Skiers, boarders won’t wait |

Skiers, boarders won’t wait

Jane Stebbins and Steve Wood/Vail Daily

BRECKENRIDGE – The leaves haven’t even started to don their fall colors, yet there’s snow on the ground – in some cases, a lot of it.

A cold front moved into Colorado Tuesday evening, dusting Summit County’s mountains and ski areas with up to 3 inches of snow. Another 2 to 5 inches was expected above 10,000 feet Wednesday night, and long-range forecasts call for sporadic snow showers through Saturday.

Skiers and boarders could hardly wait. A trio of boarders were seen hiking up to the higher reaches of Peak 8 Wednesday in hopes of finding enough white stuff to ride on. Meanwhile, up to a foot fell in the San Juan Mountains, prompting Silverton Mountain to crank up its lift and allow skiers to make some turns.

About 4 inches had fallen on top of Vail Mountain by midday Wednesday, and Aspen Highlands expected as much as another foot Wednesday night. A crew of skiers there is expected to head up to the higher bowls today.

“This is a cold, slow-moving system out of the northwest. We had record rainfall in southeastern Utah and southwest Colorado – even a tornado touched down near Flagstaff (Ariz.),” said Dan Cuevas, a technician with the National Weather Service at Grand Junction. “But it’s not all that early for this kind of thing. And it’s been unseasonably warm late in the season. But this is on the way out.”

The 90-day forecast, he said, is for above-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation.

“We’re looking for some alleviation of drought conditions through the fall – continued improvement,” Cuevas said. “Hopefully, we’ll get some early snowpack up in the mountains.”

Road conditions, for the most part, were manageable, with wet and slushy conditions reported on Vail Pass Wednesday morning. Bill Jewitt, a Vail resident and a member of the town council, said he drove over Vail Pass in the early afternoon looking at the High Country covered with snow.

“It was really pretty,” he said. “The Tenmile Range was gorgeous.”

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