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One Colorado ski area still closed Friday due to “biggest snow event we’ve seen in decades”

Officials at Eldora ski area are calling the storm that closed the area on Thursday the biggest snow event they’ve seen in decades, adding it’s unlikely the area will be able to open Friday.

The mountain was one of four that closed on Thursday because they were inaccessible after a massive snowstorm dumped several feet of snow across the Front Range.

Eldora received 46 inches of snowfall from the epic upslope spring storm over a two-day period. A six-wheel Boulder County grader got stuck while clearing the access road to the area, complicating efforts to reopen the road.

“The grader was clearing Shelf Road near Peterson Lake and pitched off the side, down the bank toward the lake, but did not go into the lake,” Eldora spokesman Sam Bass said in an email with a photo to The Denver Post. “While the road visible in the photo looks relatively clear — this is where the grader had been working — the rest of Shelf Road has been drifting and sliding all night with multiple small avalanches across the road throughout its length.

“We were cautiously optimistic about a potential mid-afternoon opening today,” Bass continued, “but continue to experience complications all over our entire operation — snow removal, road conditions, massive snow on the mountain that requires avalanche mitigation in key areas, getting employees safely to and from Eldora to assist with clearing efforts — as we recover from this massive storm. One thing’s for sure — it’s going to be an incredible spring at Eldora.”

Echo Mountain, which also was unable to open Thursday, received 45 inches in two days. Officials there say it remains to be determined whether the area can open on Friday.

“Please DO NOT attempt to drive to Echo until you hear from us about our plan moving forward,” said an update on Echo’s website. “Access along CO-103 is incredibly difficult, and more stuck cars (means) longer delays in plowing and clearing the road.”

Winter Park and Arapahoe Basin received 17 over two says, Loveland 14.

Loveland and A-Basin, which were both closed on Thursday, reopened on Friday.

“As of Friday morning, snow totals east of the northern divide are 30-50 inches,” according to a post by OpenSnow founding meteorologist Joel Gratz, “and the southern and southeastern mountains have seen 15-25 inches. The storm will bring more snow to the southern mountains on Friday and Saturday.”

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