Storm gives Sunlight Mountain Resort a reason to celebrate |

Storm gives Sunlight Mountain Resort a reason to celebrate

Dylan Lewis Sunlight Mountain ResortAlthough Monday night's storm wreaked havoc on area roads, Sunlight Mountain Resort reported 17 inches of new snow, giving it a shot in the arm after recent springlike weather.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Monday night’s late winter storm resurrected Sunlight Mountain Resort’s rapidly deteriorating snow conditions, dumping one-and-a-half feet of fresh powder on the ski area, more than any other resort in Colorado.

Sunlight reported 17 inches of new snow as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, as a fast-moving storm swept through the area, replacing the recent springlike weather with a blast of winter.

“We went from famine to feast, all in about eight hours,” said Sunlight Marketing Manager Dylan Lewis, who reported closer to 20 inches in some spots on the mountain.

Sunlight received an added bonus when the Roaring Fork School District declared a snow day due to the icy road conditions earlier in the morning.

And by mid-morning, the clouds gave way to clear blue skies drawing numerous RFSD school students to the slopes.

“Maybe we’ll get the locals back up here, now that we got the snow,” Lewis said. “This is definitely what we needed to finish out the season strong.”

Sunlight’s base had shrunk to 53 inches on top as of Monday. After the storm, Sunlight’s base depth was back up to 68 inches.

The storm also wreaked havoc on area highways after what started as rain Monday evening froze when the temperature dropped. Several inches of wind-blown snow fell on top of the ice, creating slick conditions for the morning commute.

Multiple jack-knifed semi-trailer trucks on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon closed the eastbound lanes for a period of time Tuesday morning. The highway was reportedly open again before 9 a.m.

Numerous other accidents also kept the Colorado State Patrol and emergency crews busy along I-70 on either side of Glenwood Springs, and on Highway 82 between Glenwood and Aspen.

The State Patrol did not return phone calls seeking information about the accidents. However, Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico confirmed that Marian Clayton, a deputy clerk and administrative assistant in her office, was involved in a rollover accident near South Canyon.

“We did get word that she was in a rollover and was taken to the emergency room,” Alberico said, adding that Clayton had called into the office so the injuries were not believed to be too serious.

Meanwhile, school district Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said the district’s transportation director, Larry Estrada, spent much of the night driving around talking to snowplow drivers before making the call around 5:30 a.m. to cancel school.

“It was bad enough everywhere in the district that we felt like closing schools in all three communities (Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt) would be the wisest safety decision,” Haptonstall said.

The girls soccer game that was scheduled in Glenwood Springs between Glenwood and Moffat County was also postponed due to the snow.

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