Friday, May 30, 2014

June 22 - At Least

You probably have seen the announcement by now. We are now going to be open for at least three 3-day weekends, June 6-8, June 13-15 and June 20-22. The snow has held up quite well and people have been showing up to ski and ride. We think we can readily make another three weeks If the snow continue to hold up, we would like to stay open even longer. Who knows, maybe the 4th of July is in the cards. Keep skiing and stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Loveland Pass Open - Both Directions

The rockslide debris has been cleared away. There will be normal access to The Basin from both directions. Thanks for your patience. Every once in a while Mother Nature reminds us where we live and play.

We Are Open

We are open for skiing and riding today. Unfortunately, the road is still blocked between Keystone and The Basin. The road is open and accessible from the East side by Loveland Ski Area. This is no problem if you are heading up from the Front Range. If you heading up from Summit or Eagle County you will have a 15 minute detour through the Eisenhower Tunnel. I suspect this closure will slow business down a bit. Come on up, you just may have the place to yourself.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Highway Update

There is still some uncertainty about exactly when Loveland Pass will open. In the morning you should have no trouble accessing the ski area from the East side. Hopefully, the West Side is open in the morning. Before heading up check cotrip.org for the latest Highway 6 conditions.

Rockslide

There is always something going on around this place. Late this afternoon a rockslide hit Highway 6 a couple of miles West of the ski area. While the slide was relatively small, both lanes of traffic were blocked and Loveland Pass is currently closed. CDOT crews are clearing the debris right now. We anticipate a normal opening tomorrow. As soon as I know more, I will post an update.



Monday, May 26, 2014

More Snow Nerd Stuff

Attached is the hydrograph from the "Snake River near Montezuma" (actually it is really in Keystone above the gondola). I have attached the link to get the live version. You can see the stream flow has increased from about 50 cfs on May 18 to 300 cfs just before midnight on May 24. This is a very clear indication that a lot of water is on the move and the flow is accelerating rapidly. With the warmer weather following last week's storm, these spiking flows should only become more dramatic. This afternoon I was able to field test the flows in the Blue River. They are up and very nice.

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/co/nwis/uv/?site_no=09047500&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060


This photo of the East Wall shows a lot of small, dribbling snow events. There was a large wet slide in Dog Leg just Northeast of the ski area. The temps have not been below freezing for several days. Our instrumentation on Pali clearly indicates the presence of water. Digging around in the snow also shows us that the areas with less consolidated snow are really soft and loose and wet. Not the greatest.


So this is why the steep stuff is closed. This time of year the best skiing can be found in our less steep, heavily compacted or groomed areas. It is time to enjoy Columbine in Zuma, Norway Face and the West Wall on the Upper Mountain, and, of course, the slush bumps on Ramrod.



Sunday, May 25, 2014

OK, We Had A Little Weather

About Wednesday of this past week, I was watching the forecasts for the weekend. I have to admit I was fairly nervous thinking the storm may wreck the weekend and particularly the Festival of the Brewpubs. Well, Mother Nature gave us all she had this afternoon. There was a point when graupel was falling out of the sky about as hard as it can. The lifts had been closed due to lightning. I stopped right in the middle of the base area. I looked around. People were all around me with their mugs, smiling, talking and laughing. Whitewater Ramble was tuning their instruments and getting ready to start. It was just another typical day at The Basin. It was downright comical. The weather didn't even phase people. That is just the way it is in the mountains. Right now it is snowing fairly heavily, the band is still playing, and the sun looks like it is about to pop out.

The day has been a big hit. Thanks to all the craft brewers that showed up. This was the first time I had heard Whitewater Ramble. They are fantastic. I hope we can get them back some day. If you get a chance to see them play, be sure and do so. Most importantly, thanks to all of you that joined in on the fun. We still have a ways to go this season. I love this place.

















May 25, 4" New, 73" Base

Today, the weather is all over the place. We have been socked in at times. The sun has popped out a couple of times. It has snowed, rained, and graupled. The skiing is holding up nicely. Groomed runs have the best snow conditions. If you are a sick, gnarly weather guy like me, you love this stuff. These photos were taken about 10 AM Sunday morning.




Saturday, May 24, 2014

Don't Forget, Festival of the Brewpubs

Sunday is the day. Come join the fun for Festival of the Brewpubs. A dozen Colorado breweries, Rybak's food, and Whitewater Ramble. The Summit Stage is still running and they have added a couple of extra buses for the end of the day. I encourage all of you to carpool or ride the Stage. Make sure you ski in the morning. See you tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2014

OK, Here's My Suggestion

Here's my suggestion for Saturday and Sunday. Get here first thing. Montezuma Bowl faces South and is soft right away. Head that way for a bunch of runs. Enjoy the rest of the morning riding Black Mountain Express and Lenawee Mountain Lifts. Hang out on the Black Mountain Lodge for a little lunch. Take a couple more runs to wake yourself back up. Head to the base area, find some comfortable shoes, and enjoy the afternoon activities.

Saturday, High Five will be playing some tunes. Take all that in while enjoying some tacos served outside.

Sunday is, of course, Festival of the Brewpubs. Whitewater Ramble will be rocking the house. We will be serving pulled pork sandwiches, turkey legs, tacos and more. A dozen Colorado craft breweries will be serving beer, free as long as you buy the commemorative mug. Always a fun day.

By the way, the skiing was awesome this morning.





Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Bit Stormy Today

It was a bit stormy up here today, but nothing compared to what is going on down in Denver and along the Front Range. I hope everyone is OK down there. A bit of a thunderstorm rolled through mid-day shutting the lifts down for a short period. After that passed we re-opened. I went out skiing about 2 PM with the next storm threatening. It never really came and the spring skiing was awesome. You know how sometimes spring snow can be sticky, but other times it feels fast. Today was a fast day. The skis were gliding nicely and everywhere I skied, top to bottom, the snow was really fun.

Don't forget, Festival of the Brewpubs is this Sunday. 




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2013 and 2014 Comparisons

2013
Base - 55 inches
Snowfall  May 1-20 - 25 inches
Snowfall Season to Date - 282 inches
Closing Date - June 9

2014
Base - 74 inches
Snowfall May 1-20 - 38 inches
Snowfall Season to Date - 432 inches
Closing Date - TBD

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kid's Center

Over the last decade our kids'programs have grown tremendously. A-Basin really is the ideal place for families with kids. Not only is the mountain loaded with fun kid places, but it is an easy place to keep families together.

This summer we are building a Kids Center. The old First Aid Room is going away and the new building will be immediately East of First Aid. In size and concept, it will be a three story building, similar to the Rental Shop Building. The First aid facilities will be at the parking lot level and accessible from the West. The Kids Center entrance will be at the same elevation as the Rental shop facing East. It will occupy the upper two levels of the building. Available in the building will be Snowsports sales, dining facilities, kids' rental gear, and kids' retail.

Construction is slated to begin in June and WILL NOT CAUSE A PREMATURE CLOSING OF THE SKI AREA.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Pali Update

The time has come. The North Side is closed for the season. Tuesday will be the last day for Pali Lift. While there is still a great deal of snow over there, conditions are such that it is time to put her down for the season. And it has been an extraordinary season over there.  Zuma Lift will be open through June 1 and Black Mountain Express and Lenawee Mountain Lifts will be open until the end (whenever that may be). We have a lot of fun to go. Lake Reveal anyone?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring

Saturday was sure a beautiful day. Lots of people were having a great time. The skiing and riding were awesome. Not even a hint of Lake Reveal yet. Funky Johnson was the band and the tunes were awesome. It was just a wonderful day to be outside.



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Oh Yeah, It Is Snowing Again


Mikaela Shiffrin

This week the United State Ski and Snowboard Association and the Rocky Mountain Development Team have been doing early morning alpine race training at the ski area. These girls can rip. Today we had some special visitors. Mikaela Shiffrin and two of her US Ski Team teammates, Lila Lapanja and Paul Moltzan, joined the crew on courses set up on the Upper Mountain. If you get a chance, I highly recommend attending a World Cup race to see these guys live. The speed, power, and ability of these athletes is not captured on film. It is an honor and a pleasure to have them spend a little time at The Basin.




Thursday, May 15, 2014

7 Inches New

It just keeps snowing. We reported 7 more inches again this morning. Shoveling the snow, it feels pretty light. I think the skiing and riding will be exceptional today. It looks like we might see another wave of precipitation before the weekend and then maybe a couple of sunny, warm days. Beautiful.

So get yourself on up here today. Drive slowly and carefully. Try and carpool if you can. This is definitely a spring to remember. We might have a summer to remember to also.





Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Endless Winter

Just another May afternoon. I wonder what the morning will be like.


Snow Nerds and Summer Skiers

This morning I took a peek at the Upper Colorado River Basin SNOTEL Snow Precipitation Update Report. Specifically I was checking out the Grizzly Peak Snotel site. This is a federal government snow measuring site just across the road from A-Basin. It gives a good indication of seasonal snowfall in the the Snake River Basin. As of May 14, the snowpack or Snow Water Equivalent, is 175% of the long term average. The Water Year to Date Precipitation is 126% of the long term average. The water year starts October 1. This tells us two things. 1) This water year we have seen a lot of precipitation, and 2) the heavy precipitation, the late season precipitation and the cooler weather has created a very unseasonably deep snowpack. The outlook for summer skiing.........GOOD.

http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/reports/UpdateReport.html?textReport=Upper+Colorado+River+Basin&textRptKey=16&textFormat=SNOTEL+Snow%2FPrecipitation+Update+Report&StateList=Select+a+State&RegionList=16&SpecialList=Select+a+Special+Report&MonthList=May&DayList=14&YearList=2014&FormatList=N0&OutputFormatList=HTML&textMonth=May&textDay=14&CompYearList=select+a+year




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Let's Extend The Season - Summer Skiing

Hopefully, this is the first of a few announcements extending the ski season. We are going to close for 7 day a week operations Sunday, June 1. We are going to re-open for 3 days Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, June 6, 7, and 8.  While a lot can change with snow and weather over the next month, right now all indications are good for staying open even longer. If conditions remain favorable, and if people still continue to be excited about skiing and riding this summer, we just might extend the season even further. I am hopeful about pulling it off.

Monday, May 12, 2014

YTD Snowfall Comparisons

So I spent a bit of time looking at snowfall data the last four seasons. Below I list Season To Date snowfall through May 12 for each of those seasons along with some commentary.

2010-11 Season - 421" through May 12 - Stayed open until July 4th. Every month was above average for snowfall. Set April snowfall record.

2011-12 Season - 196" through May 12 - I am still trying to forget that season.

2012-13 Season - 277" through May 12 - Slow start with heavy spring snowfall. Great finish to the season.

2013-14 Season - 419 " through May 12 - Steady consistent snowfall all season. Set February snowfall record. Many, many, many very special ski days.

While it is still too early to make a long term prediction, you may have noticed that Season To Date Snowfall is just about the same in 2010-11 and 2013-14. In 2010-11 we stayed open until July 4th. ..................Just an observation.


8 Inches New

8 inches of new snow and  2 feet from the storm. Like I said yesterday, you need to get here. Don't rush and drive carefully, but get here.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Zuma Was The Ticket Today

What an incredible May 11. It dumped all day. The skiing was good everywhere, but Zuma was over the top. We found great snow in Black Bear, Long Chute, Schauffler, and End zone. Nothing like a May face shot. I know where I am headed at first chair time tomorrow.

Now the forecast delivered today and still looks good for tonight. I suggest that Monday is one of those days that you "NEED" to be at The Basin. No joking around. You need to be here. With this big snow, especially starting out warm and cooling off, the roads are quite tricky and slippery. We had some real challenges on Highway 6 today with two trucks sliding off the road blocking the highway and the Upper Parking entrance. For about thirty minutes the road and parking was mess. Luckily, we got it all cleared up. So, my advice for tomorrow is leave early (Loveland Pass will probably be closed), drive slowly and carefully, and enjoy a big May powder day.




8 Feet Tall

We are now at 411" of snow this season. To give you a sense of how much snow we have had, how great the skiing and riding has been, and how tremendous of spring ski season we are having, Patrick is standing on a Montezuma Bowl snowfence that is 8 feet tall. I am not exactly sure how tall the "Humbug" sign is, but with no snow on the ground, the top of the sign is way over my head. No short jokes.