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Moose encounters near Aspen prompt warnings

‘If things continue this way at Maroon Bells, it’s not if someone will be injured, but when’

Colorado moose

A moose cow and calves grazing near Berthoud Pass, Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Colorado’s growing moose population is causing a safety issue in the popular Maroon Bells area, near Aspen, according to state wildlife officials, who say people are getting to close to the animals along the Crater Lake Trail. Forest Service rangers temporarily closed the trail, but said that risky behavior continues, despite numerous posted signs warning of the potential danger. Continue reading

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Colorado: Ready, set … paint!

Forest Service promotes the arts and the national Christmas tree with Aug. 18 event in Aspen

Colorado landscape painters have the chance to compete for cash prizes this weekend in Aspen.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — For Colorado landscape painters, there’s not much that’s more pleasant than a day spent in fresh air, rendering a stunning Rocky Mountain scene.

Add to that the potential to win a cash prize and to help publicize that this year’s national Christmas tree will come from Colorado, and you have the makings of a great event, with the White River National Forest sponsoring a day-long paint-out session at five scenic spots in the Aspen area.

The Aug. 18 art festival features a total of $4,000 in cash prizes and a chance to win a spot at the prestigious Denver Plein Air Arts Festival. Continue reading

Summit Voice: Most-view & weekend headlines

Crime, wildfires and climate …

Week in review.

The roundup is sponsored Trippons. Click the logo to find E-coupons for your mountain town.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A short initial story about a rare local murder was the most-viewed story of the past week, followed by reports on regional wildfire and stories about last week’s solar eclipse. Google searches and Google News referrals were the big traffic drivers, along with a decent number of referrals from Facebook and Twitter.

Mountain town news roundup

Aspen, Telluride and Jackson Hole

Mountain town news.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A U.S. Forest Service assessment of conditions in popular wilderness spots around Aspen suggests the agency may not be living up to its mandate to preserve the wilderness qualities of those areas. More specifically, the report found that, in popular backcountry destinations like Conundrum hot springs, so many people camp and leave their waste that the springs are contaminated with fecal coliform. Read the full wilderness story in the Aspen Daily News.

The Aspen Daily News is also reporting that unusually dry spring weather may be driving hungry bears into town to look for food. Already, state wildlife officials have set traps in the Aspen area to try and capture two nuisance bears. Read the full story here. Continue reading

Morning photo: Aspen

Powder in the Rockies

The chair to nowhere? An early morning start at Aspen Highlands to catch fresh powder in a clearing storm delivered this view high on the mountain. Empty chairs, empty slopes and plenty of fresh snow.

SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s been a few years since I had the pleasure to ski in the Aspen area, and with all the powder that’s been falling over in the Roaring Fork Valley (and the rest of Colorado), I thought I would revisit the area vicariously with a short photo essay. Dylan and I skied there when he was in his last year of elementary school, with the awesome Colorado Ski Country USA fifth-grade passport that gives Colorado kids a chance to sample most of the ski areas in the state at no cost — Who says nothing is free? We actually base-camped in Glenwood Springs and started our mini roadtrip with a day at Ski Sunlight, with fresh powder and blue skies. The next day, we set out to ski all four of the Aspen areas in a single day. We fell a little short, skipping Ajax, but only because the skiing at Aspen Highlands was so good that we lingered longer than we should have. Continue reading

Colorado: CAIC reports first avalanche death of season

Sidecountry rider caught in slide in sidecountry near Snowmass Ski Area

Much of the Colorado backcountry is prone to dangerous avalanches.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is reporting that the first avalanche death of the season occurred Thursday, Jan. 18 in the sidecountry, near Snowmass.

The slide reportedly happened on Burnt Mountain, just to the east and outside the Snowmass Ski Area, where the terrain is generally northeast-facing. According to the first report posted on the CAIC website, the avalanche was described as a small slide that ran into a gully or terrain trap. Continue reading

Snow in Colorado

Storm delivers widespread moderate snow

For the first time 2012, snow graced the mountains of Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY — A fast-moving storm dropping out of the northwest brought a measure of relief to ski areas along the I-70 corridor, with snow totals ranging between 5 and 8 inches at most areas.

Copper's snowstake cam.

Beaver Creek and Echo Mountain both claimed 9 inches of snow, with most of the precipitation falling Saturday during the day. Several resorts reported 8-inch totals, including Vail, Aspen, Buttermilk, Snowmass and Copper Mountain, which has its snowstake cam to prove it.

The storm favored the northern and central mountains, while the San Juans reported less snow, with 4 inches at Telluride and 1 inch at Wolf Creek, which still has the deepest base in the state, at 52 inches.

High pressure will dominate Monday and Tuesday with warming temperatures, making for some of the best ski days of the season so far.

The weather models are still in some disagreement, but there’s a chance for another storm arriving along with some colder air Wednesday, then another warmup late in the week.

 

 

USFS approves Aspen ski area forest health work

New logging treatments in Aspen aimed at preserving and regenerating forests.

Rangers say ‘intervention’ needed to maintain forest health and diversity

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Aspen Skiing Company will try to stay ahead of the forest health curve with treatments across more than 4,000 acres aimed at encouraging the growth of new trees and maintaining forest cover where it exists.

The U.S. Forest Service last week approved the forest health project, set to proceed during the next 10 years.

“Maintaining a diversity of tree species and age classes in an area can help encourage stand resilience, thereby improving forest health,” said District Ranger Scott Snelson. “Age class diversity is one way to assure future resilience of a forest ecosystem to a threat such as mountain pine beetle.” Continue reading

Colorado: Input wanted on High Country scenic byway plan

The Top of the Rockies National Scenic Byway.

June 8 open house set to discuss preservation and interpretation at Independence Pass

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Top of the Rockies National Scenic Byway is getting a makeover of sorts, and public input is wanted.

Specifically, the by board of directors and the U.S. Forest Service are updated the corridor management plan and interpretive master plan for the 115-mile loop through some of Colorado’s most spectacular terrain.

The Twin Lakes-to-Aspen section along Highway 82 was recently designated as part of the byway and an upcoming public meeting in Aspen will focus on how to improve and interpret the heavily visited summit area at Independence Pass, more than 12,000 feet high. Continue reading

Mountain news roundup

Pioneers in viticulture, déjà vu all over again in Aspen, a chicken coop raid in Steamboat, riding high in Silverton, and a PhD … in snowboarding?

Independence Pass - photo by Jenney Coberly.

By Summit Voice

Sustainability and the grape

In the wine world, being organic is more than just a marketing campaign. “I think, for the most part… wineries that are organic are doing it because they know you have to treat your crop right and, in turn, it will treat you right,” said David Courtney, a sommelier at Beaver Liquors in Avon. “On my many visits to Europe when talking with the winemakers, they all know that if you keep using harsh chemicals you will eventually change your terroir, which is what Euro wines are all about,” Courtney said. “Most don’t even have a word for organic farming because that is just how it’s done.”

Mickey Werner, manager of Alpine Wine & Sprits, said there is some evidence that wine produced from organic grapes has a different taste profile from that made with conventionally farmed grapes. In a recent article about an Oregon winery, he said “they farmed both sides of a shallow valley, half biodynamic, half conventional — same clones, root stock — the majority of the tasters said there was a taste-profile difference in every flight that went through. Better is subjective, but there is a more profound taste profile difference between the two.”

Read the full story in the Vail Daily.

Continue reading

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