Skiers – lots of them – revel in fresh powder
SUMMIT COUNTY – Snow continued to fall in the High Country Sunday leaving behind more than 2 feet of snow for skiers – and resulting in many fender benders on the state’s highways.
Most incidents involved cars going into ditches or bumping into one another on the steep, icy approaches to the Eisenhower Tunnel. But two drivers were cited for hitting a Colorado State Patrol officer who was investigating another accident Saturday.
According to Colorado State Patrol Capt. Ron Prater, CSP Trooper Jason Bachman was investigating a crash on the side of eastbound I-70 when a woman lost control of her vehicle and struck him. In attempting to recover, Bachman was hit by a second car whose driver had also lost control.
He was able to drive himself to Silverthorne, where he was treated by paramedics with the Summit County Ambulance Service.
The two drivers, Karen Gallob, 60, and Jennifer Flaherty, 20, were cited for careless driving resulting in bodily injury.
Thousands were able to negotiate the icy roads, thus contributing to crowded – but jubilant – slopes at Keystone and Copper Mountain resorts.
Keystone opened Nov. 8 with more than 30 inches of natural snow. An additional 10 to 16 inches fell over the weekend, allowing officials there to open terrain to the top of Keystone Mountain. Peru, Montezuma and Discovery lifts will take skiers to Haywood, Silverspoon, Frenchman and Discovery runs.
Copper Mountain opened Nov. 1 for the afternoon before opening with regular hours the following day. Resort officials reported 2 feet of new snow over the weekend. Additionally, they expected to see another 3 to 6 inches before closing Sunday and an additional 6 to 12 inches by the time the slopes open today.
The mountain is boasting a 38-inch base at mid-mountain and a 44-inch base at the summit. Runs open include Mine Dump and CDL, Ptarmigan, Rhapsody and Main Vein. The new jib park, featuring seven rails and two fun boxes, is also open.
Breckenridge Ski Resort is tentatively scheduled to open Nov. 15.
Vail Mountain will open early this year, on Nov. 16. The resort will open with 762 acres of terrain – 50 trails – and lifts 1, 2, 4, 8, 15 and the Eagle Bahn Gondola from Lionshead. Officials anticipate opening more lifts and ski terrain before Thanksgiving.
Officials say more than 6 feet of snow have fallen on Vail Mountain since September and nearly 3 of that in the past week alone, contributing to a 27-inch mid-mountain base and up to a foot of additional snow at higher mountain locations. On Oct. 31, the ski area exceeded its mid-mountain settled base record of 19 inches set Nov. 1, 1996.
Saturday, the mountain received 5 inches of new snow and Sunday officials said an additional 11 inches of new snow had fallen. They expected a foot of accumulation by the end of Sunday.
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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