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Maroon Bells

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The road to the Maroon Bells closed for the winter on Friday morning. Before the route shut down for the season, a few intrepid visitors made their way up to the iconic spot to enjoy a frosty day on the lake.

“It’s literally like skating in a cathedral,” said Blake Greiner, who was passing a hockey puck with a friend. “It’s pretty wild. It’s a temple out here.”

United States Forest Service / CBS Denver

Where there is snow, there could be avalanches, and Colorado receives a lot of snow. 

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center's, or CAIC, team of avalanche forecasters cover ten different zones across the state and forecast the chances of an avalanche occurring between early September and possibly early June.

The center forecasts avalanches within 28,000 square miles of backcountry and over 450 different areas on highways. 

Courtesy of Katy Nelson, U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service says a new permit system at Conundrum Hot Springs is working to help protect the ecosystem. For the first time, backpackers had to make a reservation to camp at the popular spot.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Campers headed to Conundrum Hot Springs will be able to purchase a permit beginning in mid-April.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service said more than 320,000 people biked, bussed or drove to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area this season. That’s another record-setting year.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Last week, the U.S. Forest Service finalized its plan to limit overnight stays in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The most immediate change for backpackers and campers will be a paid-permitting system at Conundrum Hot Springs.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Next summer, backpackers planning to stay overnight at Conundrum Hot Springs will need reservations.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio News

The U.S. Forest Service has received three objections to a plan that would limit overnight use of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

Woman dies on North Maroon Peak

Aug 8, 2017

A 57-year-old woman from the Front Range fell to her death on the north face of North Maroon Peak over the weekend.

Search to continue for missing climber

Jul 18, 2017

Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteers will resume their search for a climber who went missing last September.

Maroon Bells death ruled an accident

Jun 29, 2017

A man attempting to hike the Maroon Bells Grand Couloir died of hypothermia according to a coroner's report.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service released a draft decision yesterday on its plan to combat overuse in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. The first step is to address the Conundrum valley.

RFTA returns to summer schedule

Jun 8, 2017
Courtesy of RFTA

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) reverts to its full bus schedule on Saturday. Local and express busses will run the Highway 82 corridor more frequently and express returns to weekends service.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

The U.S. Forest Service released its assessment of the environmental impacts that will come with a new plan to limit camping in overcrowded wilderness areas.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Jay Parker knows his way around Aspen’s mine tunnels. He’s spent about 40 years working at the Smuggler Mine. On a recent tour, he added consideration of water storage to the history and geology that he provides.

RFTA and Forest Service to keep funds in the valley

Jan 12, 2017
courtesy photo/RFTA

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) Board of Directors meets Thursday. Among the topics they will discuss is a contract with the federal government.

Valley Roundup for Jan. 6, 2017

Jan 6, 2017
Carolyn Sackariason

 Welcome to Valley Roundup. I’m Carolyn Sackariason.

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

The last day to formally challenge the City of Aspen’s conditional water rights on Maroon and Castle creeks was Dec. 31. At least 10 people and organizations are opposing the city in court.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Backpackers looking to stay the night in the most popular areas of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness will soon need a permit to do so. The U.S. Forest Service recently released a plan to manage overnight visitors in the backcountry.

Valley Roundup for Nov. 18, 2016

Nov 18, 2016

Welcome to a Valley Roundup. I’m Carolyn Sackariason.

 

Crimes associated with methamphetamine are making headlines in newspapers up and down the valley. But whether that indicates an uptick in crime is unlikely.

 

 Garfield County sheriff’s deputies: Accused meth dealer shoots up woman’s car

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service has released a draft management plan to address overcrowding in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Backpackers will likely see a permitting system in popular areas.

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

After the city took a rare step in seeking public input, staff is rejecting the overwhelming suggestion to abandon the rights. David Hornbacher, who is heading up the project for the city, wrote in a memo to city council that staff recommends keeping those rights.

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

City of Aspen staff is directing council to keep water rights for reservoirs on Castle and Maroon Creeks. As Elizabeth Stewart-Severy reports, this goes against public sentiment.

In 1967 three local Aspen women, Joy Caudill, Dottie Fox, and Connie Harvey, came together with two goals: 1. to designate the Hunter-Fryingpan  Wilderness and Collegiate Peaks areas as wilderness, and 2. to double the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area. 

Aspen Public Radio News

The City of Aspen hosted an open-house discussion last week about its water rights to build reservoirs on Maroon and Castle creeks, but interested locals still have a lot of questions.

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

The City of Aspen is holding a public open house today to discuss its conditional water rights on Castle and Maroon Creeks.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

It’s no secret that Conundrum Hot Springs is a popular spot for hikers and campers, so much so that the U.S. Forest Service said it’s losing the wilderness for a different kind of wild. This summer, officials are working on a permit system to try to preserve the fragile area.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio

Eight Air Force Academy cadets, their professor, and about ten U.S. Forest Service workers sweated side by side last week, pouring concrete, hauling 500 pound beams, and battling swarms of black flies about a mile past Maroon Lake in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

Valley Roundup for July 22, 2016

Jul 22, 2016

 

Welcome to Valley Roundup during this summer’s pledge drive. I’m Carolyn Sackariason. Thank you for listening and your support. It’s listeners like you who we rely on to produce shows like Valley Roundup so please take a moment and make your financial contribution. No pledge is too small or large! We are here to take your donation. Please call 920-9000 or pledge right here online. And now, let’s get on with the show.

Courtesy of White River National Forest

Campers in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness will need to store all food and garbage in bear-resistant containers for the next five years.

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