Looks like the upper end of the valley, the Aspen-Snowmass area, got the majority of the bad, or in our case good, weather Thursday. By 4 in the afternoon, alerts were being sent via text and email by Pitkin County officials for drivers to watch out for slick roads… and before 5:00, one such note pointed out that Snowmass Village had the state’s chain law in effect. We don’t have any major accident reports to fill you in on this morning, but clearly everyone in that area should be in winter driving mode now, being as cautious as possible. At the other end of the valley and a couple thousand feet lower, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale weren’t affected much. Carbondale only had a little dusting of snow, Glenwood none. The hope for the high country is that the jetstream aloft has changed position now, to present more normal winter conditions to our area. Great news for the upvalley resorts. Aspen Mountain and Highlands got 3 inches each during the day, Snowmass 6. All 3 of those are adding terrain today, and Buttermilk will now be able to open with top to bottom skiing & riding Saturday. Meteorologist Don Day will tell us all about what’s next, in just a few moments on The Mammoth.
A welcome half-inch to inch of fell on Sunlight Mountain Resort near both Glenwood and Carbondale by midday Thursday. There were only light flurries earlier in the day, but the flakes gathered to a steadier pace after about 9:30 in the morning. The opening of its 51st season was Sunlight’s latest, with 1 run, Midway, available, but set up with good packed-powder conditions by the grooming crew. In 1987, Sunlight opened December 18th, with about 40% of its terrain. This year there was a lot less acreage to start, but with more snowfall predicted for Saturday, the mountain hopes to get skiers and riders spread out to other trails soon. And for the moment, it’s easier on your wallet than the big guys too… Sunlight lift tickets are only $40 each, kids $20, through Christmas Monday.
She did it twice in 2 days this week! 2 wins in 2 days… Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin, the defending overall women’s World Cup ski racing champion, defeated one of her key rivals, Slovakian Petra Vlhova, in a parallel slalom race at Courchvel, France Wednesday. That came just a day after Mikaela took a giant slalom there. It’s the 35th win of her World Cup career, the 4th of this season, each in a different discipline. The winning margin, 4 hundredths of a second. Shiffrin also led all qualifiers going into the event.
And here’s an entertainment tip for you… if you didn’t see this movie when it was at the multiplex a few months ago, see it tonight at Paepcke Auditorium, as part of AspenFilm’s Academy Screenings. The film is “The Big Sick,” the true story of how comedian Kumail Nanjiani met his now-wife Emily, and what they and their families went through. It’s a delightful film, funny, sad… really great. You’ll run the gamut of emotions watching it. Read Andy Travers’ review in the Aspen Times… he even got to talk to the director about it. “The Big Sick,” tonight at 8 at Paepcke Auditorium. Trust Andy, but trust me too… you want to see this one.
Remember this in case you missed it Thursday– there won’t be any Christmas Mass said at the venerable St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Main Street in Aspen this year. Pastor Father John Hilton told the Aspen Daily News it’s probably the first time that’s happened since 1882. The current church went up in 1892. The old building’s being remodeled and shaped up, the work expected to total some 6 million dollars, but it just can’t be ready for this weekend. It could be ready for some services on the first floor by late January… but the 2nd where the sanctuary is probably won’t be available until sometime in the spring. However, Catholics will be able to attend services Christmas Eve and Day at Harris Hall on north 3rd Street… there’ll also be a 5:00 mass at Snowmass Chapel on Owl Creek Road on Christmas Monday.
We’ll be taking a brief holiday break too… so no KSNO News at this time on Christmas Monday, or on Tuesday the 26th. We’ll be back Wednesday, and will do all we can to fill you in on what you might’ve missed over the holiday. Maybe I’ll see you out on the hill. Keep praying for more snow– Here’s a joyous Merry Christmas wish to you and your families.