Monday, November 30, 2015

Avalanche Dog Team

We have a very young, but talented Avalanche Dog Team this season. Rio, a popular crowd favorite and a golden retriever, is a four year old certified avalanche rescue dog. She makes all the drills look easy. Max is a one year old black lab that has picked up search skills quickly. He hopes to pass his certification test by spring. Our newest dog, Sasha, joined us a few weeks ago. She is a little German Shepard fur ball learning her way around Patrol Headquarters.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

The First Pali Runs

Today we offered up a bit more good skiing. Standard and 13 cornices were, again, open in the afternoon. We also did some public skiing on Pali giving some people a chance to make some turns in The Alleys and on The Face. More and more good stuff to come. Plenty of happy faces out there today.

Friday, November 27, 2015


There is something about getting that Pali Lift open that just seems to make people smile.

I took a few runs over there today enjoying West Wall, Slalom Slope, Grizzly Road, and Radical. We even had a little public skiing in Standard and 13 Cornices. Having this lift and terrain open this early is certainly good. I dug into the records and over the last 21 seasons, Pallavicini has only opened 5 times in November with the earliest Pali opening being November 19, 2005.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from Sasha, Rio and the rest of us at Arapahoe Basin.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pallavicini Lift Opens Friday

It is true, Pali Lift is opening for the season this Friday, November 27. Happy Day After Thanksgiving. From the top of the lift skiers and riders can access West Wall, South Chute, Slalom Slope, North Chute, Upper Powderkeg, Grizzly Road and Radical. 

The forecast for the weekend has unsettled weather. We may see a bit of snow. With "THE LIFT" open, our Ski Patrol has even easier and faster access to the North Side. Their avalanche work will continue and intensify. Depending on what we see for snowfall, we may see some public skiing in more and steeper places like 13 Cornices and Standard. Keep your eyes and ears open. More fun is coming. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top O' Pali

Very nice view and very nice skiing from the Top of Pallavicini this morning.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Slalom Slope Open This Afternoon

Slalom Slope is open for a while this afternoon and the skiing is quite good. Most seasons we will open the Slalom area for a few days prior to opening Pali Lift. Skiers and riders have to hike up a little bit from the saddle to access the skiing. By opening terrain in this fashion, we pack the snow out slowly over a few days. Generally, this keeps the snow in better shape and you get a little adventure by having to hike.

You also know this means that opening Pali Lift can't be too far away.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lodging At A-Basin

Don't fret, there are no plans to build any lodging at A-Basin.

There is, however, a rich history of lodging at A-Basin. I think in the 40's and 50's some type of lodging existed here, but my details are fuzzy. In the early 60's a very cool looking lodge was built on the site of the A-Frame. Sadly, it burned down December 4, 1965. The current A-Frame was built on the foundation of that building and, initially, there were rooms for rent in there. In the A-Frame down by the Men's Room and on the 2nd Floor by the spiral staircase, there are photos and newspaper articles about this lodge and the fire. There was also the Denver University Faculty Club Lodge down below the bottom of Pali right next to our Maintenance Shop. In Black Mountain Lodge there is a very nice drawing of a proposed lodge (and ice skating rink) at mid-mountain. That drawing was done in 1946 by Max Dercum's Father.

I personally never experienced these lodges (although I lived in a caretaker apartment here for four years). I have, however, spoken with many, many people that either worked or stayed in the various lodging properties. I think these early ski pioneers had plenty of good times spending the night here. A lot of colorful times have gone down in The Basin's 69 years. Sounds like fun to me.

Arapahoe Basin Lodge, early 1960's

Saturday, November 21, 2015

More Terrain - Uphill Access Open

It was a good day. Our 31" of snow the last five days was followed by a clear, winter, bluebird day today. More terrain did open. The Eastern half of Lenawee Parks was opened. We had skiers on Cornice Run / West Wall, Norway and Powerline. I think you can count on even more terrain Sunday. It is good and people were really having fun. I like that.

Also, Uphill Access is now in normal operating mode. Make sure you have a FREE Uphill Access Pass from Guest Services. The key word here being, FREE. When you get the pass, you also get a page of rules. There are periods when Uphill Access is closed, most commonly due to avalanche work. The "Terrain Status" page of our website posts current status of Uphill Access. Be sure and check the website before you head this way. This is a very cool program, but it only works when people take the time to get the pass and understand the program. Thanks to all of you that participate.

I just saw Kent and Doris heading uphill.

Friday, November 20, 2015

More Terrain and Uphill Access

 It snowed very heavily here throughout the morning. A little while ago it stopped and the sun started popping out and then I looked out the window again 5 minutes ago and it was dumping.

OK, a lot of terrain is about to open. There is a great deal of work involved and sometimes it is hard to predict exactly how long that will take. Typically, when I am vague with my answers about "when", I usually do not know exactly when some things will be ready. When you throw in the weather, snowmaking, avalanches, people, grooming, etc., the variables really add up. So, today is a good day with Lenawee Parks and a few other spots open. Tomorrow morning we will be opening the rest of our green terrain. I think tomorrow afternoon there may be some nice ski treats, maybe on the West Side. If the 24 hours go as planned, we may have some uphill access news also. So, stay tuned. Watch the website, or even better, get up here and go skiing.

There are no secrets here. Simply, opening trails up takes some time and some snow. The absolute best part of my job is getting terrain open and watching people having fun skiing and riding that terrain.

Morning photo

2:05 PM

Good Photos

It is hard to take good photos when it is snowing this hard.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

6" + 6" + 9" = 21"

21 inches of new snow in 3 days. It is snowing right now. Tonight and tomorrow look good for more snow and then we may have a few sunny days before we possibly see another good storm around Thanksgiving. This kind of weather creates a lot of work for us, but it is work we love to do. Stay tuned for more and more good skiing. If this keeps up we are going to have to start talking about Pali and Zuma.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Good Things To Come

Another beautiful, snowy and blustery day. While yesterday's 6" of snow was less than we expected, today's 6" of snow far exceeded our expectations. And it snowed all day today. I skied a few runs first thing this morning. Fantastic. Sundance is now open. Lenawee Parks and Upper Exhibition were open in the afternoon. By Saturday, all of our green terrain will be open. 

Looking forward, we have another 48 hours of unsettled weather with Thursday night and Friday looking pretty good. We should continue to see more and more terrain open, initially for short periods for packing and skiing, but ultimately, for all day skiing and riding. In the coming days, you can look forward to skiing opportunities on Norway, Powerline, West Wall, and Slalom Slope.

We are going into an especially fun and exciting cycle.........if you like skiing powder.

BTW, I am a big fan of Joel at Open Snow. His forecasts are tremendously helpful. Remember, we are dealing with Mother Nature.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Guest Services / Tickets / Music

Finished. The signs are up. The phones and computers are working. We're selling tickets and passes. We're helping people. Some great musicians have played on the stage. The building remodel is done.

It Was A Good Storm

While this storm wasn't quite as big as we'd all hoped, it was still a very good storm. We reported 6" of new snow this morning and it has been snowing lightly all day. The snowmakers had a good night and have a good plan for the week. I took some early runs which were quite nice. It looks like the Molly Hogan teaching arena will open Saturday. Sundance, one of America's greatest ski trails, is also on the verge of opening.

Monday, November 16, 2015

I Like This Forecast

And the snow has begun.

Moonlight Dinner Tip

Reservations for the Moonlight Dinners have filled up quickly. Four of the dinners are sold out. The New Year's Eve Dinner and the April 23 Polynesian Randonee Luau are both about 80% booked. If you want to attend, I recommend booking these last two dinner very soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beer Maker's Dinner

Back by popular demand, we will be hosting another Beer Maker's Dinner in The 6th Alley Bar and Grill Friday, December 18. Chef Rybak will prepare a five course meal. Each course will be paired with a 5-7 ounce pour of beer from the Elevation Beer Company in Salida. Come enjoy the dinner. I think Kay and I may go for an after work skin and then grab a seat and enjoy the dinner. As always, fun, fun, fun.

Riding Pali

Yesterday I took my first Pali ride of the season. That chairlift is certainly my favorite lift, anywhere. There is a fair bit of snow on that side of the mountain. The lift crew is getting the chair ready and the Ski Patrol is prepping the snow. Tomorrow's storm seems to be shaping up.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Lenawee Parks

We even had a little bit of powder skiing in Lenawee Parks this afternoon.

Upper Mountain Views

A-Basin Sunrise

Friday, November 13, 2015


Today the Upper Mountain was simply paradise. The snow is really good. There was not a cloud in the sky. The grooming and snowmaking were superb. It was fun being up there with my co-workers while everyone was getting ready for tomorrow's Lenawee opening. This season we have made a little less snow on the Upper Mountain than we have made for previous openings, but we have had a lot more natural snow. Conditions are good. Mother Nature was very kind.

Saturday - Lenawee Lift Opens

We are going to open Lenawee Lift Saturday morning. Exact time TBD. You can expect to ski and ride Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch. Many areas will be much wider than a typical opening. We may even have a surprise or two for you. I just took a few runs and the place is skiing quite nicely.

We are going to the top.

CAIC Benefit Bash

Tickets are still available for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center Benefit Bash. Not only is this one of the Center's biggest fundraisers, it may be Summit County's best party. Music, food, beer, auctions, great deals, great fun. I am a firm believer that each of us should support the organizations that we use. So, cough up a few bucks, join the fun, and support the Avalanche Center.

The event is Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 5 PM to 10 PM at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center. Tickets are available through Breck Create at the link below. See you there.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Just A Little Bit More Snowmaking

I had a really good tour  on the Upper Mountain this morning. Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch look quite good. These pictures tell a great story about conditions. We need to make just a little bit more snow in a few key spots. I can say that Lenawee Lift will not open Friday, but it will likely open very soon thereafter. Let's see how it looks tomorrow morning after one more good night of snowmaking.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Oh My Goodness

Today was absolutely incredible. We had 10" new at report time and at least 4" more since then. It snowed heavily until about 9 AM and lightly for another hour or two. It was a big day for us operationally. The snowcats put a lot of time into the Upper Mountain. They put in some tilled surfaces, tracked packed a lot of ground and pushed some snowmaking piles. The Ski Patrol continued their extensive travel with ski cuts in Lenawee Parks, Norway, King Cornice and The West Wall. They tossed some shots into The Nose, Slalom Slope and  ........... PALI. We did have a bit of a slide involving 2nd Bowl and The Face. Lots of snow with this storm. We are just in a great spot with nice weather forecast the next few days and snow next week. The place is shaping up nicely.