Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Helicopter Work

This morning we had a helicopter on site to help us with The Beavers project. Starting about 5:45, we delivered 8 "picks" of equipment and tools with this classic Huey helicopter. Since we are not building a road for the project, we are going to be dependent on helicopters. Over the next couple of years, we will do this many times.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Wedding Season

Wedding Season kicked off this weekend. In separate events, two couples exchanged their vows at Black Mountain Lodge Friday and Saturday night. With the late day sun and partially snow covered mountains, the venue was in top form.

........And Helmut and his band from the Alps...........over the top incredible.





Saturday, June 24, 2017

Base Area Re-Vegetation

After several years of major projects right in the center of the base area (culvert, sewer line, re-paving, bar remodel, Kids Center) I think we are done making a mess for a while. Snowsports School Manager and Master Gardener, Becky McDill, is heading up our regrowth efforts. She is busy raking, planting, seeding, transplanting and all kinds of stuff. When you visit you will see her touch everywhere from flower planters to quickly re-growing grass. Another good reason to come visit this summer.



Friday, June 23, 2017

Saturday Summer Events

We are ramping up our Summer Events this year. Every Saturday from July 15 through August 19, we will be hosting an event. The really fun summer activities you are used to will be available (hiking the Argentine North Fork Trail, Disc Golf, riding your road bike up the pass, mountain goat watching, 6th Alley). On top of that, we will have free chairlift rides on Black Mountain Express (BMX) from 11:00 until 3:00 and live music at The Mountain Goat Plaza Stage (ticket office steps stage). New for these Saturdays will be the Taco Trailer and/or some additional F & B treat from Chefs Rybak and Vlass. Also, just like the 6th Alley, Arapahoe Sports will be open Fridays through Mondays.

The events themselves will be really cool. We will be hosting a Disc Golf Tournament, The Cirque Series Trail Run and a Summer Brew Festival. Our first event, "Local Music Jam Day" on July 15. will be especially exciting. Locals artists High Five, John Truscelli, Strung High String Band, Old Herman and Hobo Village will be rocking the plaza from 10:00 until 3:00. This will be a great day to spend the morning wandering around the hill (hike, bike, disc golf). After a little exercise, you can enjoy some good food and listen to great music. Sounds like a good Saturday to me.

For details, go to: http://arapahoebasin.com/summer




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BMX Dynamic Test and Download Capacity Increase

That might not be a particularly exciting title for a blog post. The last couple of days our Lift Maintenance team conducted "Dynamic Testing", commonly called a "Load Test", on Black Mountain Express. In Colorado, chairlifts need to go through a dynamic testing process every seven years. Believe or not, we just finished our seventh winter with BMX. For the testing Rob brings in a few engineers and lift people. They load boxes full of water on the lift to simulate it being fully loaded with people. They start, stop, speed up, slow down and do just about everything they can to simulate different situations that the lift may encounter. Then engineers break out their laptops, run all kinds of numbers and follow a rigorous process to make sure the lift operates the way it is supposed.

We also took the opportunity to increase the downloading capacity from 25% to 50%, something that helps summer weddings and other events that have people riding down the lift. That upgrade also require a dynamic test so we combined the two projects.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

F & B and Patroller Of The Year

As members, last week we took part in Colorado Ski Country USA's Annual Meeting in Denver. While there were all kinds of informative sessions, a highlight of the meeting was the Double Diamond Awards Reception at Coohills downtown. Two of our key staff members were recognized by their peers for continued outstanding performances. Wedding and Event Coordinator Meredith Smith, was recognized as the Food and Beverage Professional of the Year. Ski Patrol Foreman Tom Schofield was recognized as the Patroller of the Year. If you are an A-Basin regular, I am sure you know and appreciate how wonderful both of these employees are. We are lucky to have them leading the way at The Basin. Congratulations Meredith and Tom.




Saturday, June 17, 2017

Odd Position

I seem to find myself in an odd position this time of year. I spend the entire ski season trying to convince everyone how great the skiing is. Once we close for the year, I have to convince a few people that, really, the snow is melting and it is time to close.

After some time passes after we make big decisions, we look back critically to determine if we made the right decision. That said, this morning I went for a little walking tour up to Black Mountain Lodge. My intention was to check the condition of the road and the remaining snow and try and determine if we made the right decision. The pictures below say a thousand words but, I did ask and answer the following questions.

Was there enough snow at the top and bottom of BMX and the bottom of Lenawee Mountain Lift to keep operating? The answer was no.

Was there enough snow on Ramrod and Sundance to keep operating? The answer was no, not even close.

Was there still a strip of snow on High Noon? The answer was mostly yes but, there was a burnout patch on Upper High Noon that would have prevented it from opening.

Was there enough snow around for dozing to keep the lift terminals and High Noon going? The answer was no.

While the decision to close, made June 8, was not an easy one, we made the right decision. Enjoy the pictures and, more importantly, enjoy the summer.