Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Winch To The Bottom Of Loafer

Good news on the snowcat front. The drivers made it to the bottom of Loafer, where it meets the bottom terminal site of the proposed Beavers Lift. Part of our strategy this season was to figure out the best way to groom both Loafer and Davis. The winch cat needs to be anchored to either another snowcat or a purposed built winch anchor. This season we plan to identify the winch anchor sites through our experimentation and install the anchors this next summer.



29 comments:

HeartBraden said...

It still just makes absolutely zero sense to me (or anyone else I've talked to about it) that you would install another lift and add more terrain to a ski area who's parking lots are constantly filled to capacity before figuring out a better parking situation for your guests. Summit Stage takes too long, getting there 2 hours early is a waste of resources, sitting in a line of traffic to be told the lots are full is infuriating... really, the only thing bad about going to Arapahoe Basin is trying to find a place to keep your vehicle. It's certainly not "Oh, that awesome terrain doesn't have a lift, I wish they'd spend all their profits on expanding over there!"

If anything that will just make parking even worse. RIP A-Basin. RIP Beavers.

Mike said...

I love the new terrain and can't wait for the new lift.

Anonymous said...

The Beavers were fantastic this weekend. I have to ask if this area wouldn't have highest value as a permanent hike-back area. The East Wall is excellent for those of us willing to put in some work for quality turns, but it's usually not in condition until spring. Once the lift goes into the Beavers, it will be the same fight for fresh snow as everywhere else on the mountain. A bit of a shame. I, for one, enjoy the hike out.

Steve Crider said...

Parking - hey, there is NO better parking solution....try picking your days, coming early (or later, ski from 11-4) and yes, the bus is easy from Keystone and parking too. The expansion is amazing and being done to broaden the experience and 'value to the expert skier. If it's RIP for you at the Basin then go enjoy the crowds and 30 minute lift lines at Epic areas. Great job Al and company! thanks - Steve

Anonymous said...

Wait till they make river run parking paid parking.

Richard Mendell said...

Weekend parking isn’t a fixable issue, short of building a structure, which I’ll bet would be met with stoppingly harsh environmental and community feedback.

On the other hand, the Beavers lift will go a long ways towards fixing the weekend lift queue congestion, which is also a challenge, as well as making for more skiing variety.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you only go there on weekends.

David said...

I would love to see abasin run a bus from wooly mammoth park n ride. The ski areas should really step up since CDOT isn’t interested in anything other than building more toll lanes.

Brownjuan Brown said...

Al Henceroth--
Does Dundee Realty have a capital plan to expand/improve parking in the near term (1-3 years) ??
Your thoughts on the balance between size of the ski area VS quantity of parking spots ??

Thanks. Love this blog and the information it provides.

Anonymous said...

Full parking lots = set number of people on the hill. Set number of people on the hill + expanded in bounds territory and a new lift = more spread out crowds. I can't imagine how that wouldn't result in shorter lift lines, more fresh tracks (in bounds), and a better experience. Those who get up early and hit it hard are going to enjoy this expansion the most.

If you enjoy the hike, ski back country. If you enjoy the hike, but hate full parking lots, arrive early and skin up. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but gullies and bald spot will still be hike back (the terrain in there is impressive).

Ken said...

Go to Vail

Anonymous said...

If you ski in Colorado on the weekends, traffic, limited parking and crowds are just part of the package. Want the hill to yourself, go backcountry or move to Alaska. Otherwise, get your ass out of bed and on the road early and its all very manageable. The new lift will help spread out those crowds during the day, making for an overall better experience on the hill.

Anonymous said...

Skiing in the Beavers today was excellent and deserted. Loafer was wind loaded with blower and superb...the winch cat made some fabulous rollers like a mini downhill course. I never saw a soul back there on three different laps. Love the privacy and the skin out is great. Agree with some about the sentiment that a lift back here is bittersweet but I fully understand ABay’s plan and respect all the hard work and mitigation that goes into decisions like these. Change is hard folks, we might as well enjoy the ride. Thanks Al and the whole crew!

Dottie from Santa Fe (met you a couple weeks ago, Al)

Anonymous said...

That would be a great solution!

And to those reading the above comment and getting angry, pretty sure I know him and he’s not coming from a place of hate. He probably has more days than all of us and has the ability to ski A Basin during the week. So do I, and while we all can easily make it there early, get ahead of the crowds and do whatever it takes, the A Basin experience has been severely diminished for many many people due to this parking/traffic situation. Obviously it’s not exclusive to A Basin, but what further solutions are being provided besides telling people to arrive early or take the summit stage? It is a real problem despite all of our ability to not get caught in the shit show. A Basin has new terrain, a new lift coming next year, the best terrain already. What’s to stop EVERYONE from wanting that and arriving early? I’ve seen the lower lot full an hour before lifts open. It’s already getting there.

One of my friends had to park below the resort and attempt to catch the bus. Waited half an hour in line, because it was massive, before putting on his skis, saying that was enough, and walking back to his car. No one trying to ski deserves that, let alone someone who finds parking.

I’m stoked for the Beavers and new lift. I will be getting there early and not get caught, up, ride weekdays, cuz a bay is the best!

Many resorts don’t have to turn people away due to parking though, and the ones that do are working on adding more as well as seeking bus options (Eldora). They have a new lift also with new ownership and more and more people wanting that local hill experience. Same issues with at least some solutions in sight. A Basin being the pioneer it’s been should at least be keeping up with that.

RIP is just the feeling you get when there’s not a solution to the problems we’re seeing. It’s not dead, but it feels like it could be that way when issues aren’t addressed. So I get where HeartBraden is coming from. No need to vehemently defend Al and the experience. It’s not a personal attack, but A Basin is a personal thing for many of us. To deny there are parking and traffic problems would be kind of an F you to those who care, so it could be taken personally.

Let’s just find a solution!

Anonymous said...

How does the bus take too long? Some people just like to complain.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a good number of us can't get away during the weekdays to enjoy this terrain on weekdays. That's something that is undoubtedly understood by A-basin

Anonymous said...

There is a better parking solution... And more than one... Problem is that A-basin intentionally limiting number of visitors, and for a good reason too. It's very upsetting, but they simply can't handle more people due to limited terrain and slow lifts.

Keystone is past 30 min lines except on certain times when lift breaks down or they have to slow down because of weather. They actually invest in better lifts and crowd control and doing very good job at it.

Anonymous said...

Those that think parking needs to be expanded - where do you suggest they put those spaces?

I've been a Basin pass holder for ~20 years, never once had a problem with parking. I also rarely find long lift lines. I guess I'm doing it wrong. ;)

It would be awesome if the Beavers were left hike-only. As I talk to people skiing/riding there and on the hike out, it is a widely shared sentiment. In my experience, it is working really well this year and people are enjoying it greatly without a lift. Plenty of lift served terrain elsewhere at A-Basin and all the other nearby ski areas. Be different. :)

To the comment that says "if you enjoy the hike, ski the backcountry" Inbounds, avalanche mitigated hike to/back terrain is substantially different than backcountry. One doesn't replace the other. Clearly, there is already a strong desire for this type of inbounds experience, or else east wall and zuma hike back wouldn't already exist, along with addition of the SG terrain. It does exist at other ski areas, but having a larger area of hike back terrain such as the Beavers would add to the uniqueness of A Basin, and a strong selling point for people to buy an A-Basin only pass if they ever separate from VR.

Thanks Al and all the staff for making A-Basin great!

Anonymous said...

Telluride

PowMurderer said...

I’ve been shedding the basin for 20 years now and literally never had one parking issue. I have no idea what this joker is talking about but sounds like he likes sleeping-in more than skiing. Keep on rocking in the free world A-basin!

PowMurderer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

We said the same thing when they put the Pali in....." Oh no bumps on the Pali!"
Glad I got so many turns in the beavers in the 70s and looking forward to a lift back there now. Not to worry....There's plenty of terrain!

Anonymous said...

Parking isn't an ABasin issue, it's a Summit County / I-70 issue and the plain fact that there are just more people skiing issue.

Yes -- I'm from the Front Range (and therefore to some part of the problem). On a weekend it used to be if we were at Golden around 7AM we good to go in terms of the I-70 drive and the parking. I remember getting to Breck and if we were running late we would actually have to park in what is now the North Gondola lot or horrors of horrors the Gold Rush lot. At ABasin, we would usually get a good spot near the lodge in Early Riser.

Now, maybe getting through Golden around 6AM might means that we will be in the front wave of cars on a packed I-70. The High Noon lot is nearly filled, or the Airport Lot at Breck is getting pretty full. I dread the I-70 drive more then the parking situation.

Personally, I would rather have the limited parking situation and less time/people in lift lines and having more "alone time" on the slopes. So with that I do applaud what ABasin has planed. I don't have a problem with the new lift in the Beavers (I'll grumble because I used to ski the Beavers/SG as sidecountry -- but the traffic was increasing in there anyway...), and I don't have a problem of not expanding the parking because it will help self limit the amount of people on the slopes.

Keith Egan said...

Thanks for grooming some of this new terrain. I have not lived in Colorado since 1988 and have lived in Ohio since 1993. So I just don't have the strength or ability anymore to ski this terrain if not groomed. I will put up with the parking hassle to ski A-Basin each year and feel like a young hot-dog again.

Turbos mom said...

The parking limits the number of skiers on the mtn.
So 40% more terrain +same max number of guests = less crowded slopes

Ryan said...

Problem is there is nowhere to expand parking there without bulldozing wetlands or dynamiting the side of a mountain, and neither one is going to happen. All lots in Keystone next year (including River Run and all the satellite lots) will be paid parking, further exacerbating the problem at A-Basin.

So carpool, ride the Summit Stage, or show up after 12 (after 1 is even better) to avoid the parking headaches.

Anonymous said...

Al, The people want a parking blog post.

All I can say is:
If you don't wake up early on a pow day to snag a spot by Pali what are you even doing with your life.

Anonymous said...

WHAT ABOUT A UPPER DECK PARKING GARAGE LOT WITH NO TOP MADE OUT OF CONCRETE ABOVE THE DIRT ONES ?

Anonymous said...

The nice thing about Aspen Highlands is a multi-layer parking deck adjacent to the ski area that provides ample convenient parking right next to the slopes. The not-so-nice thing about it is paying $25/day to park there. Be careful what you wish for.

People, there IS a solution to the parking problem. Al has been begging you for years to carpool and ride buses. You're just too selfish to solve the problem yourselves.