Wednesday, February 28, 2018

North Pole Shaping Up

The North Pole zone continues to feel positive effects from the wind and is shaping up nicely. We seem to have a common theme lately. The chutes are a little tricky to get into, but once you are in, the skiing is very nice. Climbing that ridge line to Little Lenawee Peak and traversing across to the chutes is definitely one of the cooler ski area experiences to be found.......anywhere. I love being up there.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Longer Days

After some pretty cold temperatures, today finally warmed up a bit reaching a high of 27 F at mid mountain. I always think we get our first hints of Spring in late February. The temps are a little warmer. The days are noticeably longer. The Beach really starts coming to life. Now it definitely isn't Spring yet. March and April are our snowiest months and there is still plenty of cold weather to come. If you look close enough though, there are just a few hints, like sunshine in the base area at nearly 5:30 today.

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Old Standbys

There are so many aspects to skiing The Basin. With a variety of terrain facing North, South, East and West, you can always find something exciting. The type of terrain is also wide ranging from steeps to tree lined cruisers to open bowls to cliff lined chutes to big cornices to fun filled rolls. I have to say I can always find good fun on my old stand by runs, The Spine and Pali Face. Hard to ski these trails and not have a smile on your face.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Keeps Getting Better

The steady snowfall and favorable winds have really been helping The Steep Gullies. Each week is a little better than the week before. The entrances are better and the guts are filling up. Even the 5th Steep Gully is quite good although very tricky to get into. I have really enjoyed listening to people talk about skiing the Gullies. The area is providing a lot of fun and excitement and a whole new dimension to skiing the Basin.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Crisp One

The day started a little snowy and blustery, but the sun popped out making for a good, crisp one. The cooler temps have kept the snow quality absolutely outstanding. No decent A-Basin skier is going to let a little chilly weather keep him or her away from all that great skiing. Skiers and riders were just raving today about Loafer, Alex and Jager. Tonight we may see an inch or two of snow and the temperatures tomorrow should reach the teens. Conditions should be ideal.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Mallard Mountain Lodge

Kay and I found a new, real treat this winter. With a small group of friends we spent 5 days at Mallard Mountain Lodge, a stunning 30 minute helicopter flight from Valemount, British Columbia. Mother Nature delivered a ton of new snow. Days were spent skinning laps and skiing powder. Evenings were spent eating away and replaying the days' turns. The mountains were as dramatic as you would expect. The hut was perfect. The food was great and our guide, Philip, found all the best lines. Check the place out at If this is your kind of fun, put it on "Your List."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Ikon Pass

Today the details of the Ikon and the Ikon Base Passes were released. They are certainly two exciting and intriguing opportunities. A number of you have reached out to me directly about theses products. Specifically, many of you have asked if we would be joining the Ikon Pass family.  The answer is no, we are committed to our Vail Resorts relationship through the 2018-19 ski season.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Just Fun

The skiing is just amazingly good. We have great snow that has been really buffed out by the wind. The snow texture is really soft and carveable. We should see a few inches of snow over the next 36 hours. With portions of the East Wall and North Pole open, we are going into prime conditions. The fun meter is going to keep going up.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Skiing is Good

Today, I found great skiing all over the mountain.   My favorite was Slalom Slope and North Glade.  It has been snowing lightly all day and there is more snow on the way.  Expect some great soft turns this weekend. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

First East Wall Opening

Today we saw our first East Wall opening of the year.  We opened The North Pole upper, middle and lower gates.   With more snow in the forecast expect more openings of this terrain.  It should start to get better and better. 

Winch To The Bottom Of Loafer

Good news on the snowcat front. The drivers made it to the bottom of Loafer, where it meets the bottom terminal site of the proposed Beavers Lift. Part of our strategy this season was to figure out the best way to groom both Loafer and Davis. The winch cat needs to be anchored to either another snowcat or a purposed built winch anchor. This season we plan to identify the winch anchor sites through our experimentation and install the anchors this next summer.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Bald Spot Skiing

I told you the skiing in the Bald Spot was going to be good.   

Friday, February 9, 2018

Bald Spot

The Bald Spot is open. This is double black diamond "Extreme Terrain" and can be accessed from the lower left side of Loafer. Like everything in The Beavers and Steep Gullies this season, it requires a hike when finished. This area has some nice tree skiing up high and ends in some very steep, rugged chutes. Very cool for the right person. It is very similar to the Lower Alleys. Insider tip - Great skiing and snow to be found along the left side adjacent to the ski area boundary.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Getting The East Wall Ready

I never tire of viewing the East Wall and Black Mountain. Our Snow Safety Team has been doing lots of mitigation work on the Wall. The have shot the avalauncher. They have done a couple of North Pole routes. Today they did a route down Willy's from the top as well as a Tree Chutes route. Both involve some pretty good hiking. Both brought down decent slides, one in Willy's Wide and one in North Y.

I know the question is, "When?". And most of you know my answer is, "I don't know." That said, we are making some good headway. Today's base is 53". The Wall generally opens once the base is 50-ish inches. The storm for Friday night and Saturday is shaping up. Once the storm clears, the Snow Safety Team will be back at it.

My stock answer, "SOON, VERY SOON."

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Snow Nerds Only - Snowpack 116%

As the pictures indicate, the skiing is tremendous. This week's storm was a huge bonus. While the statewide snowpack is somewhat less than ideal, The Basin has fared better than most. The Grizzly Peak Snotel site (next to A-Basin) indicates a Snow Water Equivalent (SWE and commonly called "The Snowpack") is 116% of the long term median. According to that same site, Season to Date precipitation is 108% of the long term average. You can find all kinds of snowpack info at

Some people have been surprised when they get here and realize how good the snow is. No need to be surprised, we are having a good year. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Skiing Slalom Slope With 14" New

I don't think this post needs much text.

Monday, February 5, 2018

We Should Report About A Foot

It snowed most of the day and it continues to snow heavily tonight. I have used the snowblower on my driveway twice this evening. I suspect our 5 AM report will indicate about a foot of new snow...... if not more. This is shaping up to be one heck of a ski week. Tuesday would be a really good day to adjust your priorities, re-work your schedule, wander up to The Basin and do some serious powder skiing.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Almost Like The Stanley Cup

Here's to another successful Beacon Bowl. A-Basin Patroller Devon Haire is hoisting the "Beacon Bowl Champion Cup." He and partner  partner Jake Ziemski won the team division while Tim Walsh was the individual champion. Another fun day, another great party and another good fundraiser for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Thanks to everyone that joined the festivities. As can be expected, Rio was the star.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Snowy, Blustery Morning

We enjoyed a snowy, blustery morning and, about mid-day, the sun popped out for a bit. I enjoyed an all mountain tour finding great skiing on The Spine, West Wall, Slalom Slope, Black Bear and Jump. Jump was an especially fun surprise. I think you could almost call it powder skiing. It was a little tricky to get out the bottom, but definitely worth it. The view from Black Mountain Lodge looking south about noon was very nice.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Loafer Winching A Success

Yesterday's winching on Loafer was a big success. The cat drivers are probably 2/3 of the way down to the bottom terminal site. They did most of the work during yesterday morning's snowstorm. 2 - 3 inches of snow fell after they were done creating an excellent ski surface and Loafer was open by late morning. Skiing 3 inches of snow on corduroy is kind of fun. The work was such a success we may do it another time or two. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Morning 4

We didn't report any new snow at 5 AM this morning. Soon after report time, the snow came down pretty heavily dropping at least 4 new inches. The skiing is exceptional. On top of that, yesterday's wind really buffed out portions of Pali. Really good skiing all around. After skiing the Frontside and Montezuma Bowl, I finished the day with a Beavers lap. We have unsettled weather in the forecast for a few days.