Independence Pass

Good afternoon, it’s Mountain Edition.

Voters in Aspen this week turned down a new lodge proposed on Main Street. Now, the developer is moving forward with an alternative.

With fresh snow, mountain roads are closing and buses are getting outfitted for skis.

Western Slope officials are making their message clear about the statewide water plan.

And, a proposed development in El Jebel has officers realizing there isn’t enough law enforcement in the area.


The Colorado Department of Transportation is planning for a November 6th closing date for Independence Pass, but the predicted ten-to-twelve inches of snow this week may mean an abrupt closing earlier this week.

Independence Pass was temporarily closed due to inclement weather and stuck vehicles this morning. The pass is now open for through traffic.

Colorado Dept. of Transportation

The Pitkin County Commissioners Tuesday (10/6) will review a new law that prohibits semi trucks on Independence Pass. This is the first full season with the restrictions.

House Bill 1021 went into effect last August but local law enforcement officials say some truckers are slow to follow it. If semi trucks 35 feet in length travel over the pass, they can be fined up to $1600. Alex Burchetta with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office says even with the law, tickets are still being handed out.

Hunter Baar


Results are in from testing done after a release of water from Grizzly Reservoir last month turned the Roaring Fork River a dirty yellow.

The discoloration happened in mid-August after a dam problem forced the release of between 10 and 20 acre feet of water from Grizzly Reservoir on Independence Pass. The water flowed into Lincoln Creek and eventually into the Roaring Fork River. It raised alarm because of its color.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Mark Donoher

A search for a missing Aspen man has been called off. Will Graham, 31, went missing Thursday. Law enforcement found his vehicle and some belongings at the Devil’s Punchbowl, a popular summertime recreation spot east of Aspen. A multi-day search ensued, involving overnight patrols and a swift water rescue team. If new information is uncovered, the search will resume. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to call them at (970) 920-5300.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is planning to open Independence Pass to vehicle traffic this week. The winter gates are scheduled to open Thursday.

Crews start in April, clearing the high mountain pass of snow and debris. One of the last steps is avalanche mitigation, where officials from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center set off slides, then road crews clear away the snow. The avalanche work was done Thursday. CDOT spokesperson Tracy Trulove is confident the road will open on time.

Mountain Edition - November 13th, 2014

Nov 13, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition. Wintry weather descends on the Roaring Fork Valley this week closing Independence Pass and prompting locals to break out their cold weather gear. Two Roaring Fork Valley residents are renamed to the U.S. Ski Team. Aspen holds its annual Veterans Day service. The Forest Service highlights crowds over-loving backcountry spots, big employers move forward with a plan to make their workers healthier, and politicians in Denver put their ducks in a row after a surprising election.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Mike Johnston

State Representative Millie Hamner carried three times the number of bills this legislative session, than she did in the previous session. The democrat, who represents several Western Slope counties including Pitkin County, chairs the House education committee. She told Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen that she's most proud of two measures that bring hundreds of millions of dollars to Colorado schools.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

A combination of record snow, wind and warming temperatures created a disaster in the backcountry over the weekend. An avalanche on the east-side of Independence Pass Saturday killed two skiers Saturday. And, the state’s avalanche center says it hasn’t seen such large, destructive avalanches in 20 years. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with John Snook, a forecaster at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.