Storm dumps more than 18 inches on Summit County |

Storm dumps more than 18 inches on Summit County

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Summit Daily/Mark FoxMain Street Frisco Tuesday afternoon.

A winter storm, the biggest so far this season, pounded Summit County with more than 18 inches of snow over the first half of this week allowing ski areas some of their earliest terrain and lift openings in history.

The snow began falling over the weekend and continued through Tuesday evening. As of press time, the National Weather Service expected the storm to continue through 3 a.m. this morning bringing up to an additional 10 inches of fresh powder.

Forecasts called for conditions to clear up Wednesday and stay clear through the weekend. More snow is possible by Sunday evening.

“We’re probably looking at Sunday, Monday, Tuesday before another system (arrives),” Boulder NWS meteorologist Frank Cooper said.

Breckenridge, packed with feet of new snow, announced the opening of the T-Bar today, the lift’s earliest opening in history according to ski patrol director Kevin Ahern. The lift offers access to new terrain from North Bowl to Forget-Me-Not.

“We’ve had about 2 feet in two days,” Breckenridge ski area spokeswoman Kristen Petitt said. “There just is no better way to start the season.”

Keystone also announced a record-breaking opening Tuesday with the Outback terrain set to open Friday with a 31-inch base, according to a statement from the resort.

“It’s been dumping all day, non-stop,” Keystone spokesman David Roth said. He said the ski area had 14 inches of new snow by Tuesday.

But weather that was good news for the ski areas was bad news for the roads as Interstate 70 shut down in sections Tuesday.

The highway was closed westbound from Floyd Hill to Silverthorne and eastbound from East Vail to Beaver Brook. Colorado Department of Transportation representatives said I-70 would remain closed until weather conditions cleared. At press time U.S. 40 was closed in both directions between Berthoud Falls and Winter Park and U.S. 6 was shut down in both directions over Loveland Pass. The Dam Road was also closed Tuesday afternoon.

“People just have to wait it out,” CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson said Tuesday. “If you can’t see where you’re going that makes for a very hazardous situation.”

The Summit Stage service was also shut down for an hour between 5 and 6 p.m. Tuesday due to poor road conditions.

SDN reporter Caddie Nath can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or at

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