In Garfield County, weekend snow storm causes traffic restrictions, optimism for end of ski season
The weekend precipitation in Colorado favored the Front Range to the Western Slope, but Sunlight Mountain emerged Monday with 22 inches from the past four days. Troy Hawks, Marketing and Sales Director at Sunlight, writes in an email about the resort being three weeks out from closing day on April 4, and how the staff is confident about finishing the season on a high note.
“(Conditions are) fantastic, we’ve been getting lots and lots of compliments on our groomed terrain in between the storms. Our crews are doing an amazing job keeping up with ever changing conditions — otherwise known as springtime in the Rockies,” Hawks wrote.
The mountain is maintaining an average of a 4 foot base of snow and Hawks wrote that not only can folks come out for snow sports, but that Sunlight will be hosting live music events on March 27 and April 3 and 4. For season pass holders, tickets are currently on sale for 2021-2022 on Sunlight’s website.
“Our entire staff enjoys seeing our locals and out of area guests alike enjoying this fresh snow. Some are getting first tracks on open runs while others are making snow angels in the base area. We thrive on seeing folks enjoy a great winter experience so this most recent round of snow came at an opportune time,” Hawks wrote.
This weekend’s storm did cause some commotion when it came to traveling along I-70. Jerry Lewis with the Colorado State Patrol said they received a call at 3:34 a.m. on Sunday, March 14 about a semi-truck that had rolled over, caught fire and spilled materials. Lewis said fortunately no one was hurt in the crash. In a separate crash, Elise Thatcher, Northwest Colorado Regional Communications Manager, writes in an email that there was a spill at Debeque on I-70 near Exit 62 that contained a mixture of glue and solvent. The chemicals are highly toxic to people and have a low ignition point, but none of the materials entered the Colorado River, Thatcher wrote.
“CDOT must ensure there are no vehicles near the materials, because those vehicles could spark and ignite the spill. A highly trained crew from Salt Lake is on scene now and working to safely clean up the materials. Because the chemicals require additional mitigation to ensure a safe and thorough cleanup, westbound at Exit 62 continues to be closed. CDOT will reopen traffic as soon as it’s safe. Eastbound continues to be unaffected,” Thatcher wrote.
There were various times on Saturday and Sunday when commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) were required to get off I-70 at Dotsero Exit 133. Thatcher wrote it became voluntary at times but the cause was to prevent back-ups in Silverthorne and the chance of vehicles getting stuck in that area during the storm.
“This traffic management was required during I-70 eastbound closures at Silverthorne (Exit 205). … In order to ensure commercial traffic didn’t stack up in Silverthorne and potentially get stuck there during the storm, it was best to prevent truckers from continuing east on I-70 during the Silverthorne closure,” Thatcher wrote.
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