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Mountain News: Bus ridership surges



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Planes nearly crash at Yampa airport

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – Two planes nearly crashed into each other at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, located 25 miles west of Steamboat Springs. Air traffic controllers in Denver had cleared a private 9- to 12-passenger jet to take off without realizing that a commercial 66-passenger regional jet had not yet landed. Despite the miss, it was quite a scare for passengers and airport officials, reports The Steamboat Pilot & Today. Airport manager Dave Ruppel said the incident underscores the need for radar coverage at the airport. Because of the mountainous topography, planes that are taking off or landing fly too low to be detected by radar in Denver. Such radar coverage is expected to be in place by late next spring.


Snow worries

ASPEN, Colo. – It’s not just middle aged people who are fearing the effects of gravity. With so much snow to come down, officials are concerned about the potential for massive spring snowslides.

One area of slides in the past is just outside Aspen, on the drainages of Castle Creek and also Conundrum. In 1994, a massive slide killed one man sleeping in a teepee along Conundrum Creek. Another slide, farther down the valley along Castle Creek prevented rescuers from getting to the site.

The glut of snow in the narrow chutes has to come down either as water or as a potentially devastating snowslide, Pitkin County Undersheriff Joe DiSalvo told The Aspen Times. For now, officials are taking a do-nothing approach. No homes are immediately threatened.

South of Telluride, along Lizard Head Pass, mitigation of the avalanche threat last year caused the highway gates to drop only 50 minutes. This year, it’s been nearly 89 hours, reports The Telluride Watch. Up in the Telluride ski hill, Pat Ahern, the ski patrol director, estimated that patrollers have used twice the amount of explosives for avalanche mitigation this year, as compared to last.


Temperatures rise over snowmobiles

SILVERTON, Colo. – Snowmobilers are mad, and they’re just not going to take it anymore. A proposal being considered by U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management administers for land between Silverton and Ouray calls for a prohibition of snowmobiles from a section of public lands southeast of Red Mountain Pass.