Friday, April 24, 2015

Spring Squalls and More Snow

We are in that spring pattern of unsettled weather. Over the last few days we have seen several afternoon squalls blow through the area. Yesterday morning we reported 2" of new snow that came in fast and hard Wednesday night. Sometimes these squalls surprise us with a few inches or more of snow. It looks like we might have a reasonable storm developing for Saturday night / Sunday / Monday. Let's keep an eye on this one. As these pictures indicate, the coverage and the skiing is still quite good.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Summit Stage

Summit County's local bus service, The Summit Stage is still running on weekends through Sunday, May 24.  That day happens to be Arapahoe Basin's "Festival of the Brewpubs."  Riding the bus is a great and easy way to get to The Basin and avoid traffic hassles. I am not sure if we will see traffic this weekend like we did last weekend, but riding The Stage is a great way to take the edge off those busiest of days.

The "Swan Mountain Flyer" route runs between Breckenridge, Keystone and A-Basin. Heading towards The Basin, the bus leaves Breckenridge Station at 20 minutes after the hour and starts at 7:20 AM.  Heading towards The Basin, the bus leaves River Run at Keystone on the hour and starts at 7:00 AM. Heading back down valley, the  bus leaves Arapahoe Basin 10 minutes after the hour and the last bus leaves at 5:10 PM.

There are so many reasons that riding The Stage is good. You can save fuel and money. You can be nice to the environment and cut your carbon footprint. You avoid parking problems on the busiest days. It is easy and relaxing. I encourage all of you to ride the bus every once in a while especially on busy days.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

8:01 PM And Snowing

There just might be a little treat in store tomorrow morning.

Happy Earth Day

Sha and Mike of our Sustainability Team have organized a fun evening in The 6th Alley tonight. Come join us at 6 PM. $25 gets you dinner and a beer and 4 movies, "A Winter North: Skiing the Sacred Headwaters,"  "I Am Red," "Hidden Rivers," and "Chasing Water." As you can tell, the theme is water. Proceeds from the event benefit Snowriders International (, a group of skiers and riders committed to promoting winter sports and protecting the environment.

You can find more details on our website. Don't miss the fun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

June 7

Since it started snowing last Thursday, we have received 31" of new snow. I am planning on skiing June 7 and you should too.

So each year we make a plan and a budget for the season. That includes an opening and closing day and a whole lot more. For about the last decade we have been targeting the first Sunday of June for closing day. This year that happens to be June 7. Prior to this storm I was confident we would be open until June 7. After this storm there is very, very little doubt we will be open June 7. Who knows, if the snow is good and people keep skiing, we may stay open beyond June 7. Time will tell.

32 of the last 34 ski seasons we have been open in June. 6 of those 34 seasons we were open into July and in 1995 we stayed open until August 10. At the end of March our year to date snowfall was 92% of average. April snowfall has been good and we anticipate little trouble making June 7.

Our scheduled closing date is June 7.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Two More Hikes

This might sound a little repetitive, but my daughter dragged me out on The Wall for two more hikes today. We went through The North Pole Gate and hiked to the Narrow North Pole entrance. The ridgeline was rocky and you had to hike where you normally can traverse on skis. We dropped into East Vertical Cornice and it was just dreamy. Great skiing and totally the opposite of the rocky ridge top. We followed that with a Willy's hike and a Booger ski. Just perfect. I was too whooped and had to bail, but she did another Willy's hike and skied Corner Chute. She said I really blew it by bailing.

About The Parking - Tips For A Busy Day

Saturday was a big day at The Basin. It snowed most of the day. Many parts of the mountain, The East Wall, Lenawee Parks, North Glade and Columbine, have their best conditions of the season. The skiing was awesome and, literally, thousands of people had a very special day. Same on Sunday.

That said, more people showed up Saturday than we had parking for. To top that off, the highways were a mess with many delays causing lots of frustration for people. A few people left pissed. I feel bad for them and have a few travel tips that may really help.

In the spring, we sometimes have a day where we get a lot of new snow, the skiing is incredible, many or all other ski areas are closed, and more people show up than we have parking for. This happened Saturday and it happened last season May 11 (which was also an awesome ski day).

On really busy days, I encourage people to arrive early by 10:30 or 11:00 or wait until 1:00. I know that not everyone is an early riser. If you like to sleep in, do so. Drive into the mountains. There are plenty of great restaurants in Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Dillon, Silverthorne, and Keystone to have lunch. Show up at The Basin about 1:00, get a good parking spot, enjoy a great day of skiing (these days are always linked to great conditions), have an early dinner in The 6th Alley, and drive home after the traffic has lightened up.

Now you wouldn't show up at Red Rocks for a big concert without tickets, drop in a downtown Denver hotel on a busy Saturday night without a reservation, or expect great seats at a pivotal Broncos game without tickets. No, you'd plan ahead. On these great days at The Basin you should also plan ahead. You should arrive early or arrive late. On a really special Spring Day, you should plan ahead just like you would for a game, a concert, or a busy hotel.

The Basin is a truly wonderful place full of wonderful people, both guests and employee. With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy it just about any day of the year.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

No Doubt - Best Run Of The Season

What an incredible Busman's Holiday ski day. Kay and I started this powder day skiing with a couple of old, close friends, CeCe and Terry Pfeiffer. Terry preceded me as Patrol Director at The Basin in the mid-eighties. He is now the President of Winterplace Ski Resort in West Virginia. We took several beautiful runs in the North Glade, Standard, International zone. Good snow, good fun, good friends.

The East Wall opened mid-morning. The Ski Patrol did an A+ job managing the snow out there through this storm. Ski Patroller Nikos, AKA "Kos", set a staircase through deep snow in Willy's Wide. We joined a couple of other friends for a hike there and dropped into Booger. Without a doubt, the best run of the season for me. Deep, un-tracked, face shots, clean, and as good as it gets. Too bad I don't have the patience or the skill to be a good ski-action photographer. The run was so fantastic we hopped on Lenawee, hiked the Willy's staircase again, and dropped into Snorkelnose for double the fun. It was only "one of the best runs" of the season.

This storm has been extraordinary and we may have an additional week or two of unsettled weather.