new snow to Beaver Creek and about a foot of light, dry snow as of 10 a.m., Wednesday morning on Vail Mountain. Last Wednesday, another winter storm set a good base for the current conditions when a foot of snow fell overnight on Beaver Creek and Vail Mountain.And it kept snowing on the slopes most the day Wednesday and continued accumulation was through this morning.

“Today is one of the best days of the season. Excellent powder,” said Kevin Lagace, 50, of Eagle, who had a day off and enjoyed it at Beaver Creek.Wednesday was Richard Sleeper’s third day on the slopes and his first powder day.”It’s not even that cold – 16 degrees – but you don’t notice it because skiing is so great,” said Sleeper, 50, of New Hartford, N.Y. “The more snow we get, the better.””The big story,” Vail Mountain spokeswoman Nicky DeFord added, “was that people coming back from Blue Sky Basin were reporting snow up to 19 to 20 inches with windrifts exceeding that.”And more snow is in store for the valley, meteorologists said Wednesday.

“Behind this storm there will be plenty of cold and unstable weather,” said Joe Ramey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. “We will be between two systems until a new system moves in Friday night into Saturday.”Ramey said to expect snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches by the end of the weekend. The cold weather will also persists with highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits.”More snow is expected next week,” Ramey added. “It’s the kind of winter we need, with snowfall accumulating in the mountains.”And that’s exactly the kind of news Mike Martini, who is visiting Beaver Creek from Vermont, wanted to hear on Wednesday.”It’s amazing. It’s a lot better than the East,” said Martini, 24, of Killington, who came to the valley to test skis. “We’re here through the weekend, so we’re counting on more snow,” he said. To Marvin Sleeper, 43, of Avon, Wednesday was one of the two best days in the season – if not the best.

“The big, deep snowfall overnight, the holiday is over, and it seems it’s mostly locals skiing on Beaver Creek today,” Sleeper said.==========================================Snow ReportMeasured snow by 10 a.m. Wednesday morningBeaver Creek – More than 16 inches of snow fell on Beaver Creek and more

Vail Mountain – 14 inches at Mid Vail 1 p.m.==========================================Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or Vail, Colorado

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