The aftermath of that storm that blew through Monday night, dropping some more fresh on the local resorts, caused a lot of its trouble with high winds and blowing snow. Serious backcountry concern has been created too, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. CAIC says there are “very dangerous avalanche conditions” out there now, with human-caused slides likely at all elevations. The official word is, travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended. Forecasters say the snowpack in backcountry areas near Aspen isn’t anything similar to stable, but very fragile. And according to the Post-Independent, the advice we often give you, to just wait a day or 2 before trying it out there, doesn’t apply right now. Just don’t plan to try backcountry skiing anytime soon, for your safety. Monitor the latest conditions at avalanche dot state dot co dot us.
From the PyeongChang Olympics… things are better today for the Americans, specifically the US Ski Team. Eagle-Vail’s Lindsey Vonn picks up the bronze medal in the women’s downhill, which could be one of her final Olympic medals Vonn says at 33, this will probably be her final competitive venture to the Games. Lindsey says in accepting the bronze, she’s proud to have it, and to make the podium alongside the sport’s next generation. Italian Sofia Goggia won the downhill gold, followed 9 hundredths of a second later, by Norwegian Ragnhild Mowinckel. And Roaring Fork Valley local Alice McKennis of New Castle, who was thrilled to make the race field, made the most of her first appearance in the Olympic downhill, finishing 5th. Alice says she’s happy with the performance, especially considering the rebound she’s had to make from serious leg injuries the last 6 years. And remember as we told you 24 hours ago, Torin Yater-Wallace and Alex Ferreira of Aspen have made the men’s ski halfpipe finals. They’ll compete for the gold with Crested Buttle Aaron Blunck Thursday, or late tonight US time.
You remember that situation during last summer’s Aspen Ideas Festival, where 25-year-old Elizabeth Bergquist of Glenwood Springs drove her car into a pond on the Aspen Meadows campus, then “borrowed” a Meadows van she found nearby (the police called that stealing a car), crashing it slightly and leaving it on a footpath with the engine running… Well, now Bergquist has pleaded guilty to aggravated felony car theft, and LSD possession. The Aspen Times reports she’ll be sentenced in April, possibly to as much as 10 days in jail. She’ll also go on probation for up to a year, with authorities saying if she successfully completes probation, the felony charges will be expunged from her record. And this all amounts to getting off pretty easy… Bergquist could’ve gotten up to 3 years in state prison, just on the car theft count.
After many months of speculation, the US Forest Service sent an email news release Tuesday announcing its new management plan proposals for Hanging Lake. The pristine spot in Glenwood Canyon has become overrun with ever-increasing crowds the last few years, enough traffic to hurt the environment there and essentially “love to death” the very characteristics that make it unique and an attraction. The Forest Service says it wants to limit the number of visitors to 615 a day, and set up a fee-based reservation system in order to go to Hanging Lake. The draft notice of the proposed plan also includes a shuttle service from the Hanging Lake trailhead that should cut out parking hassles. It’s not just from last year… District Ranger Aaron Mayville says the Forest Service has been looking to make changes for the preservation of Hanging Lake for several years. The plan is out, and folks can make objections to the Forest Service over elements they don’t like for the coming month and a half, 45 days. Then a final decision can come out.