It snowed for a few hours during the middle of the day and, just now, the snow picked back up again. While we had a beautiful, dry and warm March, the weather has definitely turned since the end of last week. We have had about a foot of snow since the change and we are expecting a few more inches tonight to be followed by, what might be a decent storm, on Friday.
I went out for an afternoon ski trying to sample the whole place skiing a bit on the North Side, West Wall, Larkspur, Lenawee Parks and the Lower Mountain. Winter snow has returned. The skiing is excellent and soft. I think Wednesday morning should be outstanding. Tomorrow would be a good day to "adjust" your schedule.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Watching a squall blow through this afternoon, I was prompted to check on how the snowpack was doing at A-Basin. The US Department of Agriculture has an extraordinary website for Snow Telemetry, SNOTEL, https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/. It is easy to create a number of reports there. I focus on Snow Water Equivalent (SWE and commonly referred to as the snowpack) and Year To Date Precipitation. SWE is the inches of water on the ground in the snowpack.
Just outside of the ski area is the Grizzly Peak SNOTEL site. As of today, that site has 133% of the median Snow Water Equivalent and 126% of average Year To Date Precipitation. I think the Grizzly Peak site info is very indicative of snow and precipitation conditions at The Basin and it is easily accessible online.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Today, we hosted the 9th Annual Save Our Snow Celebration. We shared ideas on green living and raised funds for Summit County's High Country Conservation Center (HC3). For a mere $10 donation, skiers could demo some great equipment and all proceeds went to HC3. On top of that we donated $1 to HC3 for every skier that came to The Basin. We are lucky to have such a good partner in HC3 working to make Summit County an even better place to live and visit.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
At sunrise this morning there wasn't a cloud in the sky. By mid morning the clouds were rolling in. By early afternoon, the sky was completely overcast. The forecast still looks good. I like sunny days as much as the next guy but, it is time for some snow. Bring it on.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Everybody stay calm. Let's not get too excited. Let's be patient. The forecast does look pretty good. It appears as though we are going into a Winter Storm Watch tomorrow. Don't take it too seriously. We just might...........have some powder days coming. Don't jinx it.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Sunday, March 19, 2017
For The Beavers project we are working on a new trail map including new named trails. In the image below you can see that progress is being made on the map. We are diligently working on new trail names. When possible, we will use historical names like Beaver Bowl and The Steep Gullies. That said, we still need to come up with quite a few new names. We have been brainstorming internally and have come up with a few gems, but definitely still need more We are open to suggestions. If something strikes you as a good name, please feel free to forward it on to me.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Last night Chef Rybak's team paired with Odell Brewing for a Beer Makers Dinner in The 6th Alley Bar and Grill. The five course meal featured Alaskan halibut appetizers and braised lamb shank with oranges and olives as the main entree. Beers included the Runoff Red Indian Pale Ale and the Tree Shaker Imperial Peach IPA. The meal was topped off with a flourless chocolate cake with Baileys ice cream and a Dark Theory Black Cherry Sour. Delicious. Good thing we snuck in a skin before dinner.
Friday, March 17, 2017
If, by chance, you closely read our Master Development Plan or the other documents related to The Beavers addition, you would have noticed that there will be a couple of small picnic table decks, roughly 12' x 20'. Those decks will have room for a couple of tables and maybe a few Adirondack chairs. One of those decks is along Trail B2, the Western blue trail (final name tbd). I took this photo from that deck location. It will be a really nice spot to take a little break, enjoy a snack with your friends and soak in the view.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Today was another near perfect, Colorado bluebird day. With high temps pushing 40 F, we had a spectacular Spring ski day. The snow surface was excellent and the skiing was really fun. It looks like we have several more days like this in store for us before the next storm rolls in later next week. I suppose I can suffer through a few more days like this.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Monday, March 13, 2017
Last week, I had the pleasure of spending three days at the Fowler Hilliard Hut near Camp Hale. After a five mile skin to the hut, we enjoyed excellent back country skiing. Despite the weather being quite cold, snowy and windy we found warmth and shelter in the hut taking periodic ski laps in the woods near by. Our state has many huts similar to this. A few days in one of these huts, with close friends and family (laughing, eating, game playing, reading, skiing, etc.), is a quintessential element of Colorado skiing. Normally, I would suggest skiing at The Basin every single chance you get but, be sure and sneak in one of these huts trips every once in a while.
Sliding out The Mountain Goat Traverse in East Montezuma Bowl offers some very special views of Zuma. This is a lightly used part of the ski area. Eventually, skiers will run into the Fourteeners, Torreys, Grays and Bierstadt named after three 14,000 foot peaks just East of The Basin. Those trails (better described as glades) provide excellent tree skiing.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Friday, March 10, 2017
If you have either been here or have been watching the Denver news, you know it has been a windy week. Sometimes wind can be bad news, sometimes wind can be good news. On Pali this week, it has been very, very good news. The Face and The Spine have been filled in with wind blown snow. It makes a perfectly solid, but soft surface. Absolutely one of my favorite conditions. This afternoon I planned one quick lap down The Spine. After finishing my third lap, I really needed to get back to work. Boy, was it fun.
Enjoy the Dave Camara photo.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Below are a couple of pictures I took last week from the top of the 4th Steep Gully. The top photo is looking Southwest across The Beavers towards Beaver Bowl. You can see the open bowl up high and lots of great tree skiing down lower. We will enhance that tree skiing with just a little bit of tree removal creating some very nice glades.
The bottom photo is looking Northwest down the 4th Steep Gully. The primary entrance is on the far left side of the photo allowing skiers and riders to drop down a ramp into the guts of the chute. While a tremendous ski, this is clearly for expert skiers only.
Hope you enjoy the photos.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Friday, March 3, 2017
Last summer 10 year A-Basin employee Asa Barker passed away unexpectedly while back home on Cape Code. Asa had worked all around the ski area, in the rental shop, terrain park and snowmaking. He had really found his groove driving snowcats. Yesterday afternoon Asa's friends and family gathered at The Top of Pali to remember and pay tribute to him. Thoughtful reflections were shared. Tears were shed. People laughed. Mother Nature was kind, giving us a perfect afternoon. Asa, thank you for all you have done. We miss you.