Thursday, April 28, 2016

From A Green Skier's Perspective

I enjoyed a quick after work skin up Lower Sundance and Upper Wrangler to Black Mountain Lodge. Cruising up those green trails there are some particularly dramatic views of Black and Lenawee Mountains. Always a joy to take in.

Have you looked at the forecast? The big snow may be starting tonight.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Adding Up

The April snowfall is starting to add up. With 37 inches of snow since April 16 and 7 inches the last four mornings, conditions are steadily improving. The forecast Thursday through Saturday is looking pretty good and it is snowing right now. I see some more very good East Wall hiking sessions in our future as well as a lot of plain old good Colorado spring skiing.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekend Sunrise

The new webcam on the Summit continues to generate fantastic images. Here is Saturday's sunrise at 6:06 AM.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Polynesian Luau Randonee Dinner

Last night we hosted a full house for the first ever Polynesian Luau Randonee Dinner at Black Mountain Lodge. Guests endured an intense Spring squall as they trekked their way up the Lower Mountain. At some point the squall passed and the sun popped out. Only to be followed by another intense squall upon arrival at BML.

Inside everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner with pork and tuna and lots of good stuff. Throughout the evening Polynesian dancers entertained the crowd. Immediately after dessert, the party moved outside for an excitting fire dance on the deck. There was a smile on every face. By this time the skies had cleared and the moon was preparing to crest the East Wall. Walking down the hill, we enjoyed brilliant moonlight on The Professor, Loveland Pass and the No Name region. And you thought you had seen everything at The Basin. I think Chef Rybak is going to have to do this one again.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Willy's Wide

The Willy's Wide hike is drawing a lot of attention these days. The bottom image shows several people climbing the staircase. The views along the way and at the top are  exceptional. The skiing down isn't too bad either. The trail is named after former University of Denver Ski Team Coach, A-Basin Ski School Director, and Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame member Willy Schaeffler.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Norway and a Carpool Reminder

I am not sure if Norway can look better than this. Again, kudos to the Snowcat Drivers.

I have another weekend carpool reminder. Sporadically through the season we will have a few very busy days. We had one last Sunday. Even on these big days, the mountain is still not that busy, but the parking can be limited. So, I  encourage folks on the weekends to carpool or ride the Summit Stage. The Stage will continue to run Saturdays and Sundays through May 29. On these days, I encourage people to arrive before 11 AM or after 1 PM.

And, tomorrow, Saturday, April 23, A-Basin is partnering with POW (Protect Our Winters) in the "Smart Wool for Smart Riders" program. The first 200 cars to arrive with three or more people in them will get a free pair of Smart Wool socks for each passenger. So, carpool, reduce parking challenges, get a free pair of socks and be kind to Mother Nature.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Early Avalanche Days - Dale Gallagher

Dale Gallagher was a pioneer and prominent US Forest Snow Ranger in the early days of ski area development. Dale Atkins shared this photo of Dale G taken February 5, 1961 by a Denver Post photographer. The image shows Dale G teaching an avalanche course at A-Basin. I had the pleasure of meeting Dale G a few times back in the late 80's shortly before he passed away. He was a wonderfully kind gentleman and spoke glowingly of his times at A-Basin in the 60's. His stories of early avalanche work were particularly fascinating. Much of the basic knowledge and understanding of avalanche mitigation was learned (often the hard way) by folks like him. We owe Dale Gallagher and his peers from that era so much.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Upper East Wall

Life is pretty good when you have two feet of new snow and the Upper East Wall is open.