Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Benchmark Dates

We track a lot of benchmark dates at A-Basin. The ski area has been open since December 1946. Unfortunately, we only have really good dates for the last 25 years. Here are some interesting benchmarks for Arapahoe Basin trivia buffs.

Earliest Opening - October 9, 2009. I have long heard rumor of a huge fall storm, perhaps September 1961, that led to a very early opening at A-Basin. I hear the same story from people at Loveland. Maybe one of these days I will dive into the NOAA records and figure that one out. Maybe someone with that knowledge will comment on this blog. The installation of snowmaking in 2002 changed our opening from a mid-November/mid-December date to mid-October.

Latest Closing - August 10, 1995. Not only was that one of our biggest snowfall seasons, but there was a combined snowfall in February, March, April, and May of 303 inches. We were 100% open well into June.

Longest Season - 1994-95. That season had 245 operating days lasting from December 9, 1994 through August 10, 1995.  I have to admit the final days required downloading on Exhibition, uphill loading at Old Mid-Lenawee, a lot of walking in Dercum's Gulch with skiing on Lenawee Face and Humbug. It was a very interesting experiment that draws some great and very funny memories (comical) from those of us that were there.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Al, a big thank you for your work in this blog. It really gets the out of towners like me (I live in Omaha, NE but buy a Summit Pass every year) stoked to come up. It's also very interesting to have some insight into the operations (especially early season) of the mountain.

A 'date' question: when does the Swan Mountain Flyer begin running? I can't seem to find any '13-'14 season info on line.

Anonymous said...

Al the 1961 Labor Day storm was fairly significant (for September, anyway) down in Denver, so I'm sure you got more than a foot up there.

Anonymous said...

I love the insight we get from your blog...what other mountain does that?!!! A Basin rules

Anonymous said...

Summit Stage begins winter schedule December 8. Call 970-668-0999 for updates.

Garrett Fisher said...

Per the Western Regional Climate Center, Breckenridge (town) got 53" of snow in September 1961 - which is the highest snowfall ever in September. Dillon got 19" in the same month (highest Sept ever was 24") and Georgetown got 12". Jones Pass got 19" with 5 unreported days in that month. Climax got 62.3" - which also was the highest Sept ever.

Vail and Mt. Evans weren't reporting in 1961.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Summit Stage info, from Omaha!

Anonymous said...

Al, your blog is my morning ritual. Thanks and keep them coming. Any update on the bar? Chance of it being completed by Thanksgiving weekend?

Anonymous said...

I believe Garrett hit the nail on the head. NOAA Snow monitoring stations from Ute Pass, Boreas Pass, and Climax all show a monthly snowfall total >50" for Sept. 1961. Those stations would all be similar in elevation and area to A-Basin.