Heavy snow was coming down around Rifle earlier Monday, and along I-70. Several of CMC’s campuses were closed for at least part of the day, too. The westbound interstate was closed for a time at mile marker 90 near Rifle after an 11 am crash, but the road was back open by 11:45. There were also several spin-out accidents reported north of Rifle on state highway 13. Last night, there was pretty heavy snow near Eagle, with several semis pulling into town there to get off the interstate, but then tying up local traffic in Eagle’s roundabouts. The canyon was getting snowpacked around 8 as the inches stacked up, but traffic flowed pretty smoothly at reduced speeds. We didn’t see any problems coming down from the Eisenhower Tunnel or on Vail Pass, either. But, of course, in places where snow continued overnight, you might find some tough going today. Be sure to allow plenty of extra time to get where you’re traveling today, be prudent and cautious about your speed and allow plenty of space between you and the car in front, and you can take a look at road conditions statewide before you go anywhere, including shots from the state’s still and video cameras, at c-o-trip dot org. Looks like we do have another nice powder day in store… SnoCountry tells you more about it in a moment.
How about those young Americans at the Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea? Monday’s biggest winner had to be 17-year-old Chloe Kim, who just a couple weeks ago was competing in Snowmass. She won the women’s snowboarding halfpipe with a 98.25 score in her final run, just short of the perfect 100. Chloe’s now the youngest women’s snowboarding medallist ever. Her gold is the 6th time American riders have repeated the gold in an Olympic event… it’s the 99th medal won by ski & snowboard athletes in Olympic history, also the 99th won by US athletes in the history of the winter Games. Liu Jiyau of China took the silver, and 21-year-old Arielle Gold of Steamboat Springs grabbed the bronze. Arielle narrowly edged out her 34-year-old idol Kelly Clark, who’s taking part in her 5th Olympics. Kim also noted Clark as one of her inspirations, along with Gretchen Bleiler and Hannah Teter.
And keep an eye on now-31-year-old Shaun White in today’s men’s halfpipe– he put together a score of 98.50 in qualifying. The multi-time medallist should do well!
Happy Mardi Gras… and there are a lot of activities you can take part in to mark Fat Tuesday. The Mother of All Ascensions uphill ski race starts at 7 in the Base Village at Snowmass, going up 2 miles and 2000 feet, to conclude at Gwyn’s High Alpine. Race-day registrations began this morning at 5:45 for those of you who hadn’t planned ahead. Also in Snowmass Village, known for some of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations outside New Orleans, the Aspen Daily News reports you can take part in the carnival that runs all along the mall from 1 ‘til 5 this afternoon. It’ll also include the coronation of the king & queen, this year John & Karla Baker. There’s also an Ullr Night party at Elk Camp, tonight from 5 ‘til 9, including fireworks at 7. Enjoy, and be ready to repent from all the fun tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday.
The Aspen Times reports the group “Save Mid Valley” is suing Eagle County Commissioners Jeanne McQueeney and Jill Ryan, accusing them of breaking their county’s rules on land use and affordable housing in trying to allow “Ace” Lane’s so-called “Tree Farm” shopping, lodging, and housing complex to go forward right across Highway 82 from the Willits Town Center. The Roaring Fork Valley planning commission, Basalt Town Council, and Pitkin County have all called for the project to be denied. The suit claims, among other things, the 2 commissioners are trying to set up a new real estate transfer tax on their own, in violation of the 1992 “Taxpayer Bill of Rights.” Eagle County denies all allegations of wrongdoing. The case is due in court later this year.