Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Small Slides On Pali

This morning we had a small, natural slide in 2nd Bowl on Pallavicini. Later in the day, our Snow Safety Team deployed explosives from 1st Bowl to The Face triggering several more small slides running as much as 200 feet. The crew has been busy ski cutting and packing snow in Lenawee Parks, West Wall and Slalom Slope. With each storm and wind event, our avalanche workers are going to be busier and busier.

Lenawee Opens Friday

Lenawee Mountain Chairlift and Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch ski trails will open for this season Friday morning. I took a spin on the Upper Mountain this afternoon. Beautiful. The Tuesday day and Tuesday night snowmaking session was a big boost for Dercum's Gulch. Those bony spots I mentioned yesterday look really good. Tonight and tomorrow night the snowmakers will put the final frosting on the trail. The cat drivers will put on the final corduroy groom and the ski patrollers will do the rope closure, pad, sign thing. The Lift Ops and Maintenance have been ready for weeks. The skiing is exceptionally good and we will have a very fun opening on Friday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lenawee Update

I just took three ski runs on Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch. There has been a very nice improvement over the last several days. There are a couple of bony spots, but overall it is in much better shape. Mother Nature's snowfall has been kind and the snowmakers have had some success. The snowcats have been along the entire length of the trails. The cat drivers have done the initial Lenawee Face pile dozing. There is more to go. The Ski Patrol has set up a number of snowfences. The lift crew has Lenawee Mountain Lift licensed and ready to go. We are still not quite ready to say when, but we are much closer to getting that zone open.

3,555' Before Breakfast

The first Rando Race of the season was a big success. 86 "Skimo" (ski mountaineering) racers participated. Skiers started in the base area and skied as many laps as they could up High Noon and down Ramrod. The leaders completed 5 laps. That is 3,555 vertical feet of climbing before breakfast. Not bad. I continue to be amazed by how fast these athletes go up hill. Even their transitions (putting skins on or taking skins off) is fast. Whenever I do something with my skins, I also have to change clothes, figure out where I am, get a drink of water, eat an energy bar and discuss life's issues. These gals and guys are tremendous.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

First Rando Race and Upphill Access Update

The biking weather hung in there for a while, but now it is time for a little Rando Racing. This season's first  Randonee event will be Tuesday, November 29. Patio has come up with a great event to offset what Mother Nature has delivered so far. Starting at 7 AM sharp, skiers will cruise up High Noon to Black Mountain Lodge and then descend Ramrod. Racers will ski as many of these laps as possible with no new laps being counted after 8 AM. Looks like a good event to work out the summer and fall kinks and work on your transitions.

Please note that except for this special event, uphill access is still closed to the public. With this week's forecasted snowfall and a little more snowmaking, our hope is to get uphill access open soon.

And it is snowing !!!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

POW - Protect Our Winters

Protect Our Winters (POW) unites and mobilizes the snow sports community against climate change. POW focuses on youth education, climate advocacy and community activism. Climate Change continues to be one of our generation's most pressing issues. A-Basin is proud to be a partner with POW and support their mission. Our new uniforms sport the POW logo. To learn more about POW and A-Basin's sustainability efforts go to and GET INVOLVED.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Just Another Beautiful Ski Day

Pretty easy to enjoy a day like this.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and your friends. The day started snowy and blustery, but by mid-morning, we were enjoying blue, sunny skies.

I skied off the top for the first time this morning. Previously I had been walking down. While not ready to open, we do have areas with excellent coverage.The terrain you can see from Black Mountain Lodge is in fine shape. The snowmakers continue to work hard in the weaker areas.

Molly Hogan Chairlift and trail will open for the season tomorrow, Friday. If you know that person that is ready to ski for the first time, Molly Hogan is the place to take him/her.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Another Walking Tour

I went for another walking tour around the snowmaking terrain this morning. Watching the morning sun hit The Professor is always a treat. Still making progress on snowmaking. I promise that as soon as I know when the Upper Mountain will open, you will know also. We are getting closer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Today's Snow

We reported 2" of new snow this morning and it snowed lightly for much of the day. It is still snowing as I write this post. Our temperatures are very good for snowmaking. We are very judiciously making snow in key areas as our water supply allows. We are seeing success on the Upper Mountain as well as on Molly Hogan. With Molly being such a small area, it might open before Lenawee. Let's see what Mother Nature does these next few days. A dump or two of snow would be fun.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lenawee Face Snowmaking

The snowmakers have been doing very well up on Lenawee Face.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Starting To Move

The increased snowmaking coupled with the new snow fall has enabled the Ski Patrol to move around the mountain a little bit more. Yesterday, a crew of patrollers spent a fair bit of time on The Summit getting equipment ready, cleaning up Snow Plume Refuge, standing a few snowfences and enjoying the stunning mountain views. I look forward to getting Lenawee Mountain Lift open.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Snowmaking Images - Pika

We reported 7 inches of new snow today. There was more up high. It was a great boost for the mountain. I rode Lenawee Mountain Lift and walked down Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch. Much of the trail looks very good. We still have a few zones that we need to focus our snowmaking efforts on. Conditions are ideal for us. Cold snowmaking temperatures. Snow on the ground. Water in the stream.

The big news, of course, is on The Pika Conveyor. It will open for the season tomorrow, Saturday, November 19. We now have a little patch of beginner terrain and we have a little beginner lift. Snowsports School is ready to roll !!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Storm Delivered

I have to say that when I walked my dog under starry skies at 5:30 this morning I was afraid I might have counted my chickens before they hatched. The storm arrived a little later than we expected, but when it came, it delivered the goods. Snow fell heavily for most of the day. Unfortunately, I had to go to Denver for the day and missed most of the fun. I took this photo as I headed over the pass. On my return home, I drove by the ski area and, even though it was dark, it looked fantastic with all the new snow. And it was still snowing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The LAST Sunny Day !!!

Plenty of people were outside soaking up today's sun. The Terrain Park was plenty busy with riders sliding all of the rails. There were good views of the snowmaking progress being made on the Upper Mountain. All that will change.

Sometime after midnight tonight the temperature starts plummeting. We should see snow falling most of the day Thursday !!!  Arriving at the ski area tomorrow will be like living in a different world. I can't wait.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Snow In The Forecast

Let's not jinx this but there is some snow in the forecast. Snow should start falling Wednesday night and into Thursday with significantly colder temperatures. There also appears to be something brewing early next week. Again, these beautiful days nice, but come on. We are ready for snow !!!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Walking Up High

Bill and I walked to The Summit this morning for a little snowmaking reconnaissance. In addition to the fan guns you can see from Black Mountain Lodge, we have equipment set up in "The Desert" and Lenawee Face. "The Desert" is the big, broad, open portion of Dercum's Gulch west of Norway Lift and east of the West Wall. Last night was the first night for snowmaking on Lenawee Face. The crew made an excellent first effort and we have mini whales established up there. We pushed out the piles of snow around BML and you can see the start of ski trail.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Ramrod And A C-Bow

Lots of good news today. Ramrod is open. The snow is excellent. The trail width is not quite side to side, but there is a bunch more good skiing. The Park Crew switched out one of the rails. We have a fun C-Bow now. That is a C Rail on a slant going uphill like a Rainbow Rail. C-Bow.

The Upper Mountain snowmaking is going well. We have several big whales in Lower Dercum's Gulch. Several more fan guns are being moved to Lenawee Face and Upper Dercum's Gulch. The snowmaking weather has become more favorable. The overnight lows are consistently colder and some meteorologists are thinking the second half of November could be stormy. The snowier and the colder, the better.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

More Snowmaking On Ramrod

With a wet bulb temperature of 20 F, we had good night of snowmaking on Ramrod and Lower Dercum's Gulch. The snowcats did have good success dozing and grooming on Ramrod last night. This afternoon the snowmaking crew moved the snowmaking equipment around focusing fan guns in high priority areas. If all goes well, we should have Ramrod by the weekend........or sooner.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ramrod - Snowmaking and Grooming

The last two nights, especially last night, we had some very good snowmaking on Ramrod. During the day today, the cat drivers started pushing the snow piles around a bit. This evening we plan on pushing the piles around a lot more. The next couple of nights are forecasted to be clear, below freezing and with low humidity. So, I can't quite pick an opening day for Ramrod just yet, but we are getting closer. I look forward to going down Ramrod first thing tomorrow morning to see how the snowmaking and grooming came out.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

6th Alley Supper Club and Beer Maker's Dinners

Chef Rybak has just announced five Friday night dinners in The 6th Alley Bar and Grill. As always, they will be scrumptious. Each evening will have its unique theme. There will be a Good Friday Fish Fry, a Prime Rib Night and a Mexican Night. On top of that there will be two Beer Maker's Dinners. One with Avery Brewing and the other, on St. Patrick's Day, with Odell Brewing. Of course, you can just show up for dinner. You could also fit in a nice skin and ski after the lifts close and then join us for dinner. For complete details and to make a reservation, check out the link below.