Friday, September 30, 2016

Moonlight Dinner and Beach Reservations

Just in case you are interested, Black Mountain Lodge Moonlight Dinner Reservations and Beach Reservations are available on our website starting tomorrow, Saturday, October 1. The early bird catches the worm.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rookie Snowmaker

The new guy is jonesing for the temps to get cold around here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


OK, not really, but the crew did fire up the system. It is not cold enough to make snow. We took advantage of the cool morning to fully fire up the system. It was a combination of staff training and refreshing and looking for those last minute glitches. Although we have been doing lots of testing, that is not the same as turning the entire system on at once. This is the first time the reservoir, pumps, water lines, power lines and fan guns have all been on together since last December. We want to be sure nothing too weird has happened in that nine months of dormancy. This morning is the big test. I am sure we will do a few more big tests. The objective today is to be absolutely ready to go when the temps get below 28 F wet bulb for an extended time..

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

6:45 Above The Basin

I was puttering around the base area late this afternoon when I realized we were about to experience some very cool light up on Black and Lenawee Mountains. I took this photo on the Highway 6 hairpin above The Basin. Regular blog viewers will recognize the vantage point. I frequently visit this spot because it provides such an extraordinary image of the ski area. Being there helps me see what is going on and I also kinda' like going there and simply checking it out.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Around The Lake

Sunday was "Father-Daughter Ride Around Lake Dillon Day." Whitney and I had a great little bike tour. The aspens are at their full peak. They may actually be just past the peak. There was fresh snow still visible at The Basin. We had that beautiful, crisp Fall air and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The forecast shows three more of these bluebird days before rain and snow move back into the picture Thursday.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ski Patrol Refresher

The Ski Patrol spent the last four days doing their annual refresher. They spent time practicing emergency care, cpr, explosive handling, loading helicopters, filling out reports, handling dogs, evacuating lifts and a whole lot more. Good to see everyone together again. Another good sign that winter isn't too far away.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Good Storm

It was snowing heavily as I left the ski area yesterday afternoon. I arrived to a beautiful snowy scene this morning. In the base area there is probably 3-4" of new snow. I suspect more up on the hill. Our temperatures just got down into the snowmaking realm this morning. We didn't quite pull the trigger on making snow expecting the window of opportunity was just a little too small. A good sign none the less. Moisture on the hill and temperatures starting to be consistently colder ---- I like it.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Typical Fall Day

Yep, this is your typical September 23 at The Basin.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Last Week's Snow

Here is a shot of last week's snow with some golden aspens leaves on the left. It looks like we have a decent snowstorm brewing for the weekend.

Monday, September 19, 2016


The aspens in  and around Summit County are in their beautiful Fall form. I heard on the news the fall change is about a week ahead of schedule. Walking or riding my bike through through those golden leaves is one of my favorite experiences each year. Over the weekend, Kay and I enjoyed a mountain bike ride over near Boreas Pass. The temperature and wind were a wee bit crisp and the colors were spectacular. Be sure to get that Fall hike/ride in soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Top Versus Bottom

Yesterday and today there were some very good questions and comments on snowmaking and the sequencing of trails. Specifically, someone asked why we don't start with the Upper Mountain for opening instead of opening High Noon and Black Mountain Express.

Despite the Upper Mountain being a little colder, we can get High Noon open faster than Lenawee Face / Dercum's Gulch. The Upper Mountain trail is about twice as long and requires significantly more water to open. Also, while downloading skiers on Black Mountain Express is do-able, downloading is not ideal for the busy early season days. There would be a lot of skiers waiting to download BMX.  It would be great to open High Noon and Lenawee Face / Dercum's Gulch and BMX and Lenawee Mountain Lift all at the same time, but we do not have the water resources to do that.

By going with High Noon, I think we get the earliest possible opening.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

On The Hill

The snowmaking equipment is on the hill. The crew has been running water through the pipes and they have checked all the electrical connections. The reservoir is full. We are ready. Snowmaking will commence just as soon as we have favorable weather conditions. We typically fire up the system when the wet bulb temperature drops below 28 F for a a few hours. We will be tracking the weather forecasts and monitoring temperature and humidity conditions on an hourly basis. soon as it gets cold enough.

Friday, September 16, 2016


A little bit of green, a little bit of yellow, a little bit of red, a little bit of blue and A LITTLE BIT OF WHITE. The Fall days around here can be fantastic.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Snow To The Base Area

Last night was very stormy around here. The snow line dropped to Base Area Level. There were some stunning images driving to work today. Down low the aspens are turning bright yellow. Up high the peaks are covered with a dusting of snow. All around the enthusiasm for the coming winter is rising. A few more weeks..............

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Disc Golf Update

We are still planning to add six more holes of Disc Golf. Unfortunately, that will likely be next summer. We worked closely with the Forest Service, tweaking our proposal and finding better lay outs for the course. We have some work to do, but, keep your fingers crossed. Soon after the snow melts next summer, I think the odds are good that you will be able to enjoy a longer round at The Basin.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Boxes and Boxes of Ski and Snowboards

That time of year again. The Rental Shop has seen a steady flow of new equipment rolling in. We have received boxes and boxes of skis, snowboards, bindings, poles, helmets and boots. Each year we retire a fairly large chunk of our rental fleet and replace it with brand, spanking new gear. This includes a mix of your standard rental gear as well as some really nice high end demo skis. There are lots of ooohs and ahhhs as the good stuff is opened.

Friday, September 9, 2016

We had a very big concrete pour this week. The new A-Frame deck and Guest Services deck have been completed. Next week we hope to see the new ramp poured and the base area asphalt completed. There will also be a new concrete walkway on the North side of Guest Services. By month's end, we should see railings and a paved Admin Lot. Arapahoe Sports is mostly closed in now and that construction is making big headway.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Looking Up

Here is nice photo, taken over the weekend,  looking towards the Upper Mountain from the Top of Black Mountain Express.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New Device - Compaction Roller

Our newest mechanical contraption arrived last week. It is called a compaction roller. Our winch cat operators will lower it down steeper terrain early season when the snow is relatively shallow. The impact is similar to early season ski cutting or foot packing. The device breaks up snow slabs and compacts loose, early season snow. This will be a great tool for our Ski Patrollers and Snow Cat Operators preparing our trails for opening. Telluride and a few other areas have been using similar devices for several years. I think the Telluride crew invented it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Labor Day and The Ten Mile Range

For the last month we have had some moist weather. While at some point most days it rained, we still had plenty of beautiful weather. What we had not seen many of, were those all day long crystal clear, Colorado Summer bluebird days. Labor Day, however, was one of these perfect days. It warranted a mountain bike ride out on the Colorado Trail. We had to stop and snap a picture of this stunning view of Peaks 1, 2, 3 and 4 of The Ten Mile Range.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Last Call Clam Bake and Lobster Boil

OK, there is actually one more day in The 6th Alley before we re-open for skiing in October. The Clam Bake and Lobster Boil is Sunday, September 11. To help us place the appropriate order for the freshest seafood, reservations need to be made by 4 PM Wednesday, September 7. This is another exceptional dinner by Chef Rybak and crew. There will be live music and you know it will be fun.

Oh yeah, we are going to open for skiing next month.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Two More Days

Sunday and Monday are the last two days of The 6th Alley Bar and Grill Summer season. Avoid the crowds elsewhere and come enjoy a nice quiet day at The Basin. Grab last season's mug before the 6(ish) week closure of The 6th Alley. That is 6 (ish) weeks until we open for skiing.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

All In One Day

Yesterday was quite the weather day. The morning was just a little soggy and cold. Actually, we were socked in and it was raining quite hard at times. By early afternoon the clouds starting breaking up. The sun popped out and the temperatures warmed up. With a hint of fall color on the tundra, the day finished up perfectly.