Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Zuma Late Season

Montezuma Bowl has held up exceptionally well this Spring. The skiing has been great and a number of people have been enjoying that area. My favorite Spring snow occurs when just the top inch or so has become soft. I have found a lot of that condition in Zuma during the last week. Keep your fingers crossed, we hope to keep Montezuma Bowl open through June 5.

Monday, May 30, 2016

International Freestyle

A-Basin has a long history with freestyle - mogul teams from around the world, especially come Springtime. This Spring was no different with teams from Summit, Vail, Telluride and Steamboat here for training. We also hosted the Chinese National Team coached by Summit County local, Scott Rawles. Previously, Scott had been the US National Team Coach for many, many years. The Korean National Team, coached by Vail local and Olympic Medalist Toby Dawson, also trained here for a couple of weeks. Both Scott and Toby spent many of their younger days skiing, competing and training at The Basin. It is cool to see both Scott and Toby still in the thick of this very exciting sport.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Festival of the Brewpubs

Another hit. "Festival of the Brewpubs" may be our premier event. It helps that we are having a beautiful day (it snowed last year). The skiing is outstanding. I took a few spins around the mountain this morning and found great skiing everywhere. Today's band, "Jakarta" has the crowd fully engaged.  People are having a ball. 14 mostly Colorado breweries are here sharing their beverages. Chef Rybak's crew has a couple of good food tents. The beer aficionados are smiling. Another amazing Colorado day. Sports. Mountains. Food. Music. Beverages. Friends.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Goat Dusting

The goats had a little dusting of snow this morning. It was fun to watch the place wake up on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The Beach is active, but not as frenzied as it has been. Several skinners were heading up High Noon and Wrangler. There is a bit of a line to get a "Skier's Breakfast." While the coverage is still exceptional in open terrain, the snow is slowly retreating in the closed areas. I saw a few people wearing shorts. Freestyle and alpine teams are here getting in their last days of winter. The ski racks are starting to fill. The parking crew looks more relaxed. The sun broke over the ridge warming everyone up. Only in Colorado. Only at The Basin.

Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27 Snow

And it is snowing again today. OK, last night's storm did not materialize. That sometimes happens with weather forecasts. It did, however, start snowing again this afternoon. We are not expecting too much to come out of it. The ski day was pretty nice. The Lower East Wall was open and there were great turns to be found in Montezuma Bowl. More great Spring Skiing at A-Basin.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Of course it is snowing, it is May 26. We have a "Winter Weather Advisory" in effect until 9 AM Friday morning. The National Weather Service is predicting 3-7 inches of snow tonight and 1-2 more inches tomorrow. We just might have one more powder day. The timing of the storm is perfect. With live music in the Plaza Saturday and Sunday, the Festival of the Brewpubs Sunday, and fantastic Spring skiing, we should have a pretty good Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lake Reveal - The Goats - Closing Day

Sorry, forgot my camera today. With a little imagination, you can see a depression giving a faint hint of where Lake Reveal is. I also noticed a few mountain goats hanging out at the top of Little Lenawee Peak. Magnificent animals. They amaze me.

We will definitely be open 7 days a week through June 5. There is a chance we will  extend for one or more 3-day weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) after that. Give us a chance to get through Memorial Day weekend and then we will make a decision about extending the season.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summit Stage - Festival of the Brewpubs

Thanks to all of you that rode the Summit Stage this year. Ridership was up significantly and it makes a tremendous difference on so many levels.

The Stage is going to run for one more weekend, this Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday is Festival of the Brewpubs and there is no better day to ride the Stage. Our route, the Swan Mountain Flyer, will be making its usual laps. Avoid traffic and parking issues and ride The Stage.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Swimwear Parade

I think we have to call the Swimwear Parade a success. Mother Nature was kind and delivered a beautiful, sunny, warm day. The Spring Skiing was so..............A-Basin like. No place says Spring Skiing the way we do. "The Railsplitters" performed an outstanding gig. The plaza was alive with energy. People had some fun.

........And the mountain is in outstanding shape.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Pali - Sunday - Last Day

Well, it is time. The last day of the season for Pallavicini Lift will be tomorrow, Sunday, May 22. We have had an outstanding season over there. The cool spring created some Pali bonus time for us. Looking back over the entire year, I enjoyed a number of truly outstanding turns on my favorite run anywhere, The Spine.

Molly Hogan will likely be open another week. We will keep Zuma going as long as we can, hopefully until June 5. We shall see. We are going to have to decide about extending beyond June 5 before too long.

I thought you might enjoy this image of Pali taken by a buddy of mine from a plane about five years ago.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Lucky Dog*

That is one lucky dog, getting to cruise around on a great mountain.

I think all of us may be lucky dogs. Getting to hang out, ski, ride, work or play at The Basin is pretty fun. I never get tired of those views or that snow. And the people here are pretty cool too. Good place.

*Note - that dog is on a leash and it is early morning before we are open.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Park Scene

Lots of fun still going in the terrain parks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Wall

Not a bad view of The East Wall.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Spectacular Morning

 And then some mornings, like today, are just spectacular.

Stormy Monday

The weather Monday was a lot of different things including some fairly heavy snowfall for a while.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Fruita and More Snow and Skiing

I understand that some of you are not skiing every possible chance you get. Some of you may even be on the bike a little. OK, I get it. I snuck off to Fruita for the day riding a Rustler, Mary's, Steve's, Lion's, Troy Built Loop. Sweet biking, good weather and great views of the canyons and the Colorado River. I passed a guy on Troy Built wearing an A-Basin bike jersey.

Now on to serious stuff. We have a very good forecast for snow the next couple of days. The skiing should be outstanding. Looking beyond that you can look forward to a Swimwear Parade, Beer Festival, Lake Reveal and three (or more) weeks of skiing to go. Don't get too comfortable on that bike just yet.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bonnie & The Clydes

To top off another excellent spring ski day, we had a fantastic country band playing on the Plaza Stage. Bonnie led The Clydes playing some beautiful, old style country music. Lots of people on the plaza and on the deck enjoyed this show. Make an effort to catch this Front Range band soon. Outstanding.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Stayed Cool

The snow has stayed surprisingly cool the last couple of days. Despite clear skies today and a mid-mountain temperature of 50 F, we had a cool breeze all day and the snow remained very cold. Pali, North Glade and the East Wall remained open through the day. Tomorrow is expected to be warmer. Plenty of great skiing out there.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Land Of The Giants

Land of the Giants is the lower left portion of the East Wall just below the lowest gate. While not very steep, it is an especially fun spot with big boulders and little gullies (mini couloirs). The place is loads of fun for poking around and sneaking in little funky lines. Another Basin gem.

Temps stayed cool today with winter snow on much of the mountain. Pali, North Glade and the East Wall, including Willy's and North Pole hiking, remained open all day. With sunny skies and much warmer temperatures forecast for tomorrow, we may see some changes rather quickly.



After a nice day at work yesterday afternoon, I came home to find the three neighborhood moose hanging out by the creek behind the house. After a couple of hours of that they wandered up into our yard. We watched them through the living room window, hanging out nibbling on grass and aspens. Nice finish to a good ski day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pali, North Glade, East Wall....RE-OPENED

5" new today and 9" over the last two days. The temperatures stayed cool enough long enough to significantly slow down water flowing through the pack. After some good hard looks at the snow and the instrumentation data, the Snow Safety Team re-opened the Pali and North Glade gates. They also re-opened the Southern half of the East Wall and the North Pole and Willy's Wide hiking areas. I didn't get on The Wall (heard it was great fun), but I did take some spins on Pali. You might find this hard to believe, but I thought The Spine and The Face were awesome.

Hard to say how long this will last. The sun is poised to come back with a vengeance on Thursday. There is a reasonable chance these areas will be open Wednesday. Morning conditions will let us know.

These pictures look more like February than May 10.

Monday, May 9, 2016

June 5 or Longer

We will be open for skiing and riding until at least June 5. If you are new to tracking the ins and outs of A-Basin Spring skiing, the recent trail closures may be alarming. Don't fret, this is normal for this time of year. There is still plenty of good off piste skiing to be found. As we stay open later and later into Spring (or Summer), there is shift of skiing into the heavily traveled areas especially the groomed terrain. Typically, the more that snow on a trail is packed, the longer that trail stays good for skiing.

Each year we plan on staying open until at least the first Sunday in June. We have done so 33 of the last 35 seasons. We are easily on track to be open until that target. Beyond that, we will wait and see what Mother Nature brings us. If the skiing is still good and people are still out there enjoying the snow, we will be open. If we do have an extended season, we will be open three days a week. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We reported 4" of new snow today. The first half of this week has more unsettled weather and then it looks like we are going to slide into some sunny, warm days.

So back to the beginning, no need to fret or be alarmed. We have plenty of great skiing, beautiful days, outdoor concerts, pond skimming, BBQ, goofy costumes and generally good natured mountain fun to go.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Pali and North Glade Closing

We did have a couple of notable trail closures this afternoon. We closed the Pallavicini and North Glade Gates. Our Snow Safety Team has been busy digs holes in the snowpack, monitoring instrumentation in the snowpack and generally keeping a very close eye on the steep terrain. What they have found is a lot of water moving through the snow. When this water hits loose, faceted snow near the ground, snow structure weakens and we can see avalanche problems. That is just about to happen on the North Side of the mountain. So....we closed these areas.

At the snow surface level, this can be deceiving. Today the top of the snow was firm, but you did not have to dig very deep to find plenty of loose, wet and unconsolidated snow. The actual snow surface, whether firm or soft, has very little to do with our decision. The concern lies in the areas not readily visible.

So is this closure forever? If we get sustained freezing temperatures and the snowpack "locks up" again, yes, we can re-open these zones.

Pali Lift remains open.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Insights From Joel Gratz

Colorado May weather insights from The Man, Joel Gratz.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Getting Warm

After a weekend of winter-like weather and powder skiing, we have had several very warm days. Today the temperature at mid-mountain reached 52 F. This makes for beautiful spring skiing with lots of shorts and bathing suits on the hill. It also makes for quality time in the Adirondack chairs out on the deck.

It also means that water is starting to move through the snow, which is not great news. When lots of water is moving through the snow and lubricating snow crystals, avalanches become more likely. We don't like avalanches and want to avoid them.  As a result some of the steeper areas may close early each day or may not even open. This afternoon we closed the East Wall and West Zuma prior to normal lift closing time. Plenty of great skiing to go, but not all of the steep terrain may be available.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pali Sunset

Enjoy these Pali sunset photos from Scott Carlson.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Borgy Rock Pano

Another photo from that spectacular ski day, Sunday. Enjoy the panoramic view from Borgy Rock on the Willy's Wide Staircase.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Snow Nerd / Weather Forecaster

So I have this deal with my favorite Snow Nerd / Weather Forecaster / Ski Patroller / Avalanche Forecaster / PhD / 6th Alley Patron. Every time it snows 10 or more inches, I owe him one of his favorite beverages. I am always happy to pay. He has had a good winter.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1 Powder Skiing and Hiking

We had another beautiful Sunday hiking the Upper East Wall and skiing powder. It is May 1 and these were some of the best runs of the season. Specifically, we hiked the North Pole ridge and skied West Vertical Cornice and hiked the Willy's Wide Staircase and skied Corner Chute. Enjoy these pictures. They tell a great story.

Top of Corner Chute, 13,000+ feet

Tracks in Corner Chute

Almost to Corner Chute. That is the Snorkel Door and Little Lenawee Peak in the top center of the photo.

The Snorkel Door

 The Willy's Wide Staircase above Borgy Rock

 More Willy's hiking

Coming out of West Vertical Cornice Chute

More West Vert

Looking Down West Vertical Cornice

Enjoying the top of Little Lenawee Peak