Last night, Aspen Snowmass officially kicked-off snowmaking operations in preparation for the 2018-19 season. With the necessary sustained cool temperatures, the snow guns were fired-up starting the highly-anticipated countdown to the ski/ride season. Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are scheduled to open Nov. 22 followed by Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk Dec. 8.
“All of our systems are tested and ready and you should hear the sounds of snowmaking on the streets of Aspen. Bootpacking has started, our maintenance projects are wrapping up and our teams are preparing the mountains for opening day,” says Katie Ertl, senior vice president of mountain operations for Aspen Snowmass.
Snowmaking began on Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Snowmass. Aspen Mountain focused snowmaking efforts on Deer Park, Spar Gulch and Little Nell trails, Aspen Highlands began on the AVSC (Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club) training venue and Snowmass began blowing snow on the Meadows with plans to blow snow soon on Scooper and Hal’s Hollow. Snowmaking at Buttermilk is scheduled to begin mid-November.
In the last 48 hours, Aspen Snowmass has received up to 11 inches of new snow with more winter storms on the way through the weekend. Aspen Mountain received 11 inches of snow in the last 48 hours, followed by Snowmass with 10 inches, Aspen Highlands with nine inches and Buttermilk with five inches.
The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District is seeking comments to implement various management actions within the Muddy Pass/Sheephorn project area to benefit forest health, wildlife habitat and recreation access. The proposed project activities include timber harvest, prescribed burning, habitat improvement for big game and fish, range improvements, and transportation system improvements.
A public open-house meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29. 2018 at Walking Mountains Science Center located at 318 Walking Mountains Lane, Avon, CO 81620, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend to ask questions and learn about the project.
“This project has the potential to provide diverse benefits not only to the landscape but to the recreating public and local economies,” said Rick Truex, Acting District Ranger. “We look forward to hearing from the public at the upcoming open-house meeting, or through the public comment process.”
The project will provide forest products to local businesses, improve forest resilience to wildfire and beetle epidemics by increasing forest diversity across the landscape, and will improve forage and wildlife habitat for a variety of wildlife species including elk and deer. Other benefits of this project include maintenance and improvement of open Forest System Roads, decommissioning of existing non-system roads, more effective management of livestock, fisheries habitat improvement, and adopting a short segment of road for additional recreation access.