Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Basin Images

Please enjoy these views from the neighborhood.  The blog will be a bit quiet for a while, but we will get things rolling again in August.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bar Remodel

We are working fast and furiously on the bar remodel.  Tearing into an old building is no small task.  It has been quite a challenge to pull the whole project together.  Many people, architects, contractors, engineers, designers, building inspectors and many of us at The Basin have been working to make it happen.

As the project progresses, I will keep you posted on its development, including photos.  While this is going to be a big change, we are going to keep the culture and vibe the same.  The old 6th Alley was certainly colorful (you should have seen what it replaced).  The new bar is going to fix a lot of the challenges with the old place. Some highlights of the new 6th Alley include:

-The new bar space will be double the size including the Coffee Corner room
-A much more open and higher ceiling
-Bigger and more windows with more complete mountain views
-Fewer, but better placed doors
-The physical bar top (what you lean on) will be twice as big and we will be able serve people much more effectively and efficiently
-New windows and insulation will be weather tight, being both greener and warmer
-It will much easier to move around and interact with your friends and soon to be friends
-Better stage for live music
-20 beers on tap
-Getting rid of the clutter
-And maybe a few funky surprises

So, stay tuned.  If you are afraid of this change, take a deep breath.  This is going to be a beautiful space that allows of us to serve guests much better and it will be an even more open and welcoming place to enjoy time with friends and family.  I think you will like it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

More Black Mountain Lodge Events

We have four more Black Mountain Lodge events scheduled this summer.

There are two more "Yoga on the Mountain" days scheduled at BML, July 25 and August 8.  Hike the Argentine North Fork Trail, enjoy a yoga session on the deck, and join us for one of our signature lunches.

A new event, "Music on the Mountain", will be held August 1.  Again, hike up the trail, take in the string quartet, Bacchus, and enjoy Chef Rybak's hors d'oeuvres and wine pairings.

Close out your A-Basin summer with "Brunch at Black Mountain Lodge" August 11.  This one might be my favorite.  You can hike or ride the chairlift.  Music will be Jazzebel, a jazz duo.  The food will be over the top.  There might be a mimosa in there somewhere.

For details and to make reservations, check out our website.

Kent Drummond

Last Tuesday I had the distinct pleasure of hiking the Argentine North Trail with Kent Drummond.  As a 5 year old Kent rode the original rope tow at A-Basin during the 1946-47 ski season.  He has memories of riding up the lift between his father's legs.  His Dad was Fuzzy Drummond, a close friend of the Jumps and an early member of the Arapahoe Basin, Inc Board of Directors.   Fuzzy passed on in the early 60's just as Larry Jump was replacing the original Upper Mountain Single Chair with a double chair.  Those of you that skied here in the 60's and 70's remember the Drummond Lift (Norway's predecessor), named after Fuzzy.

Kent skied and worked here throughout his youth.  In his first job, Larry paid him $.25/hour to thread and crimp skiers' lift tickets to their clothing.  I had a wonderful time listening to his adventures here.  He told me about staying in the old DU Faculty Club and nights in the A-Basin Lodge when the pass was closed.  He reminisced about the T-100 Poma out of the base area and the T-50 Poma that ran up Radical to the Top of Pali.  He lost his front teeth as a teenager when one of the Pomas snapped back at him.  We talked about the old Lower Mountain trail names; Molly Hogan (Ramrod), Davis Cutoff (High Noon), Loafer (Sundance), The Brook Trail (North Fork), and Lark (Wrangler).  After attending Colorado College and a stint with the Army in Vietnam, Kent came back to Colorado and was an A-Basin patroller for most of the 70's.

Tuesday was really a treasure for me.  The contributions and impacts Kent and his father, Fuzzy, made to Arapahoe Basin were extraoridnary. A lot of good people have been doing a lot of good things at The Basin for a very long time now.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

East Wall

I poked around the edge the East Wall Saturday morning.  A lot of stark contrast out there.  There are places teeming with flowers, long strips of alpine tundra, and mostly rugged cliffs and talus.  Striking.  Skiing out there is the winter is tough advanced and expert skiing.  Walking out there in the summer is wicked rugged, but really cool.  Triple black.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A-Basin Light

Last night was the Wildflower Dinner at Black Mountain Lodge.  As always, great food, great wine, great music, great people.  Colorado goat, beef, trout, cheese, elk, greens, and peaches were the fare.  The weather threatened, but the rain stayed away.  The story of the dinner was the evening light on Lenawee and Black Mountains. Holy cow. People were steadily trading off between eating at their table and heading out to the deck to take in the show.  It was a jaw dropper.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I had a nice little wander on the Upper Mountain this morning.  I poked my head in Montezuma Bowl, The Beavers, and Lenawee Parks.  One of Colorado's greatest treasures is the high alpine tundra.  And The Basin alpine areas are very special.   Surprisingly, I didn't see any mountains goats today.  I did see a few deer wandering around down low in the tress.  I bumped into a couple of fine souls looking for a ski their son lost on the East Wall last winter.  I don't think the "crawling through the talus looking for kid's ski chapter" was in my parenting book.  Those guys are really good parents.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mary Ellen Gilliland

Mary Ellen Gilliland did a wonderful job sharing Summit County history and lore today.  About 50 of us hiked up the Argentine North Fork Trail to BML.  After lunch (it was really good), Mary Ellen shared colorful stories about natural and human history in the area.  Tales of old timers made it clear that unique characters are not just limited to the ski industry.  We learned about mining riches and mining scams.  I threw in an A-Basin story or two.  A good day was had by all.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Historical Hike and Lunch

We are hosting a new event Thursday, The Historical Hike and Lunch.  Local historian and author, Mary Ellen Gilliland, will lead guests in a hike to Black Mountain Lodge.  Along the way, she will point out interesting plants and flowers.  At Black Mountain Lodge, we will serve a delicious lunch including watermelon crab soup, herb roasted chicken, baked almond encrusted trout, salted caramel cheese cake, and more.  After lunch, Mary Ellen will give a presentation on Summit County and Arapahoe Basin history. This will be another good day at Black Mountain Lodge.

Wildflower Dinner

Friday night, July 19 is our annual Wildflower Dinner at Black Mountain Lodge.  Come join us for dinner. You can ride the chairlift up and down, hike up and down, or any combination of the above.  As I mentioned in previous posts, the wildflowers on the mountain this year are extraordinary.  

The menu is substantially Colorado grown and produced.  A sampling of menu items includes: Elk Street Tacos with Olathe sweet corn, black beans, green chilies, and queso fresco, Colorado striped bass, ceviche with shrimp, Spanakopita jajaBells, caprese salad, stuffed organic eggplant, Rocky Mountain Ruby Red Trout, Aspen Ridge Beef Shoulder, and Red Bird All Natural Chicken with a Colorado mushroom wine sauce.

Enjoy a great walk or chairlift ride, a scrumptious meal, Black Mountain Lodge, and the alpenglow on Lenawee and Black Mountains.  For more info and to make reservations, check out our website.