Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rainbow and Alpenglow

The folks at Saturday's wedding at Black Mountain Lodge took in a spectacular light show.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Winding Down 6th Alley Summer

Tomorrow, Sunday, August 31 will be the last day of normal summer operations at The 6th Alley Bar and Grill. Thanks to all of you that stopped in for a visit. We liked the way it worked out this summer and I think you will be seeing more of it next summer.

We do have a bonus day scheduled for Tuesday. The 6th Alley be open 11-4 and will have all kinds of food specials going on. The big holiday weekend will be over and you should stop on in for a beverage and a bite. Thanks again to everyone that visited this summer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Eerie Morning

It is an eerie, socked in, wet, fall-like kind of morning around here. Feels like Southeast Alaska. Sounds like it might even snow tonight. I think summer returns for the weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Building

We have made more progress on the new building. The Framers are working on the top level. Visually, there is a real sense of building size. The roof peaks in these photos are pretty much building height. Xcel should have the transformer installed tomorrow. The excavators are done. We should see a lot of flat concrete (1st floor and sidewalks) work done next week. Before too long, we will have a roof on that building.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Long Term Forecast - El Niño

Whenever someone asks what kind of season we are going to have, my answer is always the same, "AWESOME."  There is a lot of talk out there about El Niño and it's impact on skiing for the 2014-15 ski season. For years I have thought that long term forecasts give only the very broadest indication of what the weather may be for a very broad area, like, say a continent. Any real expectation of a successful detailed forecast, particularly in Colorado, should be very limited.

Now, one of the world's great snow and weather nerds, Joel Gratz at, has recently written a couple of outstanding articles on his website. He provides very good information about what we can and cannot expect this season including particularly detailed beta on El Niño. I  highly recommend a visit to his website to read those articles. He is the "Man."

I am sure A-Basin will have an AWESOME season.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Snowfence Installation

As most of you realize, we rely heavily on snow fencing and snow farming. These fences catch blowing snow in drifts and the snowcats doze or farm the drifts into key areas. This summer we are adding a few fences and doing some major repair on others. The posts in this photo are for a new 200' extension to the snowfence at the top skiers' right side of Columbine. The objective of this project and a couple of others nearby is to improve the quality of Zuma skiing and to help open it a little sooner.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

USA Pro Challenge - Monarch

The USA Pro Challenge is a quintessential Colorado event. Each summer I look forward to catching at least a couple of stages. Wednesday, Patio and I spent the day on Monarch Pass and at Monarch Ski Area. The bike racers started in Gunnison, rode over to Monarch Pass to Salida, took a couple of laps around town and headed back uphill finishing at the ski area which did an A+ job hosting the event.

What a cool event it was. The speed that these guys rode up the pass blew me away. Tejay van Garderen won the stage, took the yellow jersey, and won a bunch of other jerseys and stuff. He was impressive. If you look very closely at one of these photos, you can see him crossing the finish line. The crowds at these races are half the fun. The day provides a great opportunity to catch up with friends scattered around the state and beyond. Don't miss a stage this year. I will be at the finish line in Breckenridge Friday.  See you there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunday Brunch

Come join us Sunday for a brunch at Black Mountain Lodge. Hike up or ride the chairlift and then enjoy a feast of brunch goodies. The Schwingers will provide the musical entertainment. Details for the event can be found on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended, but there may be a small number of walk-up spaces available.

We will be doing free chairlift rides from 10 AM to 3 PM. Even if brunch isn't exactly what you are looking for, come on up, ride the lift, go for a little hike, and maybe get lunch in The 6th Alley. Either way, it will be a great day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Miner's Glade

This summer our trail crew is doing some glading and clean up work in Miner's Glade. A few trees were removed or pruned. They also cleaned up some of the fallen timber. This area is already fun to ski, but now will have some longer and more consistent lines. This workwill also enhance another key route down to the bottom of Zuma Lift.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Debris Flows

You may have noticed some big grooves out on the East Wall. These were formed during a major debris flow and flood event July 28, 1999. That year, April through July precipitation was 49% above normal. Particularly heavy rainfall in late July had completely saturated the soils. A powerful thunderstorm July 28 overwhelmed many areas creating significant debris flows and flooding at A-Basin, the Loveland Pass area, and along I-70. Debris flows closed the interstate. The ski area suffered extensive damage to its parking lots and base area facilities. It was a notable event and deeply impressed those who experienced it.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Perfect Night For A Wedding

We have hosted several weddings this summer. Most of them have been at Black Mountain Lodge, while a couple were in The 6th Alley. Tonight's bride and groom had just about as perfect of an A-Basin evening as is possible. The light was ever changing and brilliant. A few deer wandered about. The wildflowers were still hanging in there. Very cool.

Cool Stuff

Friday, August 15, 2014