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Articles by Bella Biondini, High Country News

Bella Biondini is the editor of the Gunnison Country Times and frequently covers water and public lands issues in western Colorado.

Featured Article

This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

High winds tore at Gothic Mountain as the sleeping giant watched over the cabins nestled in Gothic, Colorado, a remote outpost accessible only by skis during the valley’s harsh alpine winters. The plumes of snow that lifted from the peak briefly appeared to form a cloud and then disappeared.

To many, the snow that seemed to vanish into thin air would go unnoticed. But in a region where water availability has slowly begun to diminish, every snowflake counts. Each winter, an unknown percentage of the Rocky Mountain West’s snowpack disappears into the atmosphere, as it was doing on Gothic Mountain, just outside the ski resort town of Crested Butte. 

In the East River watershed, located at the highest reaches of the Colorado River Basin, a group of researchers at Gothic’s Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) are trying to solve the mystery by focusing on a process calle... Read more