Winter storm hammers Colorado, closing roads, schools and Loveland Ski Area
Editor’s note: This post is no longer being updated.
8:56 p.m. I-70 has reopened from Golden to the Eisenhower Tunnel.
5:56 p.m. Eastbound I-70 is closed at Silverthorne due to multiple spun-out vehicles, according to CDOT.
5:38 p.m. All of eastbound I-70 is open through the mountain corridor, but travel remains “treacherous,” according to CDOT.
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3:53 p.m. Westbound I-70 remains closed from Golden to the Eisenhower Tunnel. Eastbound I-70 remains closed at Silverthorne.
2:58 p.m. The eastbound lanes of I-70 are closed at Silverthorne.
2:29 p.m. Summit County has announced that all government offices will be closed for the rest of the day.
1:42 p.m. Summit County public safety officials are asking people to stay off the roads, according to a countywide alert.
1:40 p.m. The westbound lanes of I-70 have reopened at Exit 201 at Frisco following avalanche cleanup.
1:38 p.m. The westbound lanes of I-70 have reopened at the tunnel.
1:21 p.m. The eastbound lanes of I-70 have reopened at Exit 201 at Frisco. The westbound lanes remain closed because of an avalanche.
1:13 p.m. Westbound I-70 is closed at the Eisenhower Tunnel because of a crash.
1:07 p.m. I-70 is about to close at Exit 201 at Frisco, according to police scanner traffic.
12:20 p.m. The eastbound and westbound lanes are currently open across Summit County. Passenger vehicle traction law remains in effect.
12:17 p.m. The eastbound lanes of I-70 have reopened at Vail.
11:27 a.m. I-70 eastbound has reopened at Silverthorne.
11:01 a.m. The westbound lanes of I-70 are closed from Morrison to the Eisenhower Tunnel. Eastbound lanes remain closed from Dotsero to Silverthorne.
10:12 a.m. Loveland Ski Area has announced it will not open Friday because of high winds.
10:05 a.m. Stranded travelers are welcome at the Silverthorne Recreation Center, 430 Rainbow Drive.
10:03 a.m. Westbound I-70 has reopened at Copper Mountain following avalanche mitigation work.
9:39 a.m. Passenger vehicle traction law is in effect along the portions of the I-70 mountain corridor that are open. That means all passenger vehicles must have tires with 3/16-inch tread depth and one of the following:
- Snow tires or tires with a mud/snow designation
- Chains or an alternative traction device such as an autosock
- 4-wheel or all-wheel drive
9:13 a.m. Ski lifts are on hold across Summit County. Here’s the latest:
- Breckenridge: 6 Chair, Zendo, Kensho and TBar lifts are open. All upper mountain lifts will be on a delayed opening. Imperial Chair will not open due to adverse weather conditions. Find the latest updates at Twitter.com/BreckConditions.
- Copper: American Flyer, Woodward Express and Timberline Express are open. Other lifts are on a delayed opening due to snow safety work. Find the latest Copper updates at Twitter.com/CopperCOMMS
- A-Basin: Lenawee, The Beavers and Zuma Bowl are on wind hold. Find the latest A-Basin updates at Twitter.com/Arapahoe_Basin.
- Loveland: Loveland Valley will be closed Friday. Loveland Basin is on an indefinite wind hold. Find the latest updates at Twitter.com/LovelandSkiArea.
9:07 a.m. The westbound lanes of I-70 have reopened at Herman Gulch, 3 miles east of the tunnel, following avalanche mitigation.
Original story posted at 7:30 a.m.
DILLON — One of this winter’s fiercest storms is hammering the Colorado Rockies, canceling school and closing roads across the region, and the snow isn’t expected to stop anytime soon.
The eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 are closed throughout the mountain corridor from Dotsero west of Vail to Silverthrone on Friday morning. The westbound lanes are closed at Herman Gulch, 3 miles east of the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels, and at Copper Mountain for avalanche control. “Extensive” closures for avalanche mitigation are expected throughout the morning and afternoon, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. There is no estimated time for the road to reopen.
U.S. Highway 6 over Loveland Pass also is closed.
“Travelers heading to the mountains this morning will see multihour waits as crews blast avalanche paths and remove the resulting debris,” according to a post by CDOT. “It is strongly advised that traffic wait in Denver or other locations until the roadway has officially reopened.”
A winter storm warning remains in effect across the central and northern mountains of Colorado through midnight Friday. The storm is expected to drop an additional 8-18 inches of snow. Wind gusts of up to 65 mph are expected to cause blowing snow and reduced visibility, making travel difficult, according to the warning.
• Forecast and recent weather stories: summitdaily.com/news/weather.
• Storm warnings and advisories: wrh.noaa.gov
• Summit County ski area forecasts: opensnow.com/region/summitcounty
• Road conditions, closures and traffic cameras: cotrip.org.
• Travel information by phone: 511 (in Colorado) or 303-639-1111.
• Sign up for CDOT alerts: codot.gov/topcontent/travel-alerts-system/for-general-public.
• Avalanche danger and conditions: avalanche.state.co.us.
• Flight information: flightview.com/traveltools.
All Summit County ski areas are measuring their snow totals in the double digits Friday morning, with Breckenridge Ski Resort racking up 19 inches, most of it falling overnight. Copper Mountain Resort is reporting 17 inches, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area got 14 inches, and Keystone Resort is reporting 11 inches.
“With snowfall rates of 1+ inch per hour, these 5 am Friday estimates might be much lower than what you find on the hill,” meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote in his OpenSnow blog. “Also, winds are very strong, so expect to find some areas with little snow and some areas with a lot more than this.”
The wind likely will close lifts at ski areas periodically throughout the day.
For those headed into the backcountry, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an avalanche warning for the Summit County and Vail region — along with Aspen, Gunnison, Sawatch, the Front Range and Steamboat — through 8 a.m. Saturday.
“Heavy snowfall and very strong northwesterly winds are building sensitive wind-drifted slabs and rapidly loading buried weak layers,” the forecast states. “You can easily trigger large and dangerous avalanches and some may run naturally.”
A break in the snow is expected Saturday before the next round rolls into the area Saturday night, bringing “light to moderate snow through Sunday,” according to OpenSnow.
See ski area powder cams and the latest mountain and road conditions on our mountain cameras page.
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