Saturday, January 31, 2015

North Side Skiing

It was another fine day skiing the North Side.  Year to date our snowfall is almost exactly even with our 36 year average. Much of the snow has fallen during a few big storm events including more than four feet over the Christmas holidays. It is certainly still easy for me to find good snow and skiing out there. Enjoy yourselves.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Fun Shot From Zuma

Here is a fun shot from Montezuma Bowl this week. There are a few snow flakes falling right now with 2-4 inches forecast for tonight and tomorrow followed by unsettled weather, possibly through Thursday. The skiing is still quite good particularly the groomers and The Spine and The Face.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I was away from the ski area the last five days. Kay and I spent 3 days skiing Alta and Snowbird. That is my 2nd favorite place to make turns. We found some beautiful "Spine" like snow on High Rustler and The Bookends. I spent yesterday and today in downtown Denver at a couple of industry functions and the SIA (SnowSports Industries America) show. So it was five days of recreating fun and stimulating work stuff. Just now I rolled over Loveland Pass with the late day light kicking in. It was a really fun five beautiful days, but it is always nice to get back to The Basin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dawn At The Basin

Popping out of the tunnel at dawn at The Basin is a nice way to start the work day. Thanks for the photo David Lee Roth.

Monday, January 26, 2015

High Five

This weekend one of my favorite bands, High Five, brought a lot of smiles to The 6th Alley Bar and Grill with their "Jammy Mountain Music." Following a big day of skiing, band mates Levi, Billy, Dan, and Jay entertained the crowd playing bluegrass, jazz, and rock and roll. A few people even cut the rug a bit. Bubbling over with good juju, these guys always bring a great vibe to The Basin.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Beer Makers Dinner

Chefs Chris and Paul hosted their first "Beer Makers Dinner" in the "6th Alley Bar and Grill."  Odell Brewing provided special beer pairings with each of Chef Rybak's 5-course menu. I think the evening was a big success and you may see a few more evening creations in The 6th Alley.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Vail - Beaver Creek 2015

Coming up the first half of February will be the Vail Beaver Creek 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships. While I am not in the habit of encouraging you guys to visit other ski areas, this is truly an exception. In the world of alpine ski racing, this event is as big, if not bigger, than the Olympics. I have been lucky enough to go to half a dozen World Cup races. The power, intensity, and precision of these athletes is absolutely unbelievable. Most of us only dream of turning the way these guys do. The schedule can be found easily online. I strongly encourage everyone to take in a day of this racing. I will be there for a couple of events.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Still Looking At A March Opening

The Kids Center project is still charging along. The Ski Patrol has settled in downstairs. The Kids Center is still slated to open in March. The painters are going to town. Many of the lights are installed. A lot of tile work is complete. The kitchen appliances are partially installed. We have been through many Summit County Building Department inspections. We are still right on schedule (which is kind of a weird feeling). The place really looks good.

.......And if you haven't heard, the skiing is still outstanding.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Afternoon Powder Ski In Montezuma Bowl

It was snowing at a decent rate this afternoon when I left The Basin. Thursday should be stellar, just like today and yesterday were. Enjoy these pictures from yesterday's afternoon ski in Montezuma Bowl. Black Bear and Jump were particularly good. Tuesday's 6" of new snow was a very fat 6" of new snow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sunset In Zuma Yesterday

6 Inches At Report Time

This was a treat. I always like it when the snowfall exceeds expectations. On forecasts of trace to 4 inches, we had 6 inches at report time and it snowed another inch or two after that. With the way the wind buffed Pali yesterday, I expect the North Side skiing is going to be a very pleasant experience. The snow did not stop our Radonee race this morning with 53 athletes charging up and down the mountain prior to the lift opening.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Companion Rescue Workshop

We will be hosting a very informative "Companion Rescue Workshop" Friday, February 6. This event, the day before The Beacon Bowl, focuses on learning the latest avalanche rescue techniques. Instructors will be CAIC staff, A-Basin Patrollers, and maybe a few others. If you are looking to learn, refresh, fine tune, or update your rescues skills, this a great opportunity. Make sure your backcountry ski partner attends.

Proceeds benefit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

On a different note, after the winds the last couple of days, 3rd Bowl, The Spine, Mousetrap, and The Face are FLAT and BUFFED. Incredible.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Avalauncher Story

Some of you recall that avalauncher use in Colorado was suspended by the state last year following an accident near The Seven Sisters. A lot of people around Colorado and the avalanche community outside Colorado worked hard to remedy this situation. The story itself is very long and a bit tedious. The good news for A-Basin is that the suspension has been lifted and, with some new restrictions, we can use the tool in our mitigation program.

You will see some changes. The new structure near our East Wall avalauncher is a barrier that workers must stand behind when firing. Our staff will be further away from the equipment when it is fired. Un-protected people will be much further away when we are firing the equipment. In the past, it has been very educational for people to watch our staff shoot and create avalanches. Our shooting now will occur before or after operating hours or when that portion of the mountain is closed. Fortunately, we, again, have a good, solid working avalauncher program. Unfortunately, the work may take a little longer and the public viewing is mostly eliminated. I know our guests learned a lot and enjoyed watching the shoots.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Over Your Right Shoulder At Tower 10

I never get tired of the views at A-Basin. Whether I am driving to work, looking out my office window, or (my preference) out skiing on the hill, I still love to soak it in. One of my extra special favorites is looking over my right shoulder while riding Lenawee Mountain Lift in the Tower 10-11 zone. Great views of the Top O' Pali, Loveland Pass, The Professor, No Name Basin, and, if you look really closely, bits of Loveland Ski Area. Can't get enough of it.

A-Basin Style

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Good Wind

The Good Wind is blowing on Pali today. I found lots of velvety snow in 1st Bowl, 2nd Bowl, 3rd Bowl, The Spine, The Face, and the Rock Garden. It is beautiful when this stuff fills in the troughs and makes for a smooth, buffed out surface. Pretty easy to have fun when the snow is like that.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Very Cool Image

Check out this photo I received from Hugh Ilenda today. Way cool.

Guess What Is Next

Pretty easy to figure out what is next on the list. Like the rest of the mountain, the East Wall has done well with our storm pattern so far this season. Through the end of December, A-Basin has received approximately 120% of our long term snowfall average. 

The Ski Patrol has been busy preparing the East Wall for the next storm. Several avalauncher rounds have been fired (more to follow there in a future post), several routes in the North Pole region have been completed, and, yesterday, two teams worked the Tree Chutes. These photos indicate that The Wall is looking pretty good. We will stay on top of the next snow events and get her ready as soon as we can.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Last Week Of Snowmaking

This is the last week of snowmaking. We are required to stop diverting water for snowmaking December 31 and we did stop diverting water that day. Most years our reservoir is just about empty New Year's Eve. This year we had some unusual circumstances. We had the very big storm right before Christmas. Right after Christmas was extremely cold (pipe freezing cold). All of our staff was extremely busy during the holidays (our snowmakers were shoveling snow and parking cars). And, last week was really warm. So for the last three weeks, we have been either too busy to make snow or the weather conditions were not in our favor.

Instead of being empty, our reservoir still had a little water left in it. We wanted to add a little more snow to the future Treeline Terrain Park, the entrance to Lenawee Parks, High Noon, the Base Area, and the top of Lenawee Face. So we decided to run the system for a few more days, empty the reservoir, and buff out these last places.