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Look Out Colorado: You’re Gonna Get Slammed

by Dan Giesin | March 11, 2021

Get those fatties out. Colorado is about to be nuked.

Hard.

A slow moving storm across the southern Rockies is expected to dump huge amounts of pow over Colorado — particularly in the Front Range region — in the next few days. A prolonged period  of heavy precipitation —with the biggest amounts predicted to fall Saturday and Sunday — is anticipated to drop anywhere from a foot to five feet of snow across the state.

Blizzard conditions with sustained winds of 30 miles per hour or more are expected to temporarily shut down many mountain roads and passes, and officials urge against any unnecessary travel, particularly on Sunday.

Some meteorologists even say that this storm system could rival the epic blast of 2003, when Denver was essentially shut down for a couple days in mid-March.

Who’s Getting the Goods

Most of Mother Nature’s winter largesse will be found northwest of Denver, with Eldora and Echo mountain resorts receiving the brunt of the storm and expecting snow totals in the  mid-50-inch range.

That’s nearly six feet of Colorado’s finest product.

Not far behind are the resorts just west of the Continental Divide — such as Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Breckenridge — where storm accumulations are expected in the 3 1/2-foot range.

Even the resorts farther west — Telluride, Crested Butte et al — are anticipating snow deposits  approaching at least a couple of feet.

Know Before You Go

It’s not surprising that all you powder hounds are jonesing to get out there and sample the goods, but most of Colorado is still under COVID-19 restrictions. And that means you just can’t show up and expect instant face shots.

All but a handful of the state’s 24 ski resorts are not selling walk-up lift tickets; you must purchase them on-line at least the day before your expected arrival (two resorts, Eldora and Copper Mountain, demand that you make an on-line reservation to park there). And the five  resorts that have on-site ticket windows still open — Granby, Monarch, Silverton, Sunlight and Wolf Creek — all strongly urge guests to purchase them on-line beforehand.

If you are an IKON pass holder, you don’t need to make a reservation at the Alterra resorts of Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat or Winter Park, but you do need to make on-line reservations at the Vail-owned resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge (Telluride and Crested Butte, which honor EPIC passes, are not requiring reservations).

 

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