Monday, September 30, 2013

A-Basin Aerial Photo

Garrett Fisher sent this really cool aerial photo he took flying over The Basin yesterday.  The two high peaks behind the ski area are 14,000' peaks Grays (right) and Torreys (left).  Another great fall picture.  Thanks Garrett.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Summit County Fall Day

Check out this photo Kay took from the bike path near Frisco yesterday.  Easy to see why people love this time of year.  You better get those hikes and bike rides in soon though.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Upper Mountain Snow

I just dropped Bill and Tim off at Black Mountain Lodge.  As I write, they are walking down High Noon turning the fan guns off for the day.  These photos I just shot at mid-mountain indicate the kind of day we are having up here.  Not a bad day to be in Colorado.

Snowmaking Season Has Begun

Last night we fired up the snowmaking system.  Two "experienced" snowmakers, Tim Finn and Bill Miller, got things going around 11 PM.  Getting the first night under our belt is always a good thing.  While we have a couple things to tune up, it was an awesome and productive night.  The low temp at mid mountain was 15 F. This is a great start.

OK, to answer a few of the regular questions we get this time of year:

We want to get the place open as soon as we can.  It is good for guests, employees, and the business.

We will make snow every reasonable chance we get.  Ideally, we like sustained wet bulb temps 28 F or colder.  The colder the better.

We don't know yet when we will open, but we will tell everyone as soon as we know.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Snowing and Snowmaking

It is snowing fairly heavily right now.  It is still fairly warm with big, wet flakes coming down.

The snowmaking system is ready to roll.  All the fan guns, hoses, and hydrants are deployed.  The water pipe and electrical systems have been through their fall checks.  The creek is high and the reservoir is full. The pump stations are all tuned up.  At least according to one of our forecasts, temperatures are going to drop quite a bit just after dark.   We might come close to the teens by tomorrow morning.  Assuming all goes well, we just might start making snow tonight.  Be sure and check with us in the morning.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Afternoon View

I just drove over the pass returning from Denver.  The afternoon light and shadows and the blue sky were, as usual, spectacular.  There is still a fair bit of white stuff lingering around.  We may get a few more inches of snow over the next couple of days.  For me it is very comforting to crest Loveland Pass heading West and have The Basin come into view.  I like that.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

October 3 Beavers Tour

On Thursday, October 3, Forest Service and A-Basin staff will be conducting a site visit of our proposed Beavers expansion.  I highly recommend this for anyone curious about the proposal..  The tour will take most of the day and will involve a fair bit of walking on rough terrain. We will also discuss our proposals for a new surface lift to Montezuma Bowl, increased snowmaking reservoir storage, and a zipline/challenge course. We will soon be going into the Public Scoping phase of the required Environmental Impact Statement.  This tour is meant to give anyone interested a clearer understanding of the proposal.

Just to manage uphill transportation and other logistics, please RSVP Shelly Grail at or me at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nice Start

This has certainly been a beautiful start to the snow season.  As soon as we get a few good hours below a 28 F wetbulb temperature, we will get the snowmaking system going.  It is too early to use the opening word, but we will make that happen just as soon as we can.

Monday, September 23, 2013


It snowed down to the base area.  Enjoy the photos on our webcams and Facebook.

Wrangler Snowmaking

This fall the snowmaking crew has installed a new and very short snowmaking line to facilitate snowmaking on Lower Wrangler.  This was by no means a major project, but we positioned a couple of snowmaking hydrants to better cover the summer road crossing on the lower parts of the trail. Over the last couple of seasons we realized Lower Wrangler could use a little bit of help with snow coverage in a lean year.  This will give learners a better place early in the season to work on their skiing and riding. This type of project is good for all skiers giving some more breathing room for both learning and more advanced riders.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


David Roth spotted these guys on Wrangler a few days ago.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

6th Alley Photo Update

Moving right along on the bar.  Most of the drywall is done.  The concrete floor has been poured and is drying.  The chase for the beer lines is in.  Upstairs there will be a mini A-Frame niche with several chairlift carriers hanging in it.  That will be a prime spot for an intimate group of friends.

Friday, September 20, 2013


We are starting to see a bit more gold in the hills.  While The Basin itself, doesn't have a lot of aspen, there are plenty nearby.  Driving to the ski area from Dillon/Silverthorne, the aspens on the North side of Highway 6 can be particularly dramatic. Right at the base of the hill across from Keystone is a really good viewing spot.  I also enjoy the drive North of Silverthorne towards Kremmlings.  The fall colors on the Gore and Williams Fork Ranges are especially cool.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Snowline Dropped

Overnight, the temps dropped a bit and the snowline came down another 1,000' feet or so.  In the coming weeks we will see more and more weather like this.  It is always exciting the first time the base area is white. That could happen literally any day now.  I am sure we have plenty of fine weather left, but................

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Definitely White

That is definitely some white stuff up there this afternoon.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Grizzly Dusting

This is the first afternoon in a long time that it isn't raining.  Beautiful late day light on the East Wall and Pali. This morning as I drove to work, the sky was still quite overcast.  As the clouds broke the top couple hundred feet of Grizzly Peak (13,427') was frosted with some sort of white stuff.  Grizzly Peak is the summit just Northeast of Black Mountain.The morning temperature at home was 39 F.

Lenawee Rainy Day

No shortage of rainy days around here lately.  Went for nice little walk over by the East Wall Avalauncher Sunday evening in a light drizzle.  I was looking for that moose again, but couldn't find him.  You can definitely see some fall color coming on.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wedding Moose

Today's wedding group had a nice surprise.  A very large bull moose was wandering around the Lenawee area in the late afternoon.  When our staff and just a few of the family members were at BML before the wedding, he walked across West Gully and into the woods just west of Tower 4 Lenawee Lift.   At the same time, a couple of mule deer were spooked by something, maybe the moose, and were running across Lower Gentry.  As the reception was going on the moose popped back into view near the bottom of Lenawee Lift. Not quite great photos (that's him in the center), but a cool experience for those who saw the moose.

Friday, September 13, 2013

TB Glades

Truth be known, the real name of TB Glades is Toilet Bowl.  I have no idea where the name came from, except maybe from the old outhouse in there 20+ years ago.  We just couldn't bear putting the real name on the trail map.  It certainly was not an endearing name.

This is another favorite zone for kids.  I took many a run in there chasing my kids when they were little.  The preferred kid route is Toilet Bowl, Bob's Bowl, North Fork.  In the summer it has a nice little creek and the opening near the top is rich in wild flowers.  Coming up the Argentine North Fork Trail, there is a very cool turn near the top with a very dramatic view of the Upper Mountain.  Just another cool place at The Basin.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Our Friends in Boulder

I am in Ontario this week for a company conference at Blue Mountain Ski Resort.  It was quite the shock for me to turn on the TV in my hotel room this morning and see Boulder Flooding leading the headlines on CNN.  I spoke with my daughter, Whitney, going to school at CU.  She told me of the scary storm with the warning sirens going on and off all night.  The images I have seen on TV and the web are terrifying.

Many of A-Basin's closest friends live in and around Boulder.  My heart goes out to all of them and all the people in harm's way, wishing them safety and shelter through this tough time.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tree Chutes

Here are a couple of summer shots of the Tree Chutes at the very North end of the East Wall.  As you can see it is mostly talus.  Beyond the TC Ridgeline you can see the South shoulder of Black Mountain.  The basin hidden from view is Marjorie Bowl named after Larry Jump's (first AB President) wife Marnie (Marjorie).  Great views from up on the ridge, but very difficult to get up there.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Upper Wrangler

Upper Wrangler is the long, wide, very flat area just below the bottom of Lenawee Lift.  We commonly call it "The Landing Strip" because it feels big enough and flat enough to land an airplane.  It is a great ski trail for kids with stunning views of Lenawee and Black Mountains.  Without snow, it is a big wetland area with willows so thick it is fairly difficult to walk across.  During the summer it is an excellent place to spot deer in the late afternoon.  Right now you can see a hint of fall in the willow leaves.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Taos - A-Basin

This is going to be cool.  Taos and A-Basin just got together to share a couple days of skiing for most season pass holders.  That's right.  Most of the A-Basin passes will also include 2 days at Taos this season,  and vice versa.  There are some restrictions and black out days, but this is going to be a really nice deal for both A-Basin and Taos passes.  It is very important to understand that this does not apply to passes purchased through Vail Resorts.  It is only for passes purchased through A-Basin or Taos.  More details can be found on our website.

If you have skied Taos, you know that it epitomizes the heart and soul of skiing.  It is absolutely one of my favorite mountains.  Some good cruisers and some incredible steeps.  Throw in lots of sunshine, the Southwestern storm track, and some green chili and you have a beautiful extra bonus on your A-Basin Pass.  Enjoy this one.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

North Fork

Most of us think of North Fork as a unique, low angle, mogul, blue playful sort of run.  And it is.  Any parent that has skied The Basin with his/her 4-12 year old has spent a lot time on this trail.  In the summer it has a much different face.  A beautiful creek runs through it with plenty of flowers and thick willows on either side. There is a cool view of the stream from one of the Argentine North Fork Trail switchbacks.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Best of Summit County

The Summit Daily News just came out with their annual Best of Summit County.  Each year more than 1000 people cast their votes in 100 "Best Of" categories.  It is always a fun read.  There appears to have been some serious ballot stuffing when it came to the Best Skiing Mountain and Best Snowboarding Mountain.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all.  They did nail it giving The 6th Alley Bar the #3 Apres Ski Award and, with no surprise, The 6th Alley also won the best Bloody Mary award.  Wait until we see the Apres Ski at The New 6th Alley Bar and Grill.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sun and Clouds

At the end of the day it is not that difficult to find some really cool light and shadows on the East Wall. That old saying, "If you don't like the weather around here, just wait 5 minutes," has really been accurate lately.