Monday, October 14, 2019

On To Ramrod

Last night, the snowmakers moved to Ramrod. Several of the same snowmaking hydrants used for High Noon are also used for Ramrod. We simply move the fan guns to the east and point them in a different direction. 

We are optimistic for the week. Our snowmaking is linked to streamflow. The higher the streamflow, the more water available for snowmaking. We are forecasted to see sunny, warm days and clear cold nights. During the day, much of last week's natural snowfall will melt, raising the streamflow. With cold nights, we will convert that increased streamflow into increased snowmaking.

October 2014 Ramrod Snowmaking 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Wonderful First Couple of Days

The first couple days of the season have been fantastic. Opening day skiing was fun. We threw a great party in The 6th Alley for The Basin crew. The enthusiasm and excitement for the season was super high. The snowmakers spent Friday and Saturday nights buffing out High Noon. Just as we hoped, lift line, parking and crowd issues were non-existent. What a good way to kick off the season.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Funniest Thing On The Internet

There was a lot of very hysterical stuff on the internet yesterday. Someone called me Alan Petty Henceroth. I assumed that was because Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were my favorite band of all time. 

This meme, pulled off Keystone's Facebook page, by far gave me the biggest laugh of the day.

Friday, October 11, 2019

We Are Opening Today

The race to be the first to open in Colorado and the country is always a treat. Vail has announced that Keystone is opening tomorrow. I know Loveland is right on their tail. Congratulations to both resorts.

We are proud to announce that we will open Black Mountain Express today, Friday, October 11, from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. There will be $15 lift tickets, $5 beers and $5 apres ski dishes in the 6th Alley. Starting tomorrow, we will be open with normal operating hours. Mug Club sales begin Saturday.

Our team has done an extraordinary job making snow, grooming snow, getting the annual tramway licenses, hiring staff, training staff, etc. etc. etc. We have been having fun. I can't wait to get my skis on. As I write, the cat drivers are putting the finishing touches on the snow. The lift ops and the ski patrollers are getting their gear in order. The staff gets an A+ for this one.

Today we will be hosting an extraordinary Friday Afternoon Club. Come join us for a few turns, a quick bite and a beverage with friends. Ski season is here. Thanks so much for being part of Arapahoe Basin.

Cats On The Hill

.....And last night we had another brilliant session of snowmaking. The snowmakers have shut down the system. They are pulling hydrants and moving fan guns. Scotty and Dorse are back in their cats dozing up piles and spreading the snow. I am pacing everywhere, trying to avoid bugging the employees as they get their operations ready to open.

This is going to be a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

We Are Going To Open..........Soon

I am not exactly sure when, but we are going to open very soon. The snowmaking crew is raging, totally capitalizing on this tremendous weather event. Can't wait to see the place in tomorrow's morning light.

A Very Big 24 Hours

Right now it is snow nicely. The air temperature is dropping precipitously. The relatively humidity is high with all the snow so the wet bulb temperature is similar to air temperature. Currently, that air temperature is 17 F at mid-mountain, but expected to continue to drop all day. These are ideal conditions.

We have had some good snowmaking weather over the last week. The next couple days will be VERY, VERY, VERY good snowmaking weather. By Friday morning, The Basin will be a very different looking place. 😆

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Temperatures Are Nosediving

About noon I walked High Noon with Louis. While the trail isn't ready today, we are getting much closer. The forecast looks COLD. Starting about 8 tonight, the temperatures are going to nosedive. We may see temperatures below zero. We should have incredible snowmaking weather for at least 48-72 hours. Add some decent snowfall Thursday. That is going to put us right in the "ZONE."  I suggest looking at the webcams first thing in the morning Thursday. I am usually a pretty calm guy, but I am starting to get excited.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

We Are Well On The Way

The snowmaking has just been incredible. We couldn't really ask for better. Last night was pretty good. Before long we will get a snowcat on the hill. The first snowcat trips will get a travel route established. Once that is done and we make a little more snow, the snowcat drivers will start pushing and spreading the snow around. They will be literally carving those whales into the ski trail we call High Noon. Once you see the cat dozing, we are getting close.

Monday, October 7, 2019

That Looks Like a Ski Trail

A-Basin Snowsports Instructor, Andrew Greene, took this photo this morning. I would say High Noon is starting to look like a ski trail. The last couple days of snowmaking have been even better than I was expecting and the forecast later in the week is improving. It is still too early to pick an opening date, but you can start dusting off the skis and snowboards.

Face of A-Basin Snowmaking

The face of Arapahoe Basin snowmaking is Bill LeClair. His career in this very specialized craft began in 1984 at Mt. Sunapee, New Hampshire. After spending decades as a fixture in Keystone snowmaking, this is his 3rd year as the A-Basin Snowmaking Manager. There are few people in Colorado with his encyclopedia of knowledge in snowmaking. We are lucky to have him.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

And Another Good One

We had another good snowmaking session last night. The wet bulb temperature dropped down to 17 F.  We fired up  the system at about 7 PM versus 1 AM the night before. The winds were a little breezy, but it was still a successful night. As I write, the system is still producing some good snow. Yesterday we ran until noon.

The crew will keep plugging away, hoping we see some really, really favorable conditions later this week.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Best Night Yet

That was a pretty good night. The wet bulb got down to about 20 F. I think we went beyond just test mode and really made some snow. While I can't call the snow piles or whales yet, we have moved beyond just white spots on the ground. Forecast wise, tonight looks to be very similar to last night. After that we might warm up again, but by mid-week we could see our coldest temperatures yet. With a nearly full reservoir and good streamflow, the outlook for the next week is quite good

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Hikers, Bikers and Disc Golfers

The Argentine North Fork Trail, Trail # 2 and the Disc Golf Course will remain open on a day to day basis. As long as snowmaking and / or natural snowfall do not interfere with these activities, and vice versa, we will keep them open. 

While we made snow again last night, we still haven't had the really big night. That might happen this weekend. We shall see. Stay tuned for trail and disc golf updates.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

25 F Wet

This morning was a nice semi-surprise. The wet bulb temperature dropped down to 25 F and the snowmaking crew fired up the fan guns. The humidity is very low which is good for snowmaking. Looking at the forecasts, we might see some more consistent and favorable conditions. I am hopeful for a productive snowmaking weekend. Let's keep the finger crossed.