SkiCo will decide plan for Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk by today

Sunlight Mountain Resort will postpone its opening for the 2016/17 season, which was originally to have been this weekend. Paltry November snow and warm temperatures, followed by a dry start to December, are keeping the lifts from running at this time.

Aspen Skiing Co. will announce today the plans for Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk, whose seasons were also scheduled to launch on Dec. 9, said vice president of communications Jeff Hanle.

Sunlight spokesman Troy Hawks said the lower third of the 680-acre mountain outside Glenwood Springs is covered by snowmaking, but the rest of the mountain relies primarily on natural snow.

Hawks said Tuesday, “We’re keeping the date open for now, analyzing the situation day-to-day as weather patterns can change and are generally more unpredictable much past two-to-three days out.”

Mountain officials say at least 18 inches are needed for top-to-bottom skiing.

“Snowmaking is 100 percent underway as crews take advantage of cool temperatures the next few days,” according to a press release.

When the snow finally arrives, it will be greeted by a new grooming machine manufactured by Prinoth of Grand Junction.

“The machine can groom a swath roughly 16 feet wide and new advancements in tiller geometry settings allow the operator to significantly improve grooming results,” it was noted in the release.

Also new at Sunlight this season is the addition of a food truck at the 9850 elevation summit of the mountain overlooking Mt. Sopris.