Weekend’s big storm thrills skiers, boarders — drivers, not so much
A powerful weekend storm that started Friday left 30-plus inches of snow on local resorts and snarled traffic throughout the high country.
With the storm, Vail is now reporting a 52-inch base with 111 inches total this season, setting up for the Back Bowls to open to happy skiers and snowboarders. With over 2,700 acres, Vail has over 50% of its mountain now open after the storm and a little over a week ahead of Christmas.
The storm brings Beaver Creek’s season snow totals to 107 inches. Beaver Creek has 46% of the mountain open with close to 850 acres, but there’s still a powdery Grouse Mountain looming.
While the snow was a thrill for skiers and snowboarders — and attendees of the free Vail Snow Days concerts at Ford Park — it was brutal on the roads. On Friday, “accident alert” notifications went out to warn drivers to be safe and after-school activities were canceled.
Vail Pass was closed multiple times throughout the weekend, including a five-hour stretch in the middle of Saturday. Avalanche mitigation in Dowd Junction also slowed traffic slightly over the weekend.
An ECO bus ended up in the river after an accident on U.S. Highway 6 as well in Edwards.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said slides in the backcountry could be deadly with all the new snow on older layers.
With Christmas and New Year’s on the way, the mountains are in good shape — and there’s still more terrain to be opened. The roads should look to clear with a dry week ahead.
Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
For downvalley humans, it’s pretty cool when elk decide to hunker down around Eagle for the winter. For the elk, it’s more of a lesser-of-two-evils situation.