Plentiful November snowfall welcome after dry October |

Plentiful November snowfall welcome after dry October

Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff

Skiers, ‘boarders and water managers alike have been grinning during the latest batch of snowstorms that have brushed the landscape white.

But there’s a long way to go, said Mike Gillespie, supervisor of the U.S.D.A Natural Resources Conservation Service Snow Survey.

“We’ve got about 80 percent of our winter accumulation season ahead of us, so we can see a lot of snow to come,” Gillespie said.

According to Snotel sites throughout the state, the snowfall has, in many places, hovered around average so far. That’s a good thing, considering how dry it was in October, Gillespie said.

“Our winter storms in November have basically wiped out the deficit from October,” he said.

As of Monday, the Colorado River Basin was sitting at 92 percent of average in terms of snow-water equivalent, the measure of water in snow. But specific sites are showing a wide variation.

Independence Pass was at just 79 percent of average, while McClure Pass was at 129 percent of average.

“I just hope the snow keeps coming,” Gillespie said.

He’s not alone.

Up at Glenwood Springs’ local ski area, Sunlight Mountain Resort, workers were getting ready for a Wednesday morning opening.

“We’re making snow on the lower runs,” Sunlight communications director Caren Koning said. “The guns have been going since it got cold.”

The mountain had a 18-inch base at the top on Monday, with 15 inches at mid-mountain, but Koning was crossing her fingers that Mother Nature could up that total by the time the resort’s lifts fire up on Wednesday.

Upvalley ski areas received a boost from the weekend storm that blew through on Saturday.

Snowmass, the only area in the Roaring Fork Valley that’s already open, reported a 30-inch base at the top and 21 inches at mid-mountain. Aspen Mountain, which is set to open Thanksgiving Day, reports 19 inches at the top and 17 inches at mid-mountain.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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