Wednesday, February 27, 2013


It is official.  Your ATT cell phone is now working at The Basin.  Repeaters were installed in both the A-Frame and Black Mountain Lodge.  Based on all the beeping and ringing my phone is doing now, I think the service must be pretty darn good.  There are opportunities for other carriers to piggy back on these repeaters.  At this time, I am not sure when the other carriers will be on board.

In this process, we also increased our overall capacity for digital communication.  The wifi service and capacity is much greater.  I look forward to that first big Saturday in the A-Frame when everyone tries to download a video at the same time and tests the real capacity.  Let me know about your experiences with both the cell and wifi coverage.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grooming in Lenawee Parks

The cat drivers have pioneered several good routes in Lenawee Parks.  I use the name Lenawee Parks to describe the big area that includes West Gully, East Gully, Cabin Glades, Dragon, and Lenawee Parks proper.  This is an area with lots of terrain variability, some sweet lines, and ever-changing routes.  I particularly like skiing some of the trees on the far Eastern side.  There are several micro-gullies in the area.  Skier tip -The left side of all the gullies tends to really catch snow.

Monday, February 25, 2013

East Zuma

The skiing in Montezuma Bowl continues to improve.  Upper Larkspur, Shining Light, and Columbine are the core routes right now.  Ski Patrol put in a hiking route to provide more access to the Upper 14'ers.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

5" New

5" new, still snowing, great forecast, Loveland Pass open, cool.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Had a couple of good runs over on The Spine and The Face today.  With the recent 2" and a kind wind, those places are filling up.  As you are skiing the big Pallavicini trail, the area breaks into three main zone.  The gully to the skier's right is Main Street.  The broad open area to the skier's left is The Face (or Pali Face).  The ridge line separating The Face and Main Street is The Spine.  Both The Spine and The Face are notorious for catching lots of soft wind packed snow. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Basin Day

I only made it to mid-mountain today, but people are telling me The Spine is some pretty fine skiing today.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snowy Forecast

Looks like snow in the forecast through at least Sunday night.  I had a nice hour of skiing this afternoon touring The Spine, Slalom Slope, Norway, a couple of Lower Mountain runs, and a few other spots.  Boy, the skiing is nice.  We reported 1" this morning and had at least that much during the day.  The place was fairly quiet and the light through the clouds was really cool.  Check out the sunlight over the top of Pali in the top photo.   Sunday may be shaping up as a big powder day.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Avalanche Accident

Many of you are aware there was an avalanche accident in Montezuma Bowl Saturday.  Several people were caught.  One person was injured and was evacuated by toboggan.  The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is conducting an accident investigation of the incident.  They have released a preliminary report on their website at the link below.

I want to send my very best to the people involved in the incident and to all of the people that assisted us during the incident.  I also want  to thank all of the people that have contacted us expressing both support and concern.

The safety and welfare of our guests and our employees is a top priority for us and will continue to be so in the future.  We will continue to provide great skiing and riding and that special vibe you have become used to.  Again, thanks to everyone for their support during this challenging time.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cold, Dry Powder

Another good one today.  Intermittent snow fell all day.  The sun is coming out in the morning.  A lot of familiar faces are showing up.  Most of the North Side is open now.  I hope you can make it up tomorrow.

5" New and Still Snowing

5" at at 5 AM report time.  Been snowing since then.  A good strong wind blowing.  I am going skiing.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The North Side and More

While I spent most of yesterday's on-hill time in Montezuma Bowl, I did a nice tour on Pali and The Alleys.  More and more chunks of terrain are opening there.  The Upper Alleys and the Lower 2nd and 3rd are skiing well.  Most of The Face is open.  Lower Standard, Lower International, and 13 Cornices are all skiing pretty well.  In Zuma Bowl, the 14er's should open tomorrow.  The forecast continues to look good and the snow is starting to stack up.  As I look up at Pali right now I can see the wind blowing snow into The Face and 3rd Bowl.  I just saw Todd Hanson in The 6th Alley and he told me today was his first "bell to bell" day skiing Pali Lift this season.  With a big smile on his face, he looked a little tired sitting there sipping his beverage. The skiing is getting pretty good out there.

More Zuma Pictures

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

She Is Open

Montezuma Bowl is open.  There is always excitement when people have a new place to ski and ride. It was very wintry at The Basin today.  The sun sort of popped out for about 4 minutes.  The rest the time we had light, but steady snowfall.  There were plenty of smiles to be found in Zuma.  I like the way the forecast is shaping up, snow Thursday and Friday and sunshine Saturday and Sunday for the Holiday weekend.  I tend to think of President's Weekend as the first unofficial hint of spring. It will definitely still be winter, but the days are a little longer and "The Beach" is usually going off.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Montezuma Opening Wednesday

Great news.  Montezuma Bowl will open Wednesday at Noon.  Columbine, Shining Light, Ned's Cache, Independence, and Upper Larkspur will open.  With a favorable forecast later in the week, we should terrain expanding there quickly.  Thanks to everyone for their patience with the opening and special thanks to the cat drivers, patrollers, lift ops, and lift mechanics making it happen.  Can't wait to ski there tomorrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Montezuma Update

Saturday, I took two laps in Montezuma Bowl with Becs and Louie.  Wow.  Really good.  Most of you know I have trouble exactly pin pointing an opening date and time.  I often use the term "we are close."  Well, this time we are really close.  With the newly fallen snow and the forecast Sunday and Monday, I think we will likely have enough snow to open the backside.  There is quite a bit of snowcat work to do with the new stuff and the ski patrol has a lot to do with ropes and pads and avalanche work.  That said,  IT IS GOING TO BE SOON.  Over the next few days, pay close attention to the website.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dumping Today

Today was beautiful.  It started sunny.  For about three hours in the middle of the day it dumped.  The sun popped out at the end of the day.  Now at 6 PM it is snowing again.  The forecast calls for snow through Monday.  Over the next couple of days I anticipate several key trail openings.  Stay Tuned.

Beacon Bowl

We hosted another very successful Beacon Bowl.  Many people tested their beacon skills and many others learned beacons skills.  The avalanche dog presentation was, as always, a big hit.  We top this all off with a big party, live auction, silent auction, beer, and pizza.  Everyone had a great time.  While the numbers are not in yet, I think we raised several thousand bucks for our friends at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.  Many, many people and companies support this event including New Belgium, Summit Ford, Ski Logik, Rocky Mountain Undergrownd, Wilderness Sports, Black Diamond, Ortovox, Clif Bar, Cuttrhoat Hockey, Denver Nuggets, BCA, Dillon Dam Brewery, Sidetrack, Flylow, Krystal 93 and many more.  Thanks to all that participated in this awesome community event.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Enjoy The Sunshine

Hope you enjoyed the sunshine today because starting tomorrow it is going to be SNOWY, SNOWY, AND MORE SNOWY !!!!!!!

Elevation 3 Pass

OK, here is another one of those shameless advertisements.  We have a new 3-day program, the Elevation 3 Pass, available for $119.  For a significant discount you can also add lunch and rental vouchers.  This is a deal and the tickets are good for the remainder of the season.  This is just in time for President's Weekend and then Spring Break.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Future Looks Bright

Today was spectacular.  The forecast for tomorrow looks the same.  And then we have a forecast for several snowy days.  The snowcats have now travelled to the bottom of Zuma Lift along Columbine, Shining Light, and Independence.  Much of Larkspur has been packed also.  The groomers have created a good solid base.  Upper Columbine is in incredible condition.  I would say we are close to opening Montezuma Bowl.  If we score on the high end of the forecast over the weekend, we could be very close.  I get nervous saying we need exactly xx inches to open a new zone so I am a little hesitant to make that call.  Let's say that if this is a good storm with good wind, I will definitely be "checking out" the product to see if it is ready.

Nick Logan Presentation

We had a nice surprise with 2" new this morning.

As I mentioned in other blogs, Friday we are hosting a Companion Rescue Seminar.  Following the event at 5 PM there will be a spaghetti dinner for participants and whoever else would like to attend.  Very notably, as part of the dinner Nick Logan will give a presentation.  Nick has a long and storied career with the Breckenridge Ski Patrol and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.  He will share in depth information about avalanche history in our part of the world including details from the 1986 Professor avalanche and the 1987 Peak 7 avalanche.  Nick is an outstanding avalanche educator, a wonderful speaker, an old friend, and one of my mentors throughout my career.  It will be an exceptional presentation.  Please attend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beacon Bowl This Saturday

The Beacon Bowl will be held this Saturday along with a companion rescue workshop Friday.  Bob Berwyn wrote a very nice piece on the events and I have attached the link below.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Evening Skin and Ski

Great skin this evening.  Went up to the top of Pali and then to the summit.  Beautiful sky over the East Wall and Black Mountain and a beautiful sunset on the Ten Mile and Gore Ranges.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Professor

The Professor is the very prominent slope across the Highway from the base area.

Great day of skiing on Sunday. Had the day off and spent the afternoon riding and skiing off Pali Lift.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Shame on me for not taking photos, but today was beautiful.  We had 21" for the week.  It skied like more.  Pali was open in the afternoon.  People were loving it.  It is amazing what a couple feet of snow does for everybody's mood.  Today was what the Basin was all about.  I know tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday, but come out for a few hours in the morning.  You can still catch the game.  Sunday will be another one of those "A-Basin Days."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Snowed All Day

It snowed all day.  At least 6 inches since report time.  Pali Main Street, The Spine, and the Lower Face are open.  It is an exceptional opening for Pali.  There are still a few rocks and this terrain is for experts only, but the snow is outstanding.  If that kind of description appeals to you, I highly recommend getting here early Saturday.  If you consider yourself a Basin skier, you'd be a fool to miss Saturday.  It is going to be a great one.  Drive safely and get here early to get first tracks.