Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Beavers / Steep Gullies Timeline

We are moving forward with adding The Beavers and The Steep Gullies into the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.  This 468 acre project has been in the planning process for many years. Our Master Development Plan was accepted in 2012. The Forest Service announced their Record of Decision approving the project in a multi-year Environmental Impact Statement issued this past November. We have spent the last three months working out many of the details required for us to proceed. We are extremely excited to announce our timeline and our plan to move forward.  

For the remainder of the 2016/17 season The Beavers and The Steep Gullies remain as un-patrolled, un-maintained and un-mitigated backcountry.

Summer 2017 - Ski trail and chairlift construction begins.

Winter 2017/18 - The 129 acre Steep Gullies and a portion of The Beavers will open, but all skiers and riders will be required to hike 15-30 minutes to reach the bottom of Pallavicini Lift. There will be no chairlift this season.

Summer 2018 - Chairlift construction is completed.

Winter 2018/19 - The Beavers Chairlift opens serving 339 acres. Steep Gullies skiers and riders will still need to hike 15-30 minutes to reach the bottom of Pallavicini Lift.

You can find more detailed information on our website at:

http://arapahoebasin.com/ABasin/mountain/beavers-steepgullies.aspx

Feel free to contact me anytime with questions. This will be a wonderful and exciting addition to The Basin.


35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most ski areas (by most I mean all) are able to build a lift in one off-season...why will it take 2 seasons at Arapaho Basin?

Why must all expert terrain at the basin involve hiking? I prefer areas that are able to lift service their expert terrain (more skiing less hiking).

Anonymous said...

Not sure I understand this..the prize terrain looks like the steep gullies, yet the chairlift does not serve access to this terrain and you have to hike/march out of the steep gullies terrain to get back to the Palli lift after skiing the steep gullies?

Raoul said...

So Steep Gullies will remain hike-back even after the Beavers expansion is complete, right? That's how it looks on the approved Master Plan.

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

Not all projects are built in one year. The Basin is different from most areas. I agree that building it in one year could be possible. With our 8 month ski season, short construction season, limited access (no road building) and lessons learned in Montezuma Bowl, we think taking two short seasons is a better way to build it.

Sorry about the hiking, but we feel this is the best way to manage and retain the essence of The Steep Gullies. There will be 339 acres of awesome lift served skiing, most of which is black diamond terrain.

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

Steep Gullies remains hike back terrain. There are people that like to add a hiking element to their skiing.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of uphill hiking but this looks more like a flat walk along US 6/Loveland Pass...really hard to understand that..is the new lift a detachable quad? Will it have a cover on it for those windy days that are so often at A-Basin?

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

The hike is moderate, but definitely uphill. You cannot see the highway from the hike. It is mostly through the woods with a very nice open area with excellent views at the bottom of Pallavicini Trail. The lift is a fixed grip quad. It is a very nice walk/skin.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of a skin track to get back to the Pali. Quick ride up the Pali and back down to the steep gullies. Personally, I can't see why you would want a life over this terrain as too many folks would get in trouble there. This will be excellent mid-winter terrain for skiing. Looking forward to it

Anonymous said...

Does this also mean that the Pali trail will extend lower (with a mandatory hike out)?

Ron Eskoz said...

Great terrain to ski at your own risk for many years and then thumbing a ride back to the Basin off U.S. 6. Nothing but nostalgia now. "If you build it, they will come"!

Anonymous said...

Al thank you so much for being such a down to earth COO. Never met another one who runs a resort and is still willing to drive the shuttle occasionally. I'm excited the way you've planned out the new area. Love the hiking/skin element. Appreciate all the great management and improvements A Basin has made.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear the Beavs won't remain wild. Glad to here about the required hike.

Anonymous said...

Any chance for another lift, or tranfer tow/poma? In the future? Plans for evac of injured skiers from the Gullies or base of Beavs?

Craig said...

Super stoked about the gulleys. A bit broken hearted on the beavers as that has been some awesome sidecountry. Thank you VERY MUCH for keeping the gulley's hike back. That will leave it for the ones that enjoy the hike and keep the snow fresh longer.

Small point but.... It would be awesome if we could advise hikers (maybe rope off) from the skin track. This way we can keep a pretty clean skin track devoid of bootpack tracks. Small request but one can dream I guess.

:)

Anonymous said...

Ooh! A new map style

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

You will be able to ski Pali Trail to the bottom (with a hike). No plans for another lift. The hike back trail will be a snowcat pass wide and groomed periodically. Plenty of room for hikers and skinners.

JJ said...

I love the expansion and that you're keeping the heart of the basin going too. Keep up the great work. Forget about the people that obviously should be sipping wine at Vail.

Anonymous said...

Are these comments serious? Folks asking for covered chairlifts & complaining about a 15 minute hike... I'm very happy to see that the gullies will require a hike, and congrats to ABasin on getting through the years of permitting it took to get this terrain open

Anonymous said...

Wow... Took the whole 17 comments to mention Vail and those that like it in derogatory way. Must be a new record for those that believe they own A-basin.

On a subject - glad to see that there are plenty of people that prefer the hike to surface lift. Surprised, but that justifies not adding an extra lift and saving some money

Anonymous said...

What is the reason that you going with fixed grip vs detachable? Thanks

Anonymous said...

What is the timeline for the surface lift improving access from the frontside to Zuma bowl?

Unknown said...

I think it's an excellent idea to require a hike for the gullies terrain. If there's a lift those runs will see too much traffic. The hiking is what makes it more of an authentic A-Basin experience. I'm also extremely happy that they're going to open the terrain next season even though the lift won't be ready. I could see other places waiting until everything was done before opening the terrain for patrolled access. Thanks, AL and the A-Basin Crew!

chuck said...

Congratulations Al ! This will help A-Basin continue it's Legendary experience for riders and skiers ! Chuck Nathan

Anonymous said...

I understand the hike/skin back... too bad I'm way out of shape to do that more than once or twice a day :-(

Anonymous said...

Somewhat relieved that the gullies are going to be a hike back. Hopefully it isnt over patrolled.

Anonymous said...

Excellent news. A well thought out plan that takes into consideration the 'wants' of all. Great job Al.

Peter said...

Al
with the hike and extra load from the Beavers on Pali lift, what's the time line for the update to the present twin to the new (if I recall correctly) twin? Also, I've presumed the new Pali lift will have a higher capacity (i.e. be faster) even with the same twin seating?
Peter

Anonymous said...

glad to see you guys put a hike back under big avalanche terrain, seems smart and safe. keep up the excellent work!!!!!

#431 said...

Those first few comments were pretty sad and obviously do not speak for people that have actually skied the terrain. As the reasons for leaving it hike back are many and abundantly clear your first time through there. Additionally it will be cool to mix skinning out of there into a normal ski day at the resort. I also think a skin track along the new boundary from Pali to the top of Zuma could be really unique addition to the rec options at Abasin.

One thing many are concerned about with steep gullies is how rocky and inhospitable it often is for skiing. Right now however you can ski it whenever you like whether its boney or not. Does Abasin have a plan for getting it open quickly? I mean some seasons if it was in a resort boundary I could see it never opening. I guess what im saying is I don't care what the coverage is in the gullies or if I might hit a few rocks I really just want to be able to ski it all season.

Anonymous said...

I love the expansion! My question is how the expansion will impact lift lines for Pallavicini?

Anonymous said...

hell even avy mitigated terrain over there and all hike back would be amazing...take your time getting the lift setup :) don't stray away from being the legend and fall into the wants of the main crowd..stay true abasin, we love you!

Anonymous said...

Is the dude serious about impacting the lines for Pallavicini? Literally 95 out of 100 skiers will ski to the quad.

Unknown said...

Also confused about the decision for a fixed grip lift as opposed to a detachable quad?

Anonymous said...

Also curious about the decision for a fixed grip vs detachable.

Anonymous said...

Fixed grip vs. detachable.

I'd imagine a few things:

1. Wind
2. Fairly short vertical rise
3. Crowd Management on the Beav
4. Not a high-capacity area (see bottom of Montezuma where there is rarely a wait)
5. Cost