Tuesday, September 30, 2014

6 PM in the Base Area

Base Area Snow

As I left work yesterday, it had just started snowing in the base area. Overnight we received a couple of inches of snow at the bottom and more up high. With humidity at nearly 100% the low wet bulb temperature at midway was 28 F, a borderline condition for snowmaking. Tonight looks to be similar with high humidity and temps in the high 20's. Now Wednesday night looks to be another story. Right now temps are forecast down to 20 F or maybe even colder. I hope we are delivering some good news on snowmaking Thursday morning.

Monday, September 29, 2014

And Another Dusting

We had another nice dusting last night. The snow line came down to just above Kong Rock in North Glade. The weather for the week looks a bit unsettled with cooler temperatures expected. The forecasts vary a little bit, but we are at least getting closer to snowmaking weather. It is a week to pay very close attention. You just might see those fan guns making snow. It is almost October. Keep the fingers crossed. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

401 Trail

Snuck away to Crested Butte and rode the 401 Trail yesterday. Driving up the Gothic Road, we parked just above the town of Gothic. From there we pedaled up the road to Schofield Pass where we jumped on the 401 Trail. After another mile of single track climbing we enjoyed a spectacular mostly downhill fall ride. Notable for its wild flowers in summer, this trail shined aspen gold fall colors yesterday. If you are a mountain biker, make sure this trail is on your list. It is a Colorado classic and one of my favorites.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

New Rental Gear

This is a very big year for updating the rental fleet. We have received large orders of new skis, snowboards, men's boots, and women's boots. That's right, we don't need to stuff women's feet into unisex ski boots. Whether you have a friend in town needing gear, you need it yourself, or maybe you are flying in and don't want to carry skis, give the A-Basin Rental Shop a try. With Sport, Performance, or top of the line Demo gear, we will take care of you.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ski Patrol Refresher

Today is Day 1 of the Annual 4 day Ski Patrol Patrol Refresher. It is always fun to catch up with people and hear of their summer journeys to places like Minnesota, The Grand Canyon, and South America. The gang will spend these days practicing loading people and dogs into helicopters, evacuating chairlifts, administering emergency medicine, rescuing people in weird places, handling difficult situations, managing avalanche challenges and more. Sure nice to see them migrating back.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I know it is fall. Yesterday was a beautiful day. I did my annual pilgrimage to "The Chili Guys" down on Federal and spent the evening bagging Hatch and Pueblo green chilis and putting them in the freezer. Spent the afternoon riding around Lake Dillon taking in the aspens. We are approaching peak colors. First thing this morning I was rewarded with a fresh white frosting on Torreys Peak as I drove into work. While I don't see snowmaking temperatures in the forecast yet, we will be checking every day. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Final Weekend Of Weddings

This was our last weekend for weddings this summer. With a rehearsal dinner Friday night in The 6th Alley Bar and Grill and weddings Saturday and Sunday night at Black Mountain Lodge, we have buttoned up a fun and cool summer season. On top of the weddings, the 6th Alley was open weekends and we did a few other fun events and dining extravaganzas. You will continue to see us come up with more creative ways to enjoy the summer at Arapahoe Basin.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Busy Busy Base Area

Each year as we make our summer construction and maintenance plans, we try and complete projects in a specific order. As snow starts falling, travel around the mountain gets very difficult. That is, very difficult until we have enough snow to get around on skis, snowmobiles, or snowcats. So we try and complete the projects furthest from the base area first and save the easy to get to projects in the base area for last. It makes sense, but it always feels a little frantic as winter approaches and we are the very busiest in our most visible place. This season is particularly notable for that. As I have mentioned, we are building the Kids Center, moving the Magic Carpet, installing some test snow guns, regrading the Admin Lot, upgrading a major powerline, culvert, and drain, plus a few more things. It all looks a bit crazy now, but in a few weeks Black Mountain Express will be spinning and we will be skiing the Lower Mountain.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The High Peaks

Here is a really nice image of the high peaks on the East side of the ski area.

From left to right, Grizzly Peak (13,427'), Black Mountain (13,193'), Torreys Peak (14,267'), Lenawee Mountain -North Summit (13, 204'), and Lenawee Mountain - South Summit (approximately 13,200')

Not a terrible view.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Snowmaking Trial

We are demo-ing (not sure that is really a word) some new snowmaking equipment this fall. These are air-water stick guns that will also require the use of a portable air compressor. Our fan guns are still the major work horses, but these trial guns might be good for some tighter areas. We are going to try them in two locations, 1) down in the base area as shown in these photos and 2) up around the top of Norway Lift. When snowmaking is completed in these two areas, the stick guns will be removed.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Regrading Admin Lot

The Basin has a teeny weeny bit of a reputation for a few potholes in the parking lots. That might be kind of true. Anyway, we spent this week putting a pretty face on the admin lot. We hauled in literally tons and tons of recycled asphalt, had a grader buff it smoothly, and packed it down with a compactor. That ought to give us a nice surface in there to kick off the season.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Magic Carpet Relocation

The Lift Maintenance Crew is in the process of moving Molly's Magic Carpet. We have figured out a new location that is a little more ideally suited for never ever skiers. The slope will a bit gentler and the access to the chairlift will be easier.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Touch of Gold

It has begun. You can find a number of aspens that have started to turn. The really high groves along Highway 6 near The Basin are some of the first to turn. You might say it is already fall and winter is approaching. I might try and sneak in one of those classic Colorado mountain bike rides through the aspens down near Crested Butte at the end of the month.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Snow Patches

We have a few patches of snow left from last season. You can find some white stuff along the Cornice Run, Zuma Cornice, and Norway. In an average year all the snow has melted by this time of year. Following a really good snow year, like last season, a few patches will last all summer. I suspect most of these will still be here when the snow starts sticking in a few weeks.