Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Terrain Park Location

We are moving The High Divide Terrain Park. Over the years we have received feedback telling us two things, 1) A lot of people like the smaller features in the High Divide Park and 2) We should move the High Divide Park off of Sundance to give more room for beginner skiers. So... we are moving the park to the area around Towers 9 and 10 of Black Mountain Express. This area is easily accessible and currently lightly used. It will be completely off of Sundance. We are making snow there right now and anticipate the park moving sometime before Christmas. I took these photos yesterday. This morning I skied by the snow guns and we made a couple of very nice snowmaking piles there last night. The High Divide Terrain Park is designed to have small, entry level park features.

By the way, the skiing and grooming this morning was awesome. From late Thanksgiving to mid-December tends to be a very quiet time up here so come on up and enjoy the lack of lift lines and the un-crowded trails.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Skinning and Snowmaking

Skinner and Uphill Traveller Update. For the next week or so there will be some snowmaking going on at the top of High Noon just below Black Mountain Lodge. Use extra caution when travelling on Upper High Noon. You may want to use Upper Sundance instead of Upper High Noon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Aspen World Cup

I am over in Aspen for the weekend to watch the women's alpine World Cup races. Yesterday Julia Mancuso skied superbly in Giant Slalom taking 3rd Place. Those women, and particularly Julia, blew me away with their ability to make such amazing clean turns in really tough conditions. Later this morning Kay and I are walking over to watch the Slalom race. Like so many sports, television does not capture the drama, intensity, power, and speed of these extraordinary athletes. If you haven't yet, I encourage each of you to attend one of the World Cup held in Colorado each year. The Europeans watch these races the way we watch football. We are lucky to have these events at our doorstep.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bacon Bloody Mary

I hear new ideas and suggestions almost every day. I do my best to be open minded as people share their thoughts. To be honest though, when Chef Rybak came up with the Bacon Bloody Mary, my response was "yeah, yeah, whatever." Needless to say, the BBM has become fairly popular in the 6th Alley. There is a lesson here somewhere.

New Park Features

For your riding pleasure, Terrain Park Master Extraordinaire Matt Hauke, has added two new boxes. One of them is so wide and flat that even I can enjoy it.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is always a very nice day at The Basin. I must have seen 30 skinners heading up this morning. People came out and enjoyed another beautiful day. Smiles were and are abundant. It is mid-afternoon now and people are heading home for the evening feast. I am thankful to be at such special and powerful place with so many good people. Enjoy your holiday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Humbug is Open

Humbug is now open. I skied it about 10 AM this morning prior to open. Very nice corduroy on all natural snow. I am running out of superlatives to describe this weather. Just incredible out there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Snow and Sunshine

Today was just an all around beautiful day. We started the morning with 2" new. The sun popped out late morning. Had a great bowl of chili at Black Mountain Lodge. Took a few runs. Hung out with a couple of patrollers. Watched the spindrift flying off the top of the East Wall. Enjoyed the sun and snow. Kay and I finished it off with a skin to Summit after work. Pretty cool day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Still Snowing

Beautiful Saturday Morning

We have a beautiful Saturday morning here. Yesterday was another bluebird day with awesome skiing. At report time this morning we had an inch new and it is still snowing. I am expecting 2-4" more by tomorrow morning. I think the skiing will be outstanding today. The Molly Hogan Teaching Arena and the Snowsports School are now open. Black Mountain Lodge is open in full capacity. Skinners are heading up the hill. We have live music in the 6th Alley this afternoon. Chris will be running the Raw Bar. This is a really good day to visit The Basin.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ski Magazine

I just read the Ski Magazine 2012 Reader Resort Survey. A-Basin was ranked # 6 for "Character" behind Alta, Sun Valley, Telluride, Jackson Hole, and Crested Butte. I thought that was pretty good company to be with. We have had a lot of nicknames about our character over the years, "The Legend", "The Island of Misfit Toys", and "The Traveling Circus That Isn't Going Anywhere" to name just a few. This place will always be that fun, funky, and colorful place you have always loved. It was nice to see someone else noticed.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Everything I said about yesterday is true again today and Molly Hogan will definitely open Saturday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Best Skiing of the Season

Just spent an hour skiing this morning. That was definitely the best skiing of the year. Fanstasic. The grooming was perfect. Clear, sunny, and cold. We have had 9" of snow over the last four days. Not a dump, but enough to soften things up and make for some great turns. Very good snowmaking last night. The prognosis for Molly Hogan for the weekend has been upgraded to "very likely."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Molly Hogan Update

The plan is to open Molly Hogan this Saturday. This storm gave us a few setbacks. We lost snowmaking time due to the excessive wind for a few days and we lost snowmaking time to the power outage and we lost snowmaking time fixing the glitches caused by the power outage. (That wind storm was the gift that keeps on giving). Anyway, we are still hopeful for the weekend, but are not totally certain we are going to make it. Stay tuned to the website for details. As soon as we know, you'll know.

Unfortunately, I did not get to ski today. The hill looked great though. I watched a lot of folks on Ramrod, High Noon, and Sundance and the turns looked quite good. Note the mountain professionals below.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Power Outage

That was quite a weather event. If you followed the news, you heard there were tremendous winds in Colorado. Saturday night /Sunday morning was particularly brutal on the ski area. We lost electric power from about 3 AM until about 9 PM Sunday. Personally, I got stuck Saturday night in Idaho Springs with the I-70 closure. While we were able to keep the lifts running on auxillary power, there were significant impacts to the other services. Essentially all of our behind the scenes stuff, credit cards, email, e-store, phones, wifi, heat, etc., have some link to electricity. Part of what makes The Basin cool is that we are a funky ski area tucked in a high mountain valley between 10,800' and 13,050'. Part of what makes The Basin a challenge is that we are at the end of a long, above ground powerline and are susceptible to these big wind storms. The mountain pine beetle outbreak has excacerbated these problems over the last few years. Although most of the time it is easy to either acutually or virtually visit the Basin, we are still a remote place way up in the mountains and susceptible to some of the challenges of remoteness. So....I apologize for the headaches this storm caused to many of you. We frequently discuss a bigger auxillary power system for these occasions. You can be assured we are trying to improve this difficult situation and will be doing a lot of talking about this.

Thanks to all of you that made it up Sunday and endured the limited base area services and I am sorry to you folks that tried to communicate and work with us in one way or another with limited or no response.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Brooke Carson's Lemon Bar

OK, here is Chris' latest treat from the kitchen. He and Brooke were on a river trip last summer. Apparently, Brooke brought these lemon bars and Chris loved them (me too) and asked for the recipe. Get'em while supplies last.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Uphill Access is Open

Uphill access is now open. As a quick reminder, when heading uphill you are still considered a skier and all the same rules apply. You must stay out of closed areas. Stay away from snowmaking equipment. Ramrod may be closed for race training. Each morning the ski patrol weather person posts uphill access status on The "Runs Open" page of our website.

Most importantly, skinning, hiking, and snowshoeing uphill is a very, cool fun way to enjoy The Basin. By respecting the few rules and guidelines we have, everyone can enjoy earning your turns. I'll see you up there.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Was Wrong

Sundance will not open Saturday. It will open tomorrow, Friday. We will have a green trail and, now, 3 trails on the Lower Mountain. Today was another beautiful, sunny day. Looks we have more of the same for Friday and it is going to snow Saturday and Sunday. Bring it on.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sundance Saturday (maybe sooner)

Sundance looks great. The snowmakers have made a lot of snow there. I just skied the trail. Very impressive. Mother nature has been helpful with a nice little base of natural snow. Our snowmaking system on Sundance is a little more dispersed than other places. That means we make snow more in piles and the snowcats have to push it more than other places. That said, on Sundance I think we have to do a little bit more snowmaking and "A LOT" more snowcat work. Tonight we will have two snowcat drivers working the piles. Tomorrow will tell us a lot about which day we can get it open.