Sunday, March 24, 2019

Willy's Hiking

The hiking terrain is coming back around. Some of the areas slid in the big, early month storm cycle. Those areas are filling back in making for some very good skiing and riding. It should be fine Spring up on The Wall




Saturday, March 23, 2019

A Bit of Snow

It has been a snowy Saturday. We reported 2 inches new this morning and have had another inch or two since. Good skiing all of the place. The sun is starting to pop out for a lot of happy skiers that are here today.


Monday, March 18, 2019

A Beautiful Sunday

Kay and I enjoyed a beautiful Sunday wandering around The Basin. The skiing was fun in The Beavers and The North Side. We did some powder skiing on the East Wall just after it opened, squeaked in a couple groomers and found great snow on Challenger. The last couple runs were in the 1st and 5th Steep Gullies including a couple of nice skins back to Pali.

Not enough hours in the day.



Saturday, March 16, 2019

Steep Gullies View

And we had another bluebird day. The skiing was a treat on all aspects, Zuma, Beavers, Front Side, North Side. It was not a warm slushy day. It was a cool late winter/early spring kind of winter snow, kind of great skiing, kind of awesome day.

Looking across the 4th Steep Gully with the Widowmaker in the background.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Near Normal Opening Thursday

The CDOT avalanche work is complete with minimal activity on The Professor. The highway should be open any minute. This should be a near normal opening. One exception might be the Early Riser Lot. We kept the plow drivers out of there until the avalanche work was complete. At this moment it is closed and being plowed. The first arrivals may be parking in the High Noon Lot.

We are in for another fine ski day.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Update For Thursday Morning

It started snowing at midnight and hasn't stopped yet.

We did close at 2 PM today. CDOT closed Highway 6 at Keystone and we were concerned about the slide paths that affect the road. Tomorrow, at dawn's early light, A-Basin and CDOT will begin avalanche mitigation work along the highway and within the ski area. We are hoping for a normal or near-normal opening Thursday, depending on the mitigation results. Stay tuned to our website and the blog for details.

I will update the blog by 8 AM Thursday.


Closing At 2 PM Today

Due to deteriorating snow and avalanche conditions along Highway 6, Arapahoe Basin is closing at 2 PM today. Stay tuned to our website and my blog for updates on tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Bombogenesis

Bombogenesis, or bomb cyclone, occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone intensifies rapidly with a dramatic drop in atmospheric pressure.

I never heard this term before Tony C used it this morning. I thought he was making it up. I guess we might be in one very soon, like tonight and tomorrow. We could have some exceptional powder skiing by the time the lifts are turning in the morning. I suggest an early arrival. Tomorrow may be very interesting.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Heck of a March

We have had some beautiful ski days. Sunday afternoon I had some great fun hanging out with family and friends and skiing the Steep Gullies. Looks like we have more snow heading our way. This is one heck of a March.




Saturday, March 9, 2019

Road Is Open, Ski Area Is Open

Highway 6 opened at 9:15. The Basin is open. I think I need a cup of coffee.


Ski Area Is Ready - Highway Delay

We still have a little plowing and shovel work to do, but A-Basin is fully ready to open this morning. There is a delay on the highway. Additional debris from the Widowmaker still needs to be cleared off. We have sent two snowcats down to help CDOT. I am not sure of timing, maybe 1-2 hours. Hopefully, the road gets open soon.

This is the debris tunnel we drove through last night to get home.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Images From The Day





 





We Will Be Open Saturday

Arapahoe Basin will not open Friday. After minimal slide activity on The Professor, our Snow Safety Team moved on to the Widowmaker. The last big shot of the day triggered a large slide on the Widowmaker depositing a significant amount of snow and timber on Highway 6. Currently, we have snowcats, loaders and plows working to clear the highway. This is not a small task. Staff will work well into evening clearing the road.

We have had a very big couple of days around here. There have been plenty of challenges to work through. A-Basin, CDOT and CAIC staff worked collectively getting us through this avalanche cycle. We are pleased to announce Arapahoe Basin will open with normal operating hours Saturday.


No Slide On The Professor

After some very large shots on The Professor, there was minimal slide activity. The crew is moving over to the Widowmaker for similar work. Depending on results, once the Widowmaker work is completed, we should be able to make some good decisions about opening. Look for another update by 2 PM.

Look for an update at 1 pm

We have no updates at this time.  We will update again at 1 pm.

Active Avalanche Work Taking Place

We are still not open. 

Late into the evening yesterday, our snow safety leaders were on the phone working with CDOT and CAIC. We have secured additional resources to help manage the avalanche concerns along Highway 6. This morning several staff members from the two Colorado agencies are working with our Snow Safety Team delivering explosives to the areas of concern. The teams are in the field now and the work continues. 

I know that the anxiety and excitement to go skiing is growing in the Arapahoe Basin clan. Getting the additional resources and putting today's plan into place was a very big and positive step on the path to re-opening. We will update our message by noon today.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

The News Is Not All Bad

In previous blogs today I pretty clearly outlined our avalanche challenges. That is the bad news. The good news is that all this snow is making for some great skiing. The Ski Patrol was all over the place today, working and skiing the Front Side, The North Side, The Steep Gullies, The Beavers and Montezuma Bowl. They have a very good handle on what is going on within our boundary.

I did get up to the Summit a couple of times and was able to ski Lenawee Parks, Norway and Exo Face. For those of you jonesing to go skiing, it is as good as you can possibly imagine. Be patient on the highway and avalanche issues. It can get deeper, but conditions are as incredible as you could ever want.






We Will Not Open Friday Morning

We will not open first thing Friday morning. While it is our intention to open sometime during the day Friday, we will have to see how the avalanche mitigation work goes. There is substantial work planned for the morning.  It absolutely pains me to say this but, PLEASE stay away until we can get this situation resolved. We will have another update on the website and the blog by 9 AM Friday.

This is a time of great uncertainty. We have wildly changing weather and snowpack conditions. This afternoon we saw a couple more large slides on the East Wall - TJ's and Jet Chute. The Professor and Widowmaker are still critical and unresolved concerns. I realize that some people want to know an exact time when things are going to happen. Unfortunately, we are working on Mother Nature's terms right now. While she is really delivering the goods with these storms, she isn't always easy to work with.

When the times comes, I will be begging you to come skiing. And you will love it.




UPDATE - Closed, Extreme Avalanche Conditions

We have seen a bit of avalanche activity in the East Wall / Humbug Chutes area. We haven't seen too many other avalanches within the ski area although there are still many areas yet to be traveled. Our major concerns are the avalanche paths that threaten the highway and the base area, specifically The Professor and the Widowmaker. CDOT did shoot The Professor this morning without results. There was a large natural slide out of Grizzly Bowl that touched the highway just above the CDOT Barn.

We do have teams working on the mountain. The Ski Patrollers are running their avalanche routes. The Lift Crew is digging out the chairlifts and getting them going. Snow plows and snowcats are trying to keep travel lanes open. The Base Area crew is shoveling and shoveling and shoveling trying to un-bury the buildings.

We had a brief lull in snowfall, but it has picked back up again. We may see several more inches by morning. At this time, no one in our leadership circle is comfortable opening the highway and the parking lots. We continue to work very closely with CDOT. There is no chance we will open today. Our avalanche mitigation efforts are continuing. Stay tuned for more updates about tomorrow.


A-Basin Will Not Open Today - Thursday

Due to extreme avalanche concerns A-Basin and Highway 6 over Loveland Pass will not be opening today. We are working closely with CDOT to manage this challenging situation. For updates today, pay attention to our website and my blog.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Atmospheric River

I think the next atmospheric river is starting to wash over The Basin. 7-13 inches or more of snow is very possible by tomorrow morning.

......And the skiing is already incredible. Imagine what tomorrow might be.




Tuesday, March 5, 2019

From Zuma Cornice

I couldn't resist snapping this image from Zuma Cornice looking back towards the Summit. Whether it has been a white room powder day or a bluebird, Colorado Special, we have had some amazing skiing.
 

Monday, March 4, 2019

Big Avalauncher Day


The Snow Safety Team is having a very big day on the East Wall. An early morning avalauncher session delivered very big results across the center of the Wall. Avalanches from Birthday, Hershey, TJ's and North and South Falls ran nearly to the flats. That work is currently being following by hand routes in the North Pole and Tree Chutes regions.
 
No projected time on an East Wall opening yet, but we can look forward to some good skiing out there.
 
And we are having a bluebird power day.

 
 
 


34 Inches in 5 Days

Over the last five mornings we have reported new snow in the amounts of 2", 4", 8", 11" and 9". That totals 34 inches in 5 days. Accordingly, the skiing and riding matches the snowfall, exceptional.

Last night at 8 PM, we had a tough drive home. Road conditions were gnarly. On Highway 6 between Dillon and A-Basin, at least, the plow drivers were very busy through the night. Driving to work this morning was much better, but we still have very wintry, snow packed roads. The skiing today will be awesome. PLEASE take your time and be careful getting here.


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Highways Are A Mess, But......................

OK, the highways right now are a mess. This is a very substantial storm. We have now had nearly 3 feet of snow over the last 4 days. It is very difficult getting anywhere right now and even more difficult getting home.
 
Those that did make it to The Basin today were rewarded. It snowed hard all day. No doubt, these were the best skiing and riding conditions of the season. Everywhere I skied was phenomenal, Steep Gullies, Pali, West Zuma, Beavers. It was awesome. At 3 PM I skied The Spine and it was loose, fluffy and really deep. Tomorrow looks to be even more of the same.
 
These conditions are absolutely perfect, but PLEASE be careful getting here. Take your time. Be patient. Drive slowly. Check the road reports. Be careful.