Its bearly spring

Perhaps the pair of bears that were hanging out near the West End Lift at Powderhorn Ski Resort last week — and forced the premature closing of that lift — will decide they got out of bed too early.

Yes, spring officially arrived last Friday. And until a new weather front moved into the area late Sunday afternoon, bringing high winds and kicking up tons of dust, the weekend was decidedly spring-like.

But Monday was a reminder that springtime in the Rockies can be awfully wintery. In fact, winter was back with a vengeance in the high country, prompting the chain law to be put into effect on Vail Pass and a host of other mountain roads in the state and dropping 3 to 5 inches of snow in the mountains.

More of the same is forecast on and off through most of this week, with storms that are expected to bring much-needed moisture to Colorado’s western valleys and Front Range, as well as its high country.

More snow is expected on the slopes at Powderhorn, as well, and the ski area is scheduled to remain open through this weekend.

But not the West End Lift or the ski runs that are accessible from it. They were closed, beginning Saturday, because of the repeated sighting of two black bears.

Powderhorn officials stressed that skiers weren’t in any immediate danger. Instead, the closure was employed as a precaution, to prevent any conflicts and to reduce the impact of human activities on the bears.

That’s sensible. Bruins on early spring break ought to get a chance to explore their surroundings without interference from folks trying to get a few last runs in before the ski area closes.


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