Just another good day of skiing The Basin, riding the chairlift with guests, checking on conditions, soaking in the view and generally having fun.
Friday, December 30, 2016
We have been lucky to be able to enjoy a couple of spectacular, beautiful days. I have found some particularly fun skiing in West Zuma, Slalom Slope and just about everywhere I went on the North Side. Saturday should be another clear day with "snow" being a big part of next week's forecast.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
The Basin ended up with 5 inches of new snow out of this past storm, 3 inches today and 2 inches yesterday. There was a strong wind blowing all day yesterday. For those savvy to the areas favored by the wind, there were "free refills" all day long. Today we are looking at sunny skies and temperatures in the 20's. The incredible conditions have brought out a few old freestyle skiers that still seem pretty dialed into their craft.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
We are winding down a good windy day. By that I mean it was a bit blustery here, but the wind was putting snow in the right places. I had a soft afternoon run in Durrance in Montezuma Bowl and some smooth runs on the North Side. A favorable West / Southwest wind was putting snow in a lot of nice places making that smooth, velvety surface. Very sweet.
Monday, December 26, 2016
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Saturday, December 24, 2016
It isn't too often that a Snowsports School group comes across a porcupine hanging out and enjoying the day. The instructor and kids were skiing the Lower Mountain when they found this guy perched on a small tree. Lucky kids. Lucky they didn't get too close.
Life is pretty good when you get to spend Christmas Eve (day) skiing the steeps in West Zuma Bowl. It was all good with a particularly fun run down Jump. I think that is probably the steepest pitch on the back side. The right flank has some big rock features that are fun to navigate through. The view isn't bad either.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Oh Geez!!!!! 4" of new snow at report time. Montezuma Bowl opened side to side. Snowing in the morning. Bright, sunny, bluebird day by late morning. Zuma snow - awesome. Pali - fantastic. Front side groomers - wow. There were a few folks out there that really enjoyed the day. Hard to beat it. Today was what this "Ski Thing" is all about.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Montezuma Bowl will open first thing in the morning Friday. As your Lenawee Mountain Chairlift ride drops you off at The Summit, Montezuma Bowl will be ready and waiting for you just after 9 AM. The forecast tonight is for a few inches of snow. We will be looking at some fine skiing and riding conditions. As these afternoon pictures show, Zuma looks great.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
The time has arrived. Montezuma Bowl will open for the season this Friday, December 23. The snow coverage is very good. Just about everything, except the Hike Back terrain will be open. The groomers, Columbine and Larkspur, will be in top form and the steeps in MGD and West Zuma will be a blast. Kudos to the cat drivers, patrollers and lift crew that has pulled all this together.
Monday, December 19, 2016
We have made major progress in Montezuma Bowl. The winch cat has been hard at work prepping the steeper blue trail pitches. In fact the snowcat drivers have made it all the way to the bottom of the chairlift. I was not expecting that for a couple of more days. There is still lots of work to go particularly on Larkspur and Middle Columbine, but the progress is good. The drivers will continue to impact as many areas as they can. This prep work allows the snow to set up a bit more solidly. In the long run, the snow holds up better and allows for good skiing in the groomed corridors.
Sunday, December 18, 2016
I think these pictures speak for themselves. These photos were taken yesterday afternoon. We had two snowcats and a bunch of patrollers working in Montezuma Bowl all day today. I still can't say exactly when yet, but I am confident the lift will open this week. As we saw with the Pali opening, I suspect Zuma will have an exceptional opening also. Obviously we will get Larkspur and Columbine open. Who knows you might also get a chance to ski the 14'ers and MGD. This will be another good one.
Check out this video that was posted by "."on my blog. It shows what a great opening we had on Pali and, keep in mind, we have had 18 inches of snow since the video was taken. And don't get me started on how great Montezuma looks.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
I think we can say that this storm cycle was a good one. One we will be talking about for years. We have had some type of new snow 14 of the last 15 days. Today we reported another whopping 18 inches of new snow. That makes 74 inches of new snow for those 15 days. I am not sure I have seen the mountain transform from a dry start to whopping great conditions in such a short time. The place is absolutely amazing. A-Basin skiers and riders were ecstatic. When I walked into Black Mountain Lodge at lunch time, everyone in there was so jazzed about the conditions. It was like being at the funnest party you could imagine.
Again, I snuck in some Pali runs and Zuma looks tremendous.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Today, we have a 43 inch base at mid mountain. We are in the range of snowfall to get Montezuma Bowl open. As many of you know, it takes some fairly intensive snow management to make that happen. We are in the midst of doing all those tasks, farming with the snowcat, placing snowfences, avalanche mitigation and more. The final touches are ropes, bamboo, signs, pads, etc. The chairlift is ready. We are expecting another good round of snowfall today and tonight. Following that, the cat drivers will spend several days getting snow in all the right places and the patrollers will be making a lot of very loud bangs. So, I can't say "when" just yet, but we are in the process getting this thing open.
On a whole different note, Chef Rybak is serving up a "Fiesta Night" at 6:30 in The 6th Alley Bar and Grill tonight. Join for a $20 dinner including apps, salad, Mexican combo plate, caramel flan and sopaipillas. This dinner would be great for an after ski day event, an after skinning event or, simply, an evening dinner. It could be a 6th Alley version of a Randonee Dinner. Hope to see you there.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Oh Yeah, the Pallavicini Trail opened this afternoon. It was a very good opening. People were loving it. Heck, I was loving it. Skiing The Spine, particularly in powder conditions, makes me a happy fellow and I was happy today. The forecast for the next 36 hours shows quite a bit more snow. By opening the Pali Trail today and getting lots more snow tomorrow, conditions are shaping up almost ideally. Bring it on !!!
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
We were expecting a little bit of snow today and we got a lot of snow. It is still snowing. The entire staff has been hard at work shoveling snow, tending bar, bumping chairs, throwing explosives, driving cats, making snow (yes, still making a little snow) and all kinds of other duties. Mountain wise our top priorities are getting Montezuma Bowl and the steep stuff on the North Side open. All the terrain work is progressing quickly. Look for more terrain opening on an almost daily basis. I am looking forward to that first run on The Spine.
Yesterday, I rode the Zuma Chairlift to the bottom to look around. Today I skied several laps. I like where we are heading.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Lots of fun was had skiing and riding from the Pali Chair. I skied Slalom Slope, West Wall and Standard/Lower International finding great snow everywhere. It looks like more snow is heading our way. The Ski Patrol spent the day conducting avalanche mitigation on Pallavicini and other North side trails. With additional incoming snow on the horizon, more good things will happen.
I also took a chairlift ride to the bottom of Montezuma Bowl. The snowcats have made their first venture down Columbine. We have a significant amount of snow fencing and farming work to do, but that area is off to a good start. Stay tuned for Zuma updates.
I know this picture has nothing to do with today, but I forgot to snap some pictures. Our buddy, Smokey, made lots of friends Saturday.
Monday, December 12, 2016
When we get 42 inches of snow in 7 days, lots of good things happen. The best news is that Pallavicini Lift will open for the season on Tuesday. Snow conditions over there are excellent. Skiers and riders will enjoy West Wall, Slalom Slope, Powderkeg and Radical. I think there may even be a few bonus trails. If you like skiing powder or if you like some exciting black diamond terrain, you will like this. We are going to have some fun.
Enjoy these photos from last season's Pali opening.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
That was an amazing 18 inches. Yesterday's skiing was super fun. Last night Chef Rybak hosted another outstanding dinner at Black Mountain Lodge. In the midst of that heavy, heavy snowfall, we pulled off a Randonee Latin American feast. There was no chairlift involved. Diners skinned, snowshoed and hiked to the restaurant, enjoyed a delightful meal and skied or walked through the deep stuff to get down.
Today was awesome. The big snow delayed Lenawee's opening by about 40 minutes, but upon opening, the rewards were many. This storm has set The Basin up in an ideal fashion. We have a tremendous amount of work to do, particularly on the avalanche mitigation front. Our primary energy will be directed towards getting Pali Lift open. It looks like we have a minor lull in the action Monday, but the snow may kick in again Tuesday. Expect some Slalom Slope skiing (hiking from Cornice Run) in the coming days.
..............After that, Montezuma Bowl will come into play.
I was a little busy today and didn't have time to take any pictures myself, but enjoy these three below. The top two are from our photographer, Dave Camara. The third photo was emailed to me from Jon Rayeski.
We are in a very, very, very good place.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Smokey Bear was up today helping celebrate 70 years at Arapahoe Basin. Our friends from the Forest had a booth set up in the Basin sharing White River National Forest information and, most importantly, running a Smokey Bear photo booth.We are also celebrating lots of new snow, new trail openings and a great looking weather forecast.