'No plans to close early,' Aspen Skiing Company says

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenMarch 30, 2012
Despite a long spell of unseasonably warm weather and a dearth of snow, the Aspen Skiing Co. isn't planning on shutting any of its four mountains down early.

"We have no plans to close early. While it has been unusually warm, we still have more than 4,600 acres of terrain open," SkiCo spokesman Jeff Hanle said this week.

Meanwhile, Monarch Mountain announced Thursday that it is shutting down a week ahead of schedule on April 8. Ski Cooper, not far from Aspen in nearby Leadville, will close this weekend, also a week before the resort planned.

Officials in those resorts say they worry about skier safety.
Snow is melting fast on the slopes. This run on Aspen Mountain was open last weekend but is now closed.
Photo by Troy Hooper

In Aspen, there's been buzz for a week or more that the mountains might shut down early. Ski patrollers have privately questioned whether Aspen Highlands can stay open until April 22 — the scheduled closing day. But the ski company's spokesman said not to worry.

"[These are] classic spring skiing conditions. Many people have forgotten because of the recent snowy springs, but this is not completely unusual," Hanle said.

One man's "classic spring skiing conditions" is another man's global warming.

Record temperatures east of the Continental Divide are shuttering resorts across the country. Several ski areas in Vermont, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin have already closed. Here in the West, it's been one of the warmest winters in memory. Many blame climate change.

Aspen Highlands is scheduled to stay open later than the rest of the local mountains. Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are scheduled to shut down April 15. Buttermilk closes April 8.

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Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
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