Crested Butte Mountain closed Monday because of too much snow

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Crested Butte Mountain closed Monday because of too much snow
Resort is winning the state’s snow tally, but with the blessing comes burdens

By Jason Blevins | [email protected] |
PUBLISHED: January 9, 2017 at 3:51 pm | UPDATED: January 10, 2017 at 9:38 am

CRESTED BUTTE — This end-of-the-road village is winning the Colorado snow count, with a second storm firing up late Sunday and pounding the East River Valley with two inches an hour for most of Monday.

It was yet another week of Snowmaggedon for Crested Butte. Last week saw Crested Butte Mountain Resort harvest a state-leading 47 inches from a hydrological hammerdrop. The resort’s powder-cam snow stake on Monday was buried beyond its 18-inch top by midday and the resort, struggling with a windy, damp and bountiful storm, made the very rare call of closing early.

“CLOSED. For the safety of our guests and employees, we are shutting down operations early for the day,” read the announcement on the powder cam.

Resort spokeswoman Erica Mueller was answering a steady flow of phone calls and radio chatter early Monday as the line grew at the stalled Silver Queen lift outside her office window. Lift issues were growing. Mechanics were getting stuck in their snowmobiles. Ski patrollers were closing Crested Butte’s renowned steep terrain due to avalanche danger. Mueller was laughing in between the increasingly urgent calls.

“Regardless of everything, this is sweet,” she said.

Across the Gunnison Valley, it was a day of closures. Western State Colorado University had a rare snow day. The Crested Butte Community School closed for for the first time in recent memory.

“We had a half-day once,” said Laney Giannone, who spent the past eight years of her life at Crested Butte Community and Western State.

Bus service between Crested Butte and Gunnison was suspended. Trash and recycling service stopped. Government offices closed.

Everyone — at least those not involved in the somewhat Sisyphean yet critical task of snow re-location — went skiing, but then the ski area closed. The base village bars were filled by 3 p.m. with soggy-yet-giddy skiers.

“I’ve been here 36 years and I can’t remember anything like this,” said Gordy Spencer, sipping a margarita at Mount Crested Butte’s Avalanche Bar & Grill after missing the chairlifts because he spent the morning pulling his neighbors’ cars out of growing canyons of heavy snow. “This is historical.”

At least 8 avalanches in Colorado high country amid high winds and more snow
Colder temperatures and a chance of snow return to Denver’s forecast on Thursday

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PUBLISHED: January 11, 2017 at 7:20 am | UPDATED: January 11, 2017 at 5:05 pm
Looks like what hit California Mountains is going to benefit Colorado Mountains as well. Still snowing in CA so this will last a few more days. The key, as always is the Spring and if we get blowing wind dehydrating the snowpack.......
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