Hope you didn’t get stuck in this earlier in the week… Tuesday afternoon & evening, although the Aspen area’s first rain in more than a month was welcome, it came a little too fast. The downpour ended up loosening thousands of small rocks along Shale Bluffs next to Highway 82 just east of the Brush Creek Road intersection, and they slid, right out from under those metal nets that prevent them from crashing down on your car. But the flow of rocks was enough to make the road impassable for a while. Half a dozen small slides came down over the highway, combined with about half a foot of rainwater. All that blocked the upvalley lanes heading toward Aspen around 6 Tuesday evening. That closed the road, forcing Aspen traffic up into Snowmass Village and around on Owl Creek Road. Drivers had to take that route for a little over 3 hours, until the road was cleared. It reopened to eastbound traffic a little before 9:30 Tuesday night.   

They’ve made it official… after calling a big part of the town of Snowmass Village “Base Village” for, oh about 38 years, it now appears it’s going to become an actual base village. Ground’s been broken in an official ceremony, as Aspen Skiing Company, which bought the property back from a developer that never developed anything, prepares to truly move the process ahead. Some folks have been looking for that part of the town and mountain to spring forth with something since the resort was only 12 years old, in 1979. Now Skico says it’s a new day, and the company’s prepared to spend more than half a billion dollars, around $600 million, to shape things up. An estimated 200 people showed up to see the ground get broken despite heavy rain and hail, too. One of the first things you’ll see there will be a hundred-room Limelight Hotel going up on top of the currently mostly-unused parking garage. It should be ready for its first guests in the fall of 2018, along with a public plaza, an ice rink, and more. Also being built at Snowmass, Skico’s “Lost Forest” attraction, recently approved by the Forest Service, which will include a climbing wall, ropes course, canopy tour, and an alpine coaster. That started getting built in June, and should also be good to go next year.

 

Law enforcement and the Forest Service are still trying to track down the couple hikers they think might’ve started the Peak 2 wildfire just south of Frisco, that ended up threatening Breckenridge last week. It ended up scorching only about 84 acres before shifting winds turned the fire back on itself, but it was scary for some Summit Countians anyway. Almost 500 homes on Breck’s Peak 7 had to be evacuated for a couple days as a precaution. Police say they’re looking looking for 2 people seen hiking near Frisco on the Colorado Trail above Miners Creek Road. Even from over in this valley, if you know or think you know who that might’ve been, call their tipline– 970-262-3486.

 

Governor Hickenlooper has signed a new, wide-ranging executive order on climate change…

 The Governor says that not only means shifting the state’s energy use from outmoded dirty methods like coal to new alternatives like wind & solar… but even completing broadband installation in many areas, to put more people in communication and create new jobs. He plans to also join with other states trying to live by the Paris accords, despite President Trump’s withdrawal from them.

 

This is the 2nd year the former Mountain Summit adventure film festival will be MountainFilm Aspen, working together through the Wheeler Opera House, with the original MountainFilm fest, in Telluride. Wheeler Executive Director Gena Buhler has announced a 20-movie agenda for the festival running August 23rd thru 27th. Some of the highlights to the festival with a theme of “Find Your Pulse,” will be the feature “Charged,” the harrowing tale of Eduardo Garcia, who didn’t know he’d get a jolt of electricity when touching a dead bear. He’ll be on hand to discuss the film and his changed life with you. There’s also “Blood Road,” as a woman traces her dad’s Vietnam War route across southeast Asia on her bike… there’s cooking, there’s inspiration, there’s climate change… 5-day passes are on sale now for MountainFilm Aspen, August 23rd thru 27th. Gena’s also announced the 2nd On The Rise concert series to Wheeler Wins members… she’ll probably say something about it to you here on KSNO, Monday morning on Discovery Zone Monday: Hour One, from 9 ‘til 10.

 

Condolences to Glenwood Springs Mayor Michael Gamba and his family… the Mayor’s dad, Jerry Gamba, died Monday at age 85, at Grand River Hospital in Rifle. Jerry’s family had moved to Glenwood when he was only 5 back in 1936, and he met his wife of 60 years, Kathryn, at a Strawberry Days dance. When he was growing up and going through the Glenwood public schools, his family ran the Gamba Mineral Springs, that’s now the Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Jerry Gamba was a geological engineer, a Scoutmaster, and a former Glenwood Springs city councilman. He’s survived by Kathryn, 4 children including the Mayor, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. A funeral mass for Jerry Gamba is set for Monday morning at 10, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Glenwood.  

 

And in Sports—

The Roaring Fork Rams have a new Athletic Director, but it’s someone who’s been familiar around the Carbondale high school since before she was even in high school… It’s Girls’ Basketball Coach Jade Bath, a local native and former Rams player of about a decade ago, who succeeds the just-retired Marty Nieslanik. As she steps in and up, Bath will keep coaching the girls’ squad. She becomes one of the region’s younger athletic directors, and is one of only 2 women on Colorado’s western slope, along with Tami Payne of Eagle Valley, to hold the AD title. Congrats to new Rams Athletic Director, Coach Jade Bath.