Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tree Chutes and The East Wall

Another image of the Tree Chutes and North Y Chute.

First East Wall Opening

Friday we saw our first public skiing on the East Wall this season. It was a small, limited start with really good conditions. With a snowy forecast, we should have plenty more to come. Oh yeah, kudos to the Ski Patrol.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Lifter's Choice

It is no suprise that the most coveted station to work for lift operators is the bottom of Zuma Lift. It is always the warmest spot in the ski area. The views are great, especially on a bluebird day. The crowds are light and people are always having fun. It feels like such a remote, unique and different place. I like hanging out back there also.


There is a reason people like to hang out at Black Mountain Lodge and mid-mountain.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lightning Trees

The Lightning Trees, like Elephant's Trunk, are another hidden treat in Zuma. Found on the far Eastern side of the Bowl, this gem also offers some fun adventure skiing. Again like Elephant's Trunk, it takes a while to get to and the vertical is not huge. It even requires a 15+ minute hike when finished skiing. There area experienced a forest fire (probably started by lightning) decades ago resulting in wide tree spacing and good skiing. Its aspect avoids the intense morning sun and the snow stays good in there for a long time.

While this sort of journey is not for everyone, those of you that like a little adventure and touring with your skiing and don't mind a hike, the Lightning Trees is your kind of place.

Elephant's Trunk

Montezuma Bowl offers some fun, exploratory, off the beaten track experiences. One of the hidden treats is Elephant's Trunk. This trail is on the very far Western edge of the Bowl. You can access the area by skiing Zuma Cornice and bearing right every chance you get (while still staying inside the ski area). It takes a little while to get to, the vertical is less than other places and there is a long traverse back to the lift. That said, it can have some really fun skiing when the timing is right.

I skied it yesterday and the snow was soft and the coverage was good. Looking towards the weekend, we may have a good storm heading our way. Several inches of new snow on top of what is already there would create ideal Elephant's trunk conditions. After a few powder day laps in MGD and West Zuma, think about heading this way.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Sasha, our new avalanche puppy, is growing so fast it is downright scary. She is doing well with basic commands and some of the introductory dog drills like finding people hiding in holes in the snow. Some people think she is kind of cute. Sasha spends most of her days training her owner and Ski Patroller Greg Dumas how to be an Avalanche Dog Handler.

On another note, my last run of the day was 3rd Bowl on Pali (just right of The Spine). IT WAS BUFFED !!!! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Simply Really, Really Nice

I went for a nice tour on the mountain today. Made some turns riding Pali, BMX, Lenawee and Zuma Lifts. Everywhere I went the skiing was fantastic. The place is buffed. The steep stuff is good, the grooming is good, the trees are good. It is all good and Ski Patrol continues to make major headway on the East Wall.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kids Club Arapahoe

Our Kids Club Arapahoe programs are in full swing right now. We are having a tremendous turnout for both our Saturday and Sunday sessions. The new Kids Center has made offering these classes easier and much better. Having raised a couple of kids in the ski culture, I am a huge fan of letting someone else teach your kids how to ski or snowboard. Then you can just ride with the kids and have a great time. While your kids do love you, they'd rather have someone else teach them how to ski. More fun for everyone. I love seeing the next generation out there ripping it up.

It is snowing and..............YOU GOTTA' LOVE THOSE BRONCOS.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Safety Week

January is National Safety Month. Last weekend we set up our "Safety Village" in the base area. Our staff was particularly focused on spreading the safety message to younger skiers. The avalanche dogs were on site. Kids that participated in "Know The Code" activities received a piece of cake. "Always Ski in Control."

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cabin Glades

The Cabin Glades are near East Gully. Within the glades are a couple of old cabin structures that date back to the mining era. There are a few old mines, most notably the North Pole Claim, on the East Wall. While I do not know the exact history, these old buildings supported one or more of the East Wall Claims. We keep a closure around the cabin remains to protect them from the impacts of skiing and jumping on the structures.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

6th Alley Supper Club

This past Friday we hosted Italian Night at The 6th Alley Supper Club. Very good dinner and an even better price. I had the Linguine with Clam Sauce. Awesome. This was an inexpensive night. I had a gang friends come up and enjoy the meal. Great fun and lots of laughs. The same thing was going on at every table. 

We have more good stuff coming in The 6th Alley. February 12 is the Fish Fry. March 11 is a Prime Rib Dinner. We will close out the Supper Club season with another Beer Maker's (and taster's) Dinner April 15. These dinners very cool. You can even sneak in a skin before dinner.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

And More Snow

We had a couple of more inches of new snow again at report time today. It has probably snowed a couple more inches since then. Wednesday is looking pretty good for even more. This storm has been very good to us. You have to think the East Wall is getting closer. And we know how great the skiing is all over especially on Pali and in Montezuma Bowl.

Enjoy this morning's view from the Zuma Cornice.

Monday, January 18, 2016

13 Inches In 4 Days

Today's 3" of new snow makes 13" in four days. And more is coming. The forecast is mostly unsettled for the next 10 days. I like the sound of that. Put some Basin skiing on your calendar. The next great session has begun.

Oh yeah, the Broncos are playing the Patriots for the Conference Title. I look forward to the banter. Go Broncos.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

One Of Those Zuma Days

To some 6" of new snow might not sound like a lot. It is a different story at The Basin. This morning we reported 6", the wind direction was from a near perfect 300 degrees, and it snowed all day. It was my typical Sunday off so Kay and I loaded Pali Lift just after opening at 8:30. We spent a bit of time skiing Pali especially The Spine, The Face and The Alleys. Skiing deep snow in those places is way fun.

After a quick break at Black Mountain Lodge, we headed to Montezuma Bowl. I am not sure what superlatives to use, but it was over the top. After we had a quick ski in Grays, the Ski Patrol opened the MGD zone. We had fantastic runs in Long Chute and Max. And then it got better. Dr. Zarter opened the West Zuma gate and we lapped Jump three times rarely crossing a track. We might have reported 6", but I can tell you skiing Jump was more than double that amount. Today that run was absolutely perfectly aligned with the wind and was just plain "phat." Of course, the wind was cold and strong and the visibility was extremely limited, but getting that many face shots it didn't really matter.

Catching MGD and West Zuma in those conditions is as good as it gets.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

End Of The Day

Another good Saturday is winding down. Good snow to be found on The Spine and in The Alleys. Mountain Meadow is playing some bluegrass in The 6th Alley. Lots of those post skiing smiles found around here today.

Go Broncos.

Friday, January 15, 2016

East Gully Cliffs

East Gully is a short, little fun run on the far Eastern side of Lenawee Parks. It runs through a gully with trees on the left and the East Gully Cliffs on the right. Just East of the cliffs is the "Land of the Giants" on the East Wall. East Gully is another one of those "off the beaten path A-Basin treats." Lots of "Easts" on that side of the mountain.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

It Is Snowing

It has been a nice winter day. It is perhaps a little blustery out there, but snow is falling and the forecast looks pretty good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Snow On The Way?

Of late we have had many beautiful, storm free days. That may be changing. I am not sure we have a huge dump coming, but it looks like we are in for some unsettled weather through the weekend. I would not be surprised to have a few inches new each day. Yesterday I found good snow off Pali Lift, on Black Bear and in Lenawee Parks. It won't take much snow to get "things happening" again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Slalom Slope

Slalom Slope sure has been good all season long. Certainly one of my favorites. In the summer, much of the trail is grassy tundra. With its East facing aspect, it is  favored by predominantly Southwest to Northwest winds. It gets a lot of snow and the grassy areas are smooth. It is one of the first steeper trails with natural snow to have good skiing each year. Sometimes the bumps get a little big, but a nice snowstorm with good wind smooths it out.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Italian Night - 6th Alley Supper Club

Chef Rybak is at again. Join us this Friday night for the "6th Alley Supper Club " Italian style. All the goodies you can imagine, penne pasta, linguine, marinara sauce, white clam sauce, chicken parmesan, cannoli, veggies, salad, bread, tiramisu and more. All for only $20. Make a reservation on line or stop in at 6:30 and we will try and squeeze you in. I will be there and will try and sneak in a skin between the time the lifts close and when we start serving food.

Check out this photo a buddy of mine took just after sunset last Friday night.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

End Of The Day

I had a very nice late day ski. A few flurries were falling and patches of blue sky and sun were popping out. I found exceptional skiing on The Nose and Slalom Slope. The Park Crew is hard at working getting the Treeline Terrain Park open. Just another great January day at The Basin.

Friday, January 8, 2016

That New Webcam

I love that new webcam.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

KBYG - Know Before You Go

Tonight our Snow Safety Director, Ryan Evanczyk, hosted the one hour avalanche awareness presentation, "Know Before You Go," for our employees. This program was started by the Utah Avalanche Center and has recently received additional support from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Friends of CAIC, Avalanche Canada, BCA and a number of other prominent avalanche related organizations. It is a fantastic presentation with an entertaining and informative video and more great stuff focused on having fun in the mountains and avoiding avalanches. I highly recommend attending a session. We anticipate hosting a couple of presentations for the public this winter. We will post dates once details are confirmed.

For more information go to or the CAIC website at

Also, for your calendar, remember The Beacon Bowl is February 6. This is an avalanche awareness day with clinics on beacon use, a good natured (but very competitive) beacon contest, a fundraiser for CAIC and, most importantly, a great party with food, beer and friends.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

To The Northwest

Here is a view taken on Zuma Cornice near the top of Durrance. The image looks to the Northwest with Porcupine Gulch, the backside of Loveland Ski Area, and The Front Range in the foreground. The distant mountains are the Gore Range.

Monday, January 4, 2016


A skinner and her dog on the Cornice Run at dawn.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Bird's Eye View

Chris Miller just sent these photos he recently took while flying over The Basin.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Black Mountain

A late day view of Black Mountain with Tower 10 Norway in the foreground.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Webcams

We have two new web cams for you. The first is on the new Kids Center facing Pali. That view had been requested from a number of people. The second and really exciting is on Snow Plume Refuge. This camera is a much higher tech piece of equipment than we have ever had before. The images are high resolution and you can do a time lapse sequence checking out the previous 24 hours. Enjoy.