Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Loafer Closed Thursday - Winch Cat

Loafer will be closed for most or all of the day Thursday. So far we have used the winch cat to groom the upper half of the trail. The lower half of the trail has some rolls and turns and steeper sections. It will be a little trickier to winch. Tomorrow our drivers will be doing some experimental winching and grooming in the daylight hours. With this as a new program, we wanted to have plenty of daylight to try it out for the first time. This will not be a regular practice, but we thought in this transitional Beavers season, a daylight endeavor would be appropriate. We definitely do not want people nearby as we do this.

There will still be plenty of skiing available on Davis, Bailey Brothers, Thick and Thin, Faceshot Gully, Steep Gullies and other places. Thanks for your patience.


Beacon Bowl

It is Beacon Bowl time. Come join us all day this Saturday. There will all kinds of stuff going on including friendly beacon competitions (friendly for most), beacon demos, avalanche dog demos, equipment demo village, silent auction, live auction by Tony C, food, beer, fun, etc. etc. etc. Not only is this a great day with old friends and new friends, all proceeds from the event go to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.  Details can be found on the website. See you there.


Monday, January 29, 2018

More Good Skiing

More good skiing out in The Beavers yesterday.




Sunday, January 28, 2018

More Good Stuff

It took some gnarly travel to get in this gully, but it was sweet once you were there.



Saturday, January 27, 2018

4th Steep Gully

With a group of five, I had an outstanding run down the 4th Steep Gully this morning. As I mentioned a few days ago, skiing the entrance took a little extra care. Once, however, we got into the gut of the run, conditions were excellent. It is a big, steep, cliff lined, gnarly chute.....and we loved every bit of it. The 4th Steep Gully is very cool and is definitely, as defined in the Colorado Ski Safety Act, Extreme Terrain.




Friday, January 26, 2018

Rando Racing and Skiing Uphill

It looks like we get to enjoy a few inches of powder skiing today.

Tuesday was the last of our six scheduled Rando Races. Each race saw 50-100 competitors skiing, skinning and climbing their way around The Basin. This is part of a bigger transition many skiers are making to include both uphill and downhill actions in their daily activities. Two of our Moonlight Dinners at Black Mountain Lodge require people to get to dinner without a lift.....and they sold out right away. Prior to last Friday night's Thai dinner at The 6th Alley, more than half of the diners went for a skin first. Every morning dozens of skinners head up the hill prior to the lifts opening. I have counted more 300 people doing that on a few Saturdays. Pretty cool to watch this change going on.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Afternoon

No wonder people love this place. Wednesday afternoon.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Limited Opening - Steep Gullies

Today saw the first limited opening in The Steep Gullies. For a couple hours, the Ski Patrol opened both Steep Gullies gates. Getting through the entrances took a bit of tip toeing, but once in the guts, skiers and riders found excellent conditions. As always, we will manage this terrain carefully. It will not be open all the time initially, but with each storm, the terrain will be open more and more.

THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT TERRAIN AT THE BASIN. It is not for everyone.

4th Steep Gully

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Zuma Is Getting Wider

I went for a very nice ski and mountain tour this morning.  I found exceptionally good skiing everywhere I went. The West Wall skied nicely. The Lower Mountain is in great shape. I found really good skiing in Montezuma Bowl on Columbine. The Ski Patrol even hosted a "limited opening" out in West Zuma. This past storm was kind to us. We may see a few more inches Thursday night, Friday and Saturday. More frosting on, what is turning out to be, a very good cake.



Sunday, January 21, 2018

Powder Day In The Beavers

There is nothing like a powder day at The Basin. The Spine, Standard and North Glade were all outstanding. Initially, we didn't spend too much time on the Front Side before heading to The Beavers. Skiing three laps of mostly first tracks was downright fun, fun, fun. The egress is a little scratchy, but if you take your time, it is very doable. We got a little exercise on the hike out. The couple hundred plus people that skied out there today were grinning from ear to ear.

Enjoy these photos mostly taken by Dave Camara at The Basin today.








Saturday, January 20, 2018

Forecast

OK, this would be good.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Black Bear

I went for a very nice 5-Lift Tour this morning. After riding BMX, Pali, Lenawee, Lazy J and Zuma Lift, we finished the tour with a ski down Loafer and a hike out The Steep Gullies Hike Back Trail. Loafer was very good and I was delighted to have an excellent ski down Black Bear in Montezuma Bowl. The snow was packed, but still very carvable. Mostly, it was fun to ski.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Morning Light In Zuma

Here is a very nice image of the early morning light down at the bottom of Zuma Lift a few days ago. Thanks to Guy Warren for sharing it with me.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Some Fine Skiing In The Beavers

There certainly is some fine skiing to be found out in The Beavers. With all the snow, we have moved past the "Limited Opening" phase of The Beavers debut. They will be open regularly with more and more pieces to come. You might even see some skiing at the East Woods Gate. Remember, we have to complete avalanche mitigation in The Steep Gullies before we can open The Beavers each day. Also with such a big hike to finish the ski, they are closed a bit sooner. Check out the Terrain section of our website for up to the minute open/closed status.

After another good storm, we may have to start talking about the East Wall.


Storm skiing on Saturday.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Lazy J

The Lazy J is up and running and people are enjoying the ride.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bluebird Day

I was able to enjoy a bluebird day off at The Basin today. Crystal clear skies and cool temperatures with soft snow, we enjoyed a couple of laps out in The Beavers. We hardly saw anyone except at Rendezvous Point and the Hike Back. There is a lot of great skiing to be found in the gladed areas. As we have received more snow, the area is getting packed out and the skiing is getting better all the time.




Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Place Just Got Bigger

Montezuma Bowl opened today. The Beavers were open for most of the day. We just received 18 inches of snow in 3 days. The skiing was awesome. As expected, we are having a very busy holiday weekend. Thank you to all the people that carpooled, rode the bus, arrived early or arrived late. The extra terrain is great for spreading people around. The place just got bigger. We had a little bogie with an electrical problem on our new rope tow, but other than that, it was a fine Saturday. Thanks for coming.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Another Day At The Basin



Approaching A Foot

We reported 7 inches of new snow at 5 AM. It has snowed non-stop since then and it is still snowing heavily. With a strong forecast for today and tonight, we could have well over a foot of new snow by the time this storm is done. We will definitely have some treats for you today, tomorrow, the next day, the day after..........

The Goat Meter indicates heavy snowfall.

This is the Snowcam at 7:45 AM. It was cleared at 5 AM.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Time To Carpool Or Ride

With a few inches of new this morning, more snow expected tonight, limited openings in The Beavers and Montezuma Bowl on the verge of opening, The Basin is looking pretty good. The Martin Luther King weekend is almost here. I am anticipating some busy days and some parking challenges. I wanted to share a few tips to help your "arrival experience" be better. 

-Of course the best thing you can do is ride The Summit Stage (local bus). There is a free bus, The Swan Mountain Flyer, from Breckenridge to Keystone to Arapahoe Basin.

-If the bus doesn't work, seriously consider carpooling. Parking is not unlimited. With full lots, the mountain still skis really well. If we could reduce 10% of the cars on weekends, most of our parking challenges would go away. (our employees carpool or ride the bus on weekends)

-If you can't carpool, I suggest you either arrive very early OR sleep in, have a good brunch and show up for an afternoon session. Many people only ski in the mornings and lots of spots open up sometime after lunch. Do not arrive late morning or early afternoon on weekends. You may not find a parking spot.

With just a few adjustments to our schedules, we can avoid weekend parking issues.

Cool image in the 4th Alley.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Zuma Outlook

The outlook for Montezuma Bowl is good. I found plenty of good skiing on my morning Zuma lap today. The snowcats continue to make substantial progress on Columbine and Larkspur and the patrollers have been having a field day in West Zuma. There is corduroy to be found on Upper Larkspur, Upper Columbine, Shining Light and much of Lower Columbine. We have significant snow fence farms in the Zuma core.The place looks very good, but not quite ready to open today. The forecast for snow this week is improving. If snow falls as predicted and the wind is in our favor, we could see some really positive changes.............soon.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Hike or Skin?

As of now, several hundred people have enjoyed skiing in The Beavers over the last couple of days. How you choose to travel the Steep Gullies Hike Back Trail is really a matter of personal preference. I think there are at least three different ways to do it.

1.  Some people just complete their ski, toss their skis or board over their shoulder and walk out. This takes no preparation at all. Most people are taking 20-30 minutes to make the hike. For me that is a little long to carry my skis on my shoulder. I imagine I will do this occasionally, particularly if I did not plan to make a Beavers lap. Lots of people do it this way.

2.  Some people are carrying a light pack and strapping the skis on the pack for the hike. This way, you can use your poles for walking instead using one hand to hold your skis. I did that a couple of times to today. It was nice and easy.

3.  The last way is to skin out. Skinning is very easy and enjoyable. You have to hassle with putting the skins on and off and you have to carry your skins. The extra process makes it a little longer than walking, but it is also the easiest travel model. 

The other factor to consider is clothing. A Beavers tour starts well above timberline in colder and windier conditions. It finishes with a 20-30 minute hike. You go from cold to sweaty. Having a pack to carry your coat and helmet and other gear is very nice.

The choice is really just a personal preference. There is no right or wrong. I will do #2 or #3 most of the time, mostly because I prefer to take a few extra minutes to make the journey more enjoyable.


This photo has nothing to do with today's post. It was just a great view from the top of The Face yesterday.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

First Opening Of The Beavers

This morning we reported 4 inches of new snow and had a bit more after report time. That was just enough for us to get our first official opening of The Beavers terrain. For about 1 1/2 hours in the middle of the afternoon, the Ski Patrol opened Loafer, Alex, Jaeger and part of Beaver Bowl. About 100 skiers and riders checked it out. The two laps that Kay and I had out there were exceptional (only if you like skiing powder). As you have seen us do in the past, we manage our snow carefully. Today's opening was just a start. You will continue to see "soft openings" like this for a while. We want to pack the snow down gently mixing this snow in with the snow of our next storm and the following storm and the following storm. There won't be a big marketing pitch just yet. For now, let's ski it in and savor the moment.

THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. Whenever terrain is opened for the first time, the snow can be variable and there are more than a few obstacles. On top of it all, you have a 20-30 minute hike to get out of there when you are done. There is a certain segment of our guests that absolutely love stuff like this. If that is you, join the fun. If you don't go gaga over my description, you might want to wait for the lift next season.

Today's opening is the very beginning of some extraordinary skiing we will enjoy for decades and decades. Thanks to everyone that made this happen. Over the years, hundreds of people have been involved in this project.  A great deal of time was spent planning, designing, working on approvals and, of course, building the expansion. We still have a lot to do this summer (maybe next summer too), but today we are off to a fine start.

I can tell you, this afternoon I saw a lot of very happy people. It made me smile.





Saturday, January 6, 2018

Towards The Gore Range

I was just up on the Summit and did a little tour down the Cornice Run. This image is looking West - Northwest across The Beavers towards the Gore Range. The good news is that the Gore Range is obscured by clouds. Our storm is just starting to roll in. A few flurries have just started to fall in the base area. I am very anxiously waiting for this one !!!


Marnie's

Be sure and visit Bumpy at Marnie's.


Friday, January 5, 2018

Steep Gullies Hike Back Trail

The snowcats and snowmobiles have made it down The Steep Gullies Hike Back Trail to Rendezvous Point. This really speeds up our avalanche mitigation and trail preparation work.

We now have a good, wide, hikeable, skinable path for people to travel on out of The Beavers and The Steep Gullies. The Grand Portage is a clear and established, West to East traverse from The Bald Spot across the bottom of The Steep Gullies terminating at Rendezvous Point. From Rendezvous Point, skiers and riders have an easy 20-30 minute walk back to the bottom of Pali Lift.

When you hit the Grand Portage or The Steep Gullies Hike Back Trail, take a right, enjoy a pleasant tour through the woods and follow the signs.

With snow in the forecast, we may need this soon.




Thursday, January 4, 2018

F#*K CANCER

Join us for a fun evening and a special fundraiser Wednesday, January 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 in the A-Frame. Two of our employees, Tim Finnigan and John Catrambone, have spent much of that last year in personal battles with cancer. On Wednesday, this community event will lend a hand to our good friends and give everyone a chance to scream "F#*K CANCER."

Check out the details below or go to arapahoebasin.com.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Another Compaction Roller Image

Here is another cool image of the compaction roller working in Zuma Bowl. You might recognize the big rock feature in MGD. Check out the snowcat tracks in the top left corner. The cat drivers have made it all the way to the bottom of Zuma Lift. The bowl is packed and poised and waiting for new snow.