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Great weather for a Roaring Fork Valley powder day:

Sunlight Mountain is optimistic with current base and more snow accumulation to stay open through April 4

Skiers making their way down Sunlight Mountain enjoying the fresh powder.

Glenwood Springs got a taste of some of the winter storms happening across the nation, but to a lesser extent. Megan Stackhouse, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction said as of Tuesday afternoon the weather system is on it’s way out of the region.

“Glenwood saw anywhere from 3-5 inches in the area (with) higher totals near New Castle and Rifle…(Residents can) keep the chance for light mountain showers continuing through at least the midweek point and (will see) temperature highs in the upper 20s to low 30s, and lows in the single digits to the teens,” Stackhouse said.

The current storm in Texas came from the West Coast, but Stackhouse said the reason the Western Slope wasn’t as hard-hit is because the majority of the region’s systems this year have come from the Pacific Northwest. Stackhouse also said there are other elements at play down South that are causing some of the more extreme circumstances and power outages.



“They have a lot more factors from that Gulf moisture they were dealing with and (that caused) freezing precip for them,” Stackhouse said.

Winter storm watches across the country are putting people who live in typically warm climates in unforeseen situations, but as millions struggle with freezing temperatures and power outages, Sunlight Mountain is just coming off a sold-out weekend and continues to see higher traffic thanks to the snow accumulation they’ve gotten. Troy Hawks, Marketing and Sales Director at Sunlight, said that for the past month the resort has been operating all of its ski runs.



“With this new snow it certainly gives us more confidence that we are going to make that April 4 date with plenty of snow…but never in this business do you get ahead of yourself so we’re going to take it date by date and storm by storm, and hope that we can get there,” Hawks said. “We’ve been able to build up a nice base; now we’re skiing on about a 4-foot base, and last I looked I think we’re 47 days away from April 4 so it bodes well for us making it to the end.”

Hawks also said that Sunlight has never had to turn people away before for lift tickets and since news of them selling out for President’s Day weekend there has been an increase in advanced sales.

For skiers at the more expert level, Hawks said it isn’t as crowded at lift lines or on runs since a lot of the visitors they have tend to be beginners. The Tercero lift and the base area fill up — as well as the parking lot — but for more challenging terrain Hawks said local, advanced skiers can come out without needing to worry about huge crowds while they appreciate the mountain.

“People are spreading out and really the advanced terrain is staying nice and fresh…our message to our local passholders is do not hoard your days. We want to see them come up here and enjoy as many days and get as much use out of their season pass as possible.”

jpeterson@postindependent.com

 


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