Free powder day pancakes in Aspen

11th January 2017, by Abi Butcher


Aspen-Snowmass: "You need two things today: FAT SKIS and #PowderPancakes"

While a row is breaking out over whether skiing has or hasn’t been good in the Alps in recent weeks over the pond, a storm of historical proportions has been pounding ski resorts across North America.

Yesterday, The Times and The Daily Telegraph both reported that snow cannons in 50 ski resorts across the Haute-Savoie region France would be switched off this weekend due to the driest conditions in December for more than 50 years.

“We are in a situation of drought to the point that without snow or rain by the end of [this] week I will be forced to make a drought stoppage. In January!” Pierre Lambert, the head of the Haute-Savoie regional government, told The Times.

Tour operators are hitting back, saying resorts have made monumental efforts to ensure skiing has been good over the past few weeks — though admittedly this has been due to snow guns.

Ski Lake Tahoe resorts are literally having to be dug out of the snow

Meanwhile, the situation could not be more different in the US. Yesterday and on Monday, ski resorts from California to Colorado have been closed due to epic amounts of snow — Tahoe has just announced it has had 48 inches of snow overnight.

Mammoth Mountain is sky-high in snow. We’ve just heard that the Mammoth Lakes PR rep hasn’t seen the snow at this level since 2004 and he now has to leave his house through his second story balcony. In 2016 the resort remained open until 4 July and with a base this deep this early on they’re expecting an excellent spring ski season with guaranteed snow.

The sheer amount of snow has meant that resorts have struggled to keep terrain open as they battle to dig out lifts and the avalanche risk has been high. However, the conditions in between storms are incredible and by the end of January, California should have its deepest snowpack for years.

Arapahoe Basin last night

In Colorado, the situation is no different. Loveland Pass was yesterday closed to all traffic on the west side at Keystone, due to avalanche concerns and Arapahoe Basin was closed yesterday following 15 inches overnight, bringing the total to 30 inches in the past three days.

“Whoa. With last night’s heavy snow and extreme wind, patience will be your friend as we open terrain and clear the lots,” said a statement on A-Basin’s Facebook page.

Crested Butte was also closed due to heavy snowfall which some have reported to be three inches an hour. Increasing winds worsened the situation.

“We have received 19 inches in the past 24 hours, 30 inches in the past 48 hours and 66 inches this week,” says the resort. “Yesterday will go down in resort history as the day we officially buried the Butte. Some reports say Crested Butte received an inch an hour, other reports claim three inches an hour. We just know it snowed A LOT.”

Some claim 3in of snow fell per hour in Crested Butte on Monday

Meanwhile in Aspen and Snowmass, 16 inches of new snow on mountains didn’t cause such a headache for snow patrol so the lifts remained open but the resort warned people to fuel up for the powder day — yesterday giving away pancakes at designated restaurants.

“You need two things today: FAT SKIS and #PowderPancakes because there’s 16” of new snow on the mountains,” they announced on Facebook. “FREE Pancakes from 10AM get ‘em while they’re hot.”

Tomorrow we will have an updated snow report from Fraser Wilkin our weather expert from — but it is now snowing in the Alps and more is due.


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