Sunday, March 31, 2013

East Wall and Ski Patrol

These guys and gals put a lot of work into getting the East Wall open.  Many very early mornings, lots of hiking, ski cutting, pit digging, and lots of general schlepping.  They talked to every guest that skied the Wall Saturday.  They love doing it, but it is hard work.  They got a bit of good skiing in also.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Just Another Good Day

It was just another good day at The Basin.  Plenty of smiles.  The North Side skiing is superb.  The East Wall opened.  The grooming is awesome.  The Beach is "ALIVE."  We are going to cap it off with a big wedding bash at Black Mountain Lodge tonight.  Congratulations Alex and Jenny.

East Wall Open Today

With grey skies, a couple of sun patches, and a few snow squalls, the East Wall opened for about an hour today.   Assuming the forecast holds true, it should be open again tomorrow for a bit in the afternoon.  While there are definitely some rocks out there, some excellent turns can be found.  I skied it four times.  The traverse might be the toughest part. Opening the Wall is a very dynamic situation.  The patrollers will continue to heavily monitor and manage the snow.  It may not be open all the time, but when it is, there will be some fun to be had.  We might get a decent storm Monday.  

Friday, March 29, 2013

Great Coverage

Take a good look at these photos.  There aren't too many dark spots on the snow.  With the February and March storms, the snow coverage on our trails is excellent.  It makes my day to see those big white spaces.  Kudos to the ski patrollers and snow cat drivers for all their hard work snow fencing, snow farming, dozing, grooming, and managing the snow.  All the "other guys" are going to be shutting down soon.  That means it is A-Basin Time.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Update

A few good updates for the day.  The Ski Patrol did some big routes off the ridge line into Willie's Wide, Snorklenose, and North Pole.  The Snorkle Door is the gap where skiers can slide from Upper Willie's into the top of Snorklenose.  It has one of the coolest views in the ski area.

Each of these routes gets us a little closer to opening the East Wall.

The cat drivers dozed the road on Pali - Wog.  That makes for a much nicer ski out of Pali when you are tired.

I am hearing that Hot Wheels is coming together nicely.  I may have to take a spin in there Friday.

Chance of snow every day for the next week.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

East Wall

The big question is not "Will the East Wall open?"   The big question is "When will the East Wall open?"  We have had about 10 feet of snow the last two months.  Right now there is enough snow to open The East Wall.  Yes, there are still some rocks out there.  The forecast for the next week and more is very unsettled and will likely bring more snow.

The Ski Patrol has spent a great deal of time out there.  The East Wall avalauncher has been shot extensively.  There have been multiple routes done in North Pole, The Tree Chutes, and along The Traverse.  Numerous slides have covered rocks down low.    Our situation now is continued and aggressive snow management.  While I cannot say when it will open, I can say it will open.  The Patrollers will continue to do what they do.  The time is coming.  Be patient.  I see a really good spring on The Wall.

About 6"

It was officially 3" at 5 AM. We have had about 3" more since then.  There are snowflakes in the forecast everyday for the next week.  This is what you have been waiting for.  It is beautiful out there.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zuma Cornice - Jump

I had another just incredible afternoon skiing at The Basin.  I toured around a fair bit and took 3 "Last Runs" on The Spine, my all time favorite run anywhere.  The wind has been kind there.  The other really spectacular spot I visited was out Zuma Cornice to Jump.  Skiing on top of the ridge, the 360 degree views are really cool.  There are extraordinary vistas of Independence and Santa Fe Mountains.  I dropped into Jump which is probably the steepest line in Montezuma Bowl.  The upper portion was wind buffed smooth and the lower portion wasn't quite packed, but it wasn't quite chowder either.  Good skiing.

Jump is named after Larry Jump, a 10th Mountain Division soldier and the first President and founder of A-Basin.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Good Wind

Today it was all about the good wind, The Face, and The Spine.  Smooth.

Terrain Park Expansion

With all the new snow, Terrain Park Manager Matt Hauke and his crew have been able to expand the Treeline Terrain Park.  In particular, they added several new features including the Rainbow Rail and Up Down Box.  Great for spring riding.  If spring ever comes. I am hoping for another month or two of winter.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Skiing Through The Storm

Today was a bit challenging, a bit breezy, and a bit cold.  But, the skiing was really good.  I was able to tour Standard, International, West Wall, West Zuma Bowl, and a few other spots.  Warm clothes were handy.  The snow surface was outstanding.  Had a great visit at lunch time with a die hard A-Basin fan from Florida.  One of the best parts of my job is getting to meet so many good people from around the country and the world that enjoy and appreciate The Basin.

Chef Rybak and crew are gearing up for tonight's, "Dinner in Scandinavia."  I am looking forward to tonight's reindeer, cod, and other delicacies. After this meal, I ought to sneak in a extra skin or two this week.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Jump and Schauffler

The Ski Patrol opened Jump and Schauffler this afternoon.  I was fortunate to get a sneak preview of Schauffler while the patrollers were preparing the slopes.  Most excellent, if you like skiing powder.  With this opening, all of the terrain in West Zuma is now open.  The terrain will get skied up today under sunny skies and the next storm is tonight and tomorrow.  Perfect.

Next up..........The East Wall.

A New Place

It seems like The Basin is a whole new place.  Actually, it really is just the same old place you know and love.  With 7" new today, 20" new this week, and 99" new since February 1, the skiing and riding has really come around.  I just can't seem to get enough of the skiing.  And guess what?   We have several inches of snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow and even more snow forecast beyond that.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Storm Update

Just got off the phone with Director of Mountain Operations, Tim Finnigan.  He tells me it snowed 6" during the day on top of the 2" reported at 5 AM.  Selflessly, he and Patio spent the afternoon verifying the quality and quantity of the new snow.  With favorable winds, it sounds like we score high in both categories.  It is still snowing now.  That should taper through the night.  Friday will be a mix of showers and sunshine creating what I think might just be a perfect A-Basin ski day.  The forecasters are saying we will see another good dose of snow Friday night and Saturday.  If you have a spare sick day, I would use it tomorrow.  I will be back in the game with you.

That East Wall conversation is coming real soon.

March Madness

March has been very good news for The Basin.  Historically, March and April are the two snowiest months of the year.  This March has been true to form with nearly 4 feet of snow the last three weeks.  It has been snowing all morning and we have an "unsettled" forecast through the weekend.  Unfortunately, I am home with some sort crud and am bummed that I am missing today's skiing.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Next Wave

Here it comes.  We should see a few more waves of snow today.  The next one is lining up down valley this morning.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

More Snow

About 10 AM it started snowing and has been doing so off and on all day.  I just took the top photo a few minutes ago.  It is really dumping at the moment.  If this keeps up, it might be worth being here at 8:30 tomorrow for first tracks.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Snow Update

The last couple of days have been absolutely spectacular.  Today I wondered how far we were trending towards spring skiing.  Actually it was a great excuse to go skiing.  I covered a fair bit of ground skiing the North Side, Lenawee Parks, the Lower Mountain, and Montezuma Bowl.  I was on the backside from about noon until  1 PM.  Columbine was still winter snow top to bottom.  Black Bear was still winter snow.  Larkspur was still winter snow except the very bottom, what we call "Larkspur Fingers."  I found a little bit of soft spring snow on Lower Slalom Slope.  The last couple of days we had a cool wind blowing and most of the mountain still has winter snow.

So we have great winter conditions and is predicting 6-13" of snow for A-Basin over the weekend.  Our tremendous skiing is only going to get better.  

We will have to have an East Wall discussion some time next week.

Surf Is Up

Tony C says "Surf's up on the Spine."

A Thousand Apologies

According to Century Link, they had a "hardware failure in the central office."  Well, that hardware failure shut all of our communication to the outside world (except for ATT cell phones).  As a result, we had no telephone, no email, no e-store.  I was able to communicate with a few people and I apologize for this very frustrating situation.

On a good note, we had a spectacular bluebird day.  The skiing and riding was great and people had a lot of fun.  Again, I apologize to those of you that could not reach us.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

.....And Snow Night

7" new in the last 24 hours on a 1-2" forecast.  Maybe even a little more today.  Should be another fine day.  That makes 33" for March and 75" the last 6 weeks.

Monday, March 11, 2013

It Turned Into A Snow Day

We were expecting a very small storm this evening, maybe an inch, two inches if we were really lucky.  Well it started snowing about 8 AM and has been more or less snowing all day.  It is snowing nicely right now.  I suspect we have had about 3" so far.  NOAA is calling for another 1-2" this evening.  Took a few spins on Pali, Zuma, and Lenawee.  Good skiing everywhere I went.