Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of June 9
Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.
Breckenridge Ski Resort said goodbye to an epic 2018-19 season on June 9, after plenty of spring snow let the ski area extend its season far beyond normal. It was a classic spring day at Breckenridge, as skiers and riders donned costumes, and even one of the resort’s founders, Trygve Berge, made it out for end-of-season turns to culminate a 206-day season that began on Nov. 7, 2018. Breckenridge reported spring conditions that morning and a 53-inch base for a total amount of snowfall at 458 inches for the season. That mark registers as the resort’s second-most snowfall since records have been kept dating back 30 years, only behind 2010-11’s 519 inches. Granted, this was the first time Breckenridge extended its season into June and not only extended once, but twice, ultimately to just five days before the resort opened for summer operations.
Several stories from The Aspen Times detailed a bear-human encounter on a hiking trail that ended with the bear being euthanized. Janet Jansson, who was visiting from Washington, was hiking with her husband about 10 minutes up the trail from the Hunter Creek Apartments in Aspen when they encountered the bear on the trail. In a TV interview later, Jansson said the animal didn’t appear particularly bothered by her presence, and as he walked by, “he randomly, almost as an afterthought, turned and pushed me over with his head and bit my thigh.” Jansson said she was “pretty calm” at the hospital until Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers told her they’d have to kill the bear, “at which point I broke down and cried.”
“It breaks my heart, but I do (understand) because in this case the bear was not afraid,” she said. “I found out this is a path used by kids. It’s close to the city. Thank goodness an old, gnarly lady, not a child (encountered the bear) … (it) could’ve been disastrous.” Wildlife officers shot and killed the bear May 31 near the spot where Jansson was bitten. The bear’s stomach was almost entirely full of birdseed, they said later.
The Red, White & Blue Fire Protection District responded to a gas leak in Breckenridge last week, which closed down nearby roads as crews worked to repair it. It was the second gas leak in Breckenridge in a week, after a similar incident shut down an alleyway between Main Street and Ridge Street on June 4.
The county government announced last week that work had officially begun on clearing the recpath between Frisco and Copper Mountain. The county also announced the recpath section between Vail Pass and Copper Mountain has been cleared and is open for the season. The Ten Mile Canyon recpath section has been buried under tons of debris since March, when an historic avalanche event triggered all 23 chutes in the canyon. Debris piles ranging from a few feet to more than 20 feet deep covered a linear mile of the path across the 6.5-mile segment. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center gave the all clear to begin cleanup along the canyon after surveying its stability, according to the county.
Summit County will be building a new trail between Silverthorne and the Wildernest and Mesa Cortina open spaces this summer, creating a natural surface connection between the town and the county’s wider trail network. The new section is a small piece of the county’s grander ambition to create an uninterrupted trail route between Frisco and Silverthorne. The planned natural-surface trail would run south and east from an access point at the edge of the town’s southwest corner, through county and town open space, bisecting Buffalo Mountain Drive before veering southwest and linking to the Salt Lick Trail system on U.S. Forest Service land. Hikers and mountain bikers will be able to use the new 1.5 miles of trail to travel between the hilltop neighborhoods and town. The new path would have about 700 feet of elevation gain from the town to the top of the hill.
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