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Snowmass adding 230 acres for skiing, boarding
SNOWMASS — Aspen Skiing Co. is moving ahead on a plan to add 230 acres of skiing on Burnt Mountain at Snowmass for the 2012-13 ski season, it announced Thursday.
Skico trails crews are thinning live trees and removing deadfall to link a series of open meadows and naturally gladed areas, said Rich Burkley, Skico vice president of operations. Fewer than 800 trees will be removed from about 6.5 acres within the 230 acres, he said.
The new terrain will be east of Longshot, the only existing inbounds run on Burnt Mountain. Other terrain is popular with backcountry skiers and riders.
“The skiing is very similar to Longshot, but it's more of a gladed area rather than a straight trail,” Burkley said.
While the steepness would warrant a rating of upper intermediate or intermediate for the new area, it will be gated, black-diamond terrain, Burkley said. Intermediate skiers and riders will be warned to avoid the terrain because Skico wasn't able to secure U.S. Forest Service permission to widen egress from lower Burnt Mountain to the Two Creeks chairlift at the base.
Like just about every expansion at every Colorado ski area, the plan is not without controversy. Read more about that aspect of the plan.
The terrain will be patrolled for avalanches and safety.
An area informally known as the Golden Cliffs will be inside the operating boundary but closed, Burkley said. A Snowmass Village man was killed in an avalanche in that area last season.
The expansion will boost the skiable terrain at Snowmass to 3,362 acres and make it the second-largest ski area in Colorado behind Vail Mountain.