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Doubters be danged because this afternoon Colorado’s Independence Pass opened up—the bang-up CDOT crew got ‘er done, right on schedule—and words like “humongous” and “massive” don’t really do justice in describing the record-level snowpack up there and elsewhere in high places across the West. Consider while the grass is greening in places like Aspen and Buena Vista, Colo., the highroad of Hwy. 82 betwixt the two over Indy Pass (elevation: 12,095 feet) is laden with 452-percent of the normal snowpack on the east side and 361 percent on the west, according to official figures.

Needless to say, the crew from CDOT that spearheads the road-clearing efforts dug deep this year. Props to them, and stay safe up high (we keep hearing reports of close-calls and XXL-sized avalanches in the neighborhood), and consider the, well, ginormosity of the Indy Pass pack in the exhibits above, by local Aspen photographer Dan Bayer. — Tim Mutrie

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