Your on-the-ground updates about the major snow events of the 2020-21 Aspen Snowmass ski season
There are many snow forecasting and reporting websites, including our favorites: Open Snow and AspenWeather.net. But, as Aspen locals with a prime, downtown location, we love to share our on-the-ground intel about the big weather events of the winter. Follow along as we document powder days during the 2020-21 ski season!
ASPEN SNOWMASS WINTER OPERATIONS
Curious about skiing in Aspen this winter? Read our guide to visiting (and skiing!) during COVID-19.
Predictions for the 2020-21 Ski Season
Our friends at AspenWeather.net (a subscription-based forecast for the Aspen Snowmass ski areas) are predicting average to above average snowfall for Aspen Snowmass this winter. Forecasting models agree that there will be a moderate La Nina pattern.
"The final verdict, my educated guess for this winter is normal snow to as much as 10 to 20 percent above normal," wrote Meteorologist Corey Gates in his winter outlook.
While a La Nina storm track can miss the Roaring Fork Valley if they veer too far north, Gates predicts a "loaded gun" scenario where storms run through the Northwest and then dip southeast into Utah and Colorado. Read the full Aspen Times article here.
A Foot of Fresh Snow to Close Out the Year | Dec. 28 - 30, 2020
As if someone shook our snow globe, huge flakes began to fall in the evening hours of Dec. 28, and accumulations stacked up at all four mountains. The sun cleared for a few hours the next morning before flurries moved back in and dropped a couple more inches. Snowmass ended up with 14 inches, Aspen Highlands with 12 inches, Aspen Mountain with 9 inches, and Buttermilk with 8 inches. And while our snowpack is still playing catch-up, locals and visitors enjoyed a spectacular powder day to close out 2020.
Photos courtesy of Aspen Snowmass, Jeremy Swanson and Jordan Curet
December Dump! | Dec. 10 - 15, 2020
We received our first major snowstorm of the ski season Thursday through Sunday with a bonus dump on Tuesday. The first part of the storm dropped 17 inches on Aspen Mountain and 19 inches on Snowmass. And on Tuesday, we received an addition 8 inches! Ski patrol opened tons of new terrain following both storms.
There is more snow in the forecast with a few inches predicted every day through Saturday. Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk are scheduled to open on Friday, Dec. 18, and conditions should be great for our final two opening days.
Two Weeks Until Opening Day | Nov. 7 - 9, 2020
Forecasters were calling for 6 to 12 inches for this slow and steady storm, and our totals hit the top end of their estimates! With just over two weeks until the lifts start spinning, this welcome coating is setting up the mountains for solid opening-day conditions. Aspen Mountain snow guns are building coverage, and we are hopeful to have top-to-bottom skiing on Thanksgiving Day!
Photos: Aspen Snowmass, Jeremy Swanson (second photo)
Winter has arrived! | Oct. 25 & 26, 2020
Our first major winter storm arrived in Aspen just as we entered the final countdown to ski season: only 30 days left until the lifts start spinning! Snowstakes tallied 10 - 12 inches on our ski areas, and downtown Aspen was coated in white.
This snow could be here to stay with record low temperatures recorded as the clouds cleared overnight (-4 degrees Farenheit!) and snowmaking set to begin on Saturday night.
Photo: Snowmass on Oct. 26 | Aspen Snowmass, Jeremy Swanson
First Snow in Aspen Snowmass | Sept. 1 & Sept. 9, 2020
This year's preview of winter came very early! On Sept. 1, 2020, we awoke to a few inches of snow at 11,000 feet. About a week later, snow levels dropped, and Aspen Snowmass ski slopes had several inches of new snow on Sept. 9, 2020.