Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Single Chair Update - Fun Valley

A couple weeks ago I did a post about the original single chairlifts at The Basin expressing my interest in finding one of the chairs. I received a number of messages from people with tips on finding an original or similar chair. Thanks to everyone that sent me a message.

I did learn that one of the chairlifts went to Fun Valley, a small, now closed, ski area just outside Denver on Deer Creek Canyon Road by Homewood Park. posted a 1995 Rocky Mountain News article on the sale of Fun Valley. Then owner, Joe Dorris, sold the chairs as souvenirs. So.....I am still looking for one of those chairs. If this story sounds a little familiar or rings a bell or if it a triggers a thought about a funny looking metal chair in your friend's scrap pile, let me know. Thanks.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

NEW Arapahoe Sports Opens Today

After a very, very, busy summer, the NEW Arapahoe Sports opens today. Come visit Josie and her crew and check out the fun stuff she has found. You can count on more of what was carried in the past as well as lots of new things. Check out the goods from Patagonia, Marmot, Kuhl, Icelantic (yes, skis), Anon, Smith and more. All the new decks, stairs and ramps will also be open. Thanks for your patience through construction.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Saturday, Music and Fun

This Saturday will be good fun at The Basin. Of course the day starts with some fun October skiing on High Noon. From 11:00 until 2:00 Down2Funk, with their famous song, "Fresh Powder" will be playing in the base area. We will be serving food and drinks outside. At 4 PM the party moves into The 6th Alley for a Halloween Costume Contest. Good prizes, good music and good fun.

2016 Festival of the Brewpubs

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

It Might As Well Be Beautiful

If it isn't going to snow.....the weather might as well be beautiful. Today was absolutely stunning. The next several days may just be the same. Next week, the temperatures look much colder. So for now, grab your skis and your sunscreen and come enjoy some very nice weather at The Basin.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

CAIC Benefit Bash

The CAIC Benefit Bash is another one of Summit County's premier social and fund raising events. All proceeds benefit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. With prizes, loads of auction items, live music, beer, and dinner by Food Hedz, this is a "must attend" evening. All your ski buddies will be there. The event will be at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center December 3. You can purchase tickets at the link below. See you there.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Uphill Access Program

Around the ski world, more and more people have added uphill movement to their ski and snowboard vocabulary. Many people out there enjoy either hiking, snowshoeing or skinning up the mountain. A-Basin, in particular, has seen a ginormous increase in interest in this activity. While heading up the hill without a chairlift is a fun and healthy activity, there are concerns with integrating it into ski area operations.

We have embraced uphill access and have created a very good uphill access plan. We require people to obtain a "FREE" Uphill Access Pass at Guest Services. Getting the free pass involves reading a page of rules and signing a waiver. We do, at times, close the hill to uphill access. That typically occurs when we are doing avalanche work or there is a special event.

The other notable time uphill access is closed is right now, early season. With snow on a limited amount of terrain and with skiers, snowcats and snowmaking equipment all over that limited terrain, uphill access is not a good idea right now. As more terrain and snow come online, usually by mid-November, we will open the hill to uphill access.

At the bottom of the "Runs Open" page of our website, we post whether uphill access is open or closed.

There are now thousands of people enjoying A-Basin for uphill access (me included). If interested, be sure and get an Uphill Access Pass and take the time to understand the rules. This is a great and innovative program, but it only works if the users follow and respect the plan. For those of you that are uphill users, thank you so much for working with us. After mid-November, I will see you on the hill a couple of nights per week.......... after the lifts are closed.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Snowmaking Plan

Our next trail to open will be Ramrod. All of the snowmaking guns on Ramrod are in place and will be operating whenever the temps are right. It typically takes about a week to get Ramrod open (assuming temps are reasonably cold). Beyond Ramrod we will get Lenawee Mountain Lift, Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch open. Once all that is complete, you will see the crew providing some green terrain, making snow on Molly Hogan, Sundance and Wrangler.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Day 2 Begins

Day 2 of the 2016-17 season with begins with the morning sun lighting up The Professor. It will be a perfect day to make a few runs, catch up with friends, find one of our Adirondack chairs and enjoy the deck at either "The 6th Alley" or "Black Mountain Lodge." No better place to soak in the Colorado Rockies.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The 16/17 Season Has Begun

The season has begun. Today's opening went extremely well. For me, it is always a pleasure to see old friends, make a few turns and get the mountain open. Thanks to everyone that joined in on the fun.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Test Drive

I took the skis out for a couple of test drives this afternoon. Just wanted make sure everything was alright. 

It was.

Construction Work

Tyler and PJ are getting the Park ready to go. I am sure they will still be working hard at it well after the sun has gone down tonight. Tomorrow they will be offering three brand new features. Construction is going well and I think there will be plenty of fun to be had.

One More Day

I don't think tomorrow will be a good opening. I think it will be a tremendous opening. Yesterday's snowcat work was outstanding. We were able to keep the snowmaking system running all day long yesterday. This morning, at dawn, the wet bulb temperature was 11 F at mid-mountain. The snowmakers ran the system full bore all night long. Today will be another big day for the snowcat team. Coverage will be outstanding and, more importantly, the skiing and riding will be wicked fun.

Now that most of the snow is made, the Park Crew will spend today setting and shaping our rail features. Expect 2-4 features for Friday and we will keep improving on that. As the park comes together, I will post some pictures.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Scotty has been very busy out there and making tremendous headway.

Come Skiing Friday

We just had a cold and snowy night. Right now the snowmaking system is still cranking at near capacity. Mother nature delivered 4-5 inches of natural snow at mid-mountain. The forecast for tonight is mostly clear with temperatures in the teens, perfect for snowmaking. The reservoir is still almost full. Scotty is back in his cat dozing out the piles. Bill and I just walked High Noon. It is time.


When The Snowmakers Are Smiling...........

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

According To Forecast

Last night's forecast was almost perfectly aligned with the forecast. All the guns were cranking this morning when I arrived at the ski area. We have plenty of water available and Tuesday and Wednesday nights still look very cold, maybe down into the teens. Good, good, good.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Outlook For Snowmaking

This is The Basin, but not today. I thought a ski picture would be fun. We have had some warm, windy days. That should change tonight. The snowmaking forecast tonight looks decent. Tuesday and Wednesday night the snowmaking forecast looks good. Check the webcams to see if you spot a snowcat on the hill this week.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

$1.25 Lift Tickets

This is a photo from the 1946-47 season, A-Basin's first official lift served season. This was before the two single chairlifts were installed. The image was captured at Mid-Mountain and the photographer is standing in what today would be the driveway of the Booster Pump Station just North of Black Mountain Lodge. The building on the left is the old Midway BBQ. That season there was a rope tow in the meadow to the Southeast of Black Mountain Lodge. Skiers were transported up the service road to Mid-Mountain in trucks.

The lowest sign reads "Tow Tickets $1.25 Each Including 3 Truck Rides From Highway."

Friday, October 14, 2016

Single Chairlifts

During the Summer, Fall and Early Winter of 1947, Arapahoe Basin installed two single chairlifts. The Lower Lift was located approximately where Black Mountain Express is today. The Upper Lift was located approximately where Norway Lift is today. These old pictures are so fun. I do not know where this old equipment ended up after it was removed from A-Basin. I would love to get my hands on one of the single chairs and hang it in the A-Frame. If you happen to know where I could find one of these chairs or one similar to the originals, please let me know. Thanks.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bluebird Day

Another beautiful day on the mountain. Last night the temps were a little colder than expected so we made a bit of snow. Sometimes the journey to opening is a few giant steps, sometimes it is many small steps, sometimes it is both. This year is both.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Just A Little Bit

This morning we made just a little bit of snow. The temps stayed warm most of the night. By about 5 AM, the temps dropped and the snowmakers fired up the guns on Upper High Noon. Nothing spectacular, but a little bit more progress. 

Joel Gratz at is forecasting a decent weather change Monday night. Look for snowmaking production to bump up significantly in a few days. By the way, I check Joel's forecasts several times a day and I highly recommend them. ......And he always has a fun link or story on the website.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Natural Stuff

While last night was not cold enough for snowmaking, we did get a couple inches of wet, mushy natural snow. So this is a short term negative by not making snow last night, but a bigger, long term positive for more snow and water available for snowmaking. Big picture - very good. For those in need of an immediate ski fix - patience my friend.

Monday, October 10, 2016

So Close

I know that for much of the summer, many of you were thinking, A-Basin will never get this construction done. No doubt, we have been on a tight schedule, but we are very, very close to being done. All the concrete work is done. We have one more day of paving tomorrow. All the windows and doors are installed. The exterior finish is substantially complete. We should see lots of new stairs and railing up soon. Despite the piles of construction materials, the project is starting to look pretty darn good.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Outlook For The Week

Realistically, what can we expect this week? To start, our snowmaking to date has been outstanding. We have made well over half of the snow required to open. The reservoir is re-filling nicely and the streamflows have bumped up a fair bit. We have a little bit of precipitation forecast for mid to late week. The forecasted low temperatures are somewhere around freezing. So, what does this mean for us?  It means the answer to the age old question, "when will you open" is hard to predict. Just a few degrees difference in the forecast will make all the difference. If it is warmer, that is not good. If it is a few degrees colder than forecast, the outlook for good snowmaking improves substantially. We have snowmakers scheduled to work around the clock right now. We will be monitoring temps very closely. Cold, clear nights are ideal. We were poised and capitalized on that last cold weather event. We are ready to do it again.

We do not use snowmax.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Mid Mountain

The Mid Mountain area is looking pretty good.