Friday, November 30, 2012

Upper Sundance Opens Saturday

Upper Sundance will open tomorrow, Saturday.  Dorse just put the finishing tiller pass on it and I skied it.  It was very good.  Only the upper half of Sundance will be open and it will not be full width.  Since the upper half will feed back into High Noon, we are considering it a "blue, more difficult" trail.  There is still no "green, easiest" trail available from Black Mountain Express.  I think you will enjoy this nice terrain addition.

First thing this morning I went to The Summit.  The snow and grooming was quite good.  I don't think anyone can complain about what is open.  The skiing out there is good.  Like all of you, I am looking forward to the big snow so we can ski the whole mountain. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sundance Snowmaking Update

Snowmaking is going well on Upper Sundance.  We have had 5 fans guns running on Sundance, 1 fan gun at Molly's Magic Carpet, and another fan gun on the Terrain Park near the top of Black Mountain Express.  The skiing today was quite nice.  We usually have a quiet period right after Thanksgiving.  It is a great time to come enjoy the place with just a few people around.  I skied between 9:30 and 11:00 this morning and had  a very good time.  The weather forecasters are saying sunny, beautiful days all week.

Top 10 For Character

There is another nice article in featuring A-Basin.  They list the top 10 ski areas for character.  Again, we are in great company with Whitslter, Alta, Telluride, Sun Valley, Jackson and more.  I like it.  Hope you enjoy the article.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Randonee Dinner

Last night we had another great feast at Black Mountain Lodge.  It was the Night in Bavaria Randonee Dinner.  We have come to expect extraordinary food and music.  Leon Littlebird did his thing with flutes and the guitar.  Chef Rybak and crew did what they do best.  Bacon wrapped pheasant, North Atlantic cod, roast pork, dill potato soup, Black Forest cake, and apple pancakes just to name a few.

Everything was awesome.  The skin up was especially cool.  While not quite full, the moon was really bright and the mountains just glowed.  I love being out in those conditions.  Where else can you ski or snowshoe in to such an amazing feast.  Very cool.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

BML Deck

I think these guys enjoyed hanging out on the deck today.

Bluebird Day

Sometimes I wonder how many more of these perfect Colorado, cloudless, blue sky days that I can take.  You know, I think I can take a lot more of them.  My first choice of weather is always a big snow day.  My second choice is just like this.  The days have been stunningly beautiful.  The sky is so blue, it doesn't even seem real.  The last few days I spent a lot of time with folks enjoying the holiday.  Pretty cool.

The skiing isn't too bad either.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Molly Hogan Friday

We had another good night of snowmaking on Molly Hogan and the Upper Mountain.  As I said yesterday, the Molly Hogan Lift and Chair will open Friday.  Perfect time to take that friend or relative up to The Basin to learn how to ski.  Over the years, I have come to enjoy watching kids learn how to ski or snowboard.  It is fun watch them grow from just waddling around to become really great skiers

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Snowmaking Is Alive and Well

Despite the rumor mill, snowmaking is alive and well at A-Basin.  We had several snow guns cranking overnight.  For the last several days we have been focusing our efforts on getting Molly Hogan open and widening Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch.  This weekend we will shift our energy to making snow on Sundance.

Our snowmaking is connected to streamflows.  As we divert water for snowmaking, we leave a flow in the stream that keeps the fish and other stream life alive and well.  Streamflows are lower this year than last, but we have still been able to be very productive with snowmaking.  So, if you happen to hear some of those bad rumors, you can ignore them.  While I wish we were making as much snow as we did last year, our snowmaking is doing just fine.

And Molly Hogan Chairlift and Trail will open Friday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Randonee Dinner

This Saturday is our Randonee Dinner at Black Mountain Lodge. This one is unique because there is no lift service. Guests can skin, hike, or snowshoe up to the lodge at mid-mountain. Chef Rybak is preparing a Bavarian Buffet with roasted pork, sausages, chesses, and other fare from the Alps. As you can expect, the food will be outstanding. After enjoying a massive dessert tray, people can ski, hike, or snowshoe to the bottom. This weekend the moon should be bright and the weather forecast is mostly clear. We still have some spaces available. You can make your reservations on the website. Do not sign up for this dinner unless you are into a little exercise, a spectacular meal, a beautiful, moonlit mountain setting, live music, and a really good time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Snow Day

Great day, great snow. Colorado is not a bad place to hang out.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pika Place Open

Many skiers go through an intensive transition in "Ski Life."  They go from skiing all day on Pali, many days a week, to spending brief spurts on Molly Hogan teaching the kids to ski.  If the skier is lucky, she trades off ski time with her spouse and spends 1/2 the time of Pali and 1/2 the time of Molly. Watching more and more of us go through this transition, it becomes apparent we need to enhance the experience for the "wee" ones and especially for their parents.  Pika Place is now open.  It is a great place for anyone to get started with the sport.  It is an especially great place for kids to get started.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Free, Fast, and Easy

Lenawee Day

Today was a very nice start to Upper Mountain skiing.  As planned, Lenawee Mountain Lift opened.  I did a couple of final checks about 8 this morning.  Good, good snow.  We will keep a couple of fan guns running for a couple more nights up there.  We want to widen a few spots.  The next snowmaking charge will be on Molly Hogan.  We are targeting late weekend to get that chairlift open.

Standing on the Summit at A-Basin is cool.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Uphill Access Policy

Uphill access by means of skinning, snowshoeing and hiking has gained popularity at Arapahoe Basin in recent years. The ski area welcomes and supports individuals seeking to exercise and enjoy the beautiful, mountain setting. With increased use, however, many questions have risen about how to best manage and handle uphill access. Last spring A-Basin staff held a public open meeting and an employee meeting seeking feedback on uphill travel. Additionally, 372 participants completed an online survey regarding uphill access at Arapahoe Basin. As a result of this feedback, A-Basin modified its Uphill Access Policy in two ways:

1) There is a need to increase communication between uphill users and A-Basin staff about uphill access.  As a result, all uphill users, whether travelling while the ski area is open or closed, are required to obtain a FREE Uphill Access Pass at the Season Pass Office.  While obtaining the pass may seem like a pain, this is really an effort to help users and staff communicate better in regards to uphill access.

2) During operational hours, uphill access is restricted to the eastern edge of High Noon between the Base Area and Black Mountain Lodge. Access above Black Mountain Lodge is prohibited during operational hours.  With the increase in uphill use and the narrow travel corridors and notable terrain transitions, we felt it was no longer appropriate to mix both uphill and downhill use above mid-mountain.
Please note that right now (very early season) uphill access will not be allowed during operational hours until additional terrain is available.
The complete Uphill Access Policy can be found on the "Runs Open" page of our website.

Many of us know what a really cool experience travelling uphill at A-Basin can be.  My wife, Kay, and I regularly go for an afternoon/evening spin once the lifts close.  With these simple modifications of the Uphill Access Policy and a cooperative spirit between users and employees, I am hopeful we can preserve this experience for a very long time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lenawee on Saturday

I know, I know, finally. We are opening Lenawee Mountain Lift on Saturday. Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch will be available. The new beginner conveyor, Pika Place, will also open Saturday. It will be great skiing and riding. You know other mountains have more terrain, but you also know the best skiing will be at The Basin. This will be fun. See you Saturday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Upper Mountain

Again, I took a snowmobile tour just as the sun was cracking the ridge up at the Summit.  The snowmaking crew had another good night.  Both Scott and Gerry were here grooming and pushing piles.  We are making some good headway.  Lenawee Face had a nice corduroy surface this morning.  The fan guns are pointing at the lean spots.  We are still trying to get Lenawee Lift open by the weekend.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stellar Afternoon

While the morning started out kind of grey, the afternoon was spectacular.  Very blue skies and a perfect Colorado day.  Did a morning snowmaking tour with Mark LaFlamme.  Getting better.  We are still targeting a late week opening on The Upper Mountain.  Pika Place and The Snowsports School will definitely open Saturday.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

We Did Well

This storm was very good to us. Ramrod and High Noon are skiing exceptionally well today.  Early risers experienced some perfect, soft corduroy. We reported 6" of new snow with a favorable NW wind.  We might get another 2-3" tonight.  This morning I did another snowmobile tour on the Upper Mountain.  What an amazing difference in 24 hours.  The snowmakers had a very good shift last night.  There are lots of big piles up there.  This coming week looks very favorable.  We should have some sunny days and cold nights and maybe a little snow by week's end. 

The big question is when are we going to the top. We are doing a lot of math looking at temperatures, reservoir recharge rates, and weather forecasts.  As I already said, this weather event was good to us.  We are targeting late week to open to the top, initially with Lenawee Face, Dercum's Gulch, and Lenawee Mountain Lift.  Stay tuned through the week for updates.