Thursday, May 31, 2018

Three More Days

Only three days left. We should see some perfect weather and fun, soft, slushy snow. Maybe even a little water to slide across. What a great place to close out the season !!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Lenawee Face

We had quite the day at The Basin. Good skiing can still be found on Lenawee Face, Humbug and Dercum's Gulch. The clouds were threatening, but never quite did anything. The sun popped out its head every once in a while. The mountain goats continue to entertain on a daily basis.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Closing Day - June 3

It is official. Sunday, June 3 will be the final day of the 2017-18 Season at Arapahoe Basin. Come on up and enjoy the final week. We have great Spring skiing. Lake Reveal has come to life. There will be live music in Mountain Goat Plaza Saturday and Sunday. The mountain goats are all over Little Lenawee Peak. And all kinds of fun and crazy A-Basin type stuff  will be going on.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Festival of the Brewpubs

We had more good Spring skiing today. Lake Reveal was even larger. Our Park Crew threw a great Party in the Park with music, a rail jam and prizes.

As I write this, we are winding down another successful Festival of the Brewpubs. 18 craft brewers were here sharing their goods. Mojomama was a hit playing R & B, blues and funk. The weather could not have been better and crowd could not have been nicer. It was fun.

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Guess what popped out last night. Lake Reveal is here. Named after Jon Reveal, A-Basin Manager in the late 70's and early 80's, this alpine tarn generates a lot of Spring A-Basin fun. In its natural condition and showing up each Spring, certain skiers and riders love to skim across its surface. Some people even make it all the way across and, for a few, this is a Spring Highlight. Some people get a little wet. Each day, the pond will be a little bigger and pond skimming will be a little more challenging.

Friday, May 25, 2018


We continue to experience just stellar days. We have great, cruisey (not sure if that is a word) conditions. The work by the snowcat drivers has been nothing short of amazing. Each morning the corduroy is spectacular. The water is going where we want it to go. Despite the warm weather, the snow is holding up really well. Today we had a gang of young alpine racers from the Midwest tearing it up. It is beautiful watching those guys and gals ski.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

IPW Denver 2018

This week IPW Denver 2018 was held in the Mile High City. Thousands of people from the travel industry from around the world descended on Denver for several days of meetings and events. Monday and Tuesday I was down there for the Trade Show at the convention center and a big gathering at Mile High Stadium. Today we hosted a tour of The Basin with travel professionals from China, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and The Netherlands.  The gang enjoyed chairlift rides, skiing and snowboarding, sightseeing and a great lunch at Black Mountain Lodge. Classic, Colorado bluebird skies made for a perfect day

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Runoff - Streamflow - Snowpack - Weather

Snowpack, runoff, streamflow and weather are all linked very closely. Our closest stream gauge is on the Snake River down near River Run in Keystone. Below is a hydrograph for the last three weeks. You can see that, most days, streamflow has a peak and a valley. The peak comes from the afternoon's warmest temperatures when snow melts the most. The valley comes overnight when temperatures are the coolest and snow melts less. On the gauge, there is a time delay because it takes a while for that melting snow to travel from the high alpine terrain to the gauge.

You can also see that following our big snow storm, May 3-4, the stream starting rising quickly due to warming temperatures. It continued to rise until we had cooler, stormier weather starting May 18. The streamflow dropped for a few days. It will be interesting to see what happens the next few days.

We watch the streamflow, runoff and weather very closely to help understand what is going on with our snowpack.

Check out Colorado streamflows at:

Monday, May 21, 2018

More Good Stuff To Go

We are still in the peak of Spring (getting close to Summer) skiing. Good snow with plenty of fun stuff coming up. Come on up this weekend for some great morning skiing. Saturday afternoon Whitewater Ramble plays Mountain Goat Plaza. Sunday afternoon we are hosting the Festival of the Brewpubs with 14 craft brewers sharing their goods. Can't think of a better place to spend Memorial Day weekend.

Upper Mountain

The skiing is holding up nicely on the Upper Mountain. I strongly suggest skiing the groomers although Lenawee Parks has been quite good in the morning. The best snow might be found on the Cornice Run. We have had to consolidate the Lower Mountain trails to get the water flowing where we want it to and to keep good, deep snow into the base area.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Storm Clouds

It has been a bit of stormy weekend with nice mornings followed by unsettled afternoons. We have had a little thunder and even a couple of brief lightning closures. Very often, the storm breaks up in the late afternoon creating beautiful images with blue sky, clouds and sun. I took these walking to my car yesterday afternoon on my way home.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Snowing - May 19

Surf and Snow. Today has been almost a mirror image of yesterday. The skiing has been quite fun. Cornice / West Wall was soft and fun. Lenawee Parks and East Gully were treats. Overcast skies in the morning were followed by a good Spring, snow squall in the afternoon. One difference has been The Beloved Invaders are playing surf music in Mountain Goat Plaza (while it is snowing).

Friday, May 18, 2018

Snowing - May 18

I think it is always good to see it snow. We have some nice big wet flakes falling down right now. I don't think the snow forecast huge. We should have stormy, unsettled weather over the weekend. If we are lucky, we may see a few inches. You know, this snowing/skiing/snowboarding thing is pretty good. Like really good.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

More Thoughts On Snowfences

Here are a few more thoughts on the three types of snowfences. In general, fences work better above timberline. The ideal fence is on or near a ridge crest and deposits snow where skiers want to ski.  Often, our bigger, permanent fences are on the edges of a trail. As wind and snow blows towards a trail, it hits one of this big fences and slows down. When the wind slows down, the snow falls out making drifts. We try and position the big fences so the snow lands where the snowcats can get to it and create beautiful, groomed ski trails.

The snowcat and human portable fences are a bit different. They don't catch as much as snow, but they can be very effective. We typically set them right in the middle of the ski trail. This way we catch snow right on the trail. Much of this work occurs before the trail is open to the public so our guests might not always see it happening. Once the fences have effectively caught snow, we move the fences out of the way to let skiers or the snowcats pack it down. In yesterday blog, I was talking about putting the fences right back in the middle of the trail to catch snow next fall.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Getting Zuma Ready

One of the very first things we do with Montezuma Bowl, once it is closed for the season, is to get the snowfences ready for next season. Zuma has a mixture of permanent snowfences, snowcat portable snowfences and smaller human portable snowfences. The snowcat portable fences (it takes a snowcat to move them) have to be stored somewhere. Yesterday the Trails Crew and the Ski Patrol placed these fences just where we want them to be when the snow starts flying next Fall. This way, they start catching snow from the very earliest snow events. We place all three types of fences in a strategic path to catch snow and to establish the first trail with deep snow. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Fine Spring Skiing

I enjoyed some very nice runs out on the hill this afternoon. We are well into the Spring now. Montezuma Bowl is closed. Lenawee Mountain, Black Mountain Express and Molly Hogan are our turning chairlifts. As we get later and later in the season, the best skiing is found in areas that have been packed the most by skiers, or even more so, by the snowcats. Cornice / West Wall were exceptional. We will keep grooming that as long as we can. It was fun.

If Spring is your thing, The Basin is the place to be. We have some great stuff coming up. Surf band, The Beloved Invaders plays this Saturday. On May 26 Colorado favorite, Whitewater Ramble will be at Mountain Goat Plaza. And... of course, May 27 we host the Festival of the Brewpubs featuring Mojo Mama. Lots of fun to go.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Swimwear Day - People Watching

Well into May, we have some fine Spring Skiing. My favorite time is getting out on a sunny morning, just after the sun has hits the corduroy. The snow was great everywhere I went today, West Wall, Sundance, Larkspur, Columbine, Lenawee Face. On top of the great skiing we had a lot going on. There was a busy Rail Jam in Treeline Terrain Park. It was Swimwear Day - always interesting. The Beach was The Beach. "Homeslice" had the Mountain Goat Plaza rocking. The "Big Onions" entertained The 6th Alley Patrons. To top it off, there was some SERIOUS, SERIOUS people watching........A-Basin style.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sustainability Report

Take a few minutes to review our latest Sustainability Report. It highlights our resource consumption by season as well as our projects and policies. I am pleased to see our overall electricity and propane use has been going down the last few years. There is also a piece on our solar facilities. You can see we are engaged in a variety of projects.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Pali and North Glade

The Pali and North Glade gates were closed this morning. Will they be closed for the season? Maybe. Is there a chance they will re-open? Maybe.

Every Spring, our Snow Safety Team spends a great deal of time tracking water movement in the snow. They do this in indirect ways like tracking the rising air temperature. They also pay attention to the rising level of our local stream, the Snake River (its flow is rising rapidly). Most importantly, they look directly at the snow, digging snow pits searching for water. We have instruments buried within the snow that indicate when water is present. When it is clear that water is on the move, we shut these areas due to concerns for wet slab avalanches. There is plenty of snow to ski. Our concern is avalanches.

Sometimes, we get a cold snap with new snow that stops or retards this process for a short period. Some years we have briefly re-opened these areas when conditions permit. Managing snow this time of year is a process of diligence, patience and perseverance.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Loveland shut down this past weekend after a fine season. The Sunday before last Loveland GM, Rob Goodell, hosted a gang of old friends for a ski and a fajita lunch. Kay and I had a really nice day over there. The Spring skiing was excellent. We rode the Ridge Cat for the first time, hiked North to Golden Bear and skied that big chute. Very fun. We topped the day off with a big lunch at the Ginny Lee Cabin off of Chair 8. Beautiful deck and building. Great fun with great neighbors. I even snuck in a view of The Basin here and there. Thanks Rob.

From The Air

Periodically, people send me photos of The Basin that they took as they flew over. Below is an exceptionally good one. Joel Gratz emailed me this photo his wife, Lauren Alweis, captured Sunday. I love it.

This week we are enjoying some particularly stunning, sunny, warm, bluebird weather. That can only mean one thing. I think there might be another storm brewing for the weekend.............

Monday, May 7, 2018

Sha Miklas

Most of you know that Sha Miklas is our Senior Manager for Guest Services and Sustainability. Over the weekend, the National Ski Areas Association and Ski Magazine recognized Sha with the "Golden Eagle Award as a Hero of Sustainability." Sha's leadership, tenacity and wisdom in environmental affairs have guided us to better and better performances in sustainability issues. Congratulations Sha. We are very proud of you and very honored to work with you.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Winter In May

Winter in May. The last couple of days, the powder seekers were rewarded. Conditions had really shifted to Spring. At A-Basin, however, Winter tends to return. We had some fine powder skiing, particularly out in The Beavers and on the East Wall. Today the sun will be back out and the temperatures will rise. Spring conditions will return. I am not sure everything will be open, but what we will have will be very nice. Thanks to everyone that made this storm so much fun. And here's to some extraordinary A-Basin Spring skiing.

Friday, May 4, 2018


The snow is deep out there. Some called it "bottomless." And it is good.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

May Snow

WOW. Here we go. We reported 6 inches of new snow this morning. We may get that much more again by tomorrow morning. We may get more. Despite The Basin having lots of beautiful, warm Spring days, Old Man Winter keeps returning. We usually get a few more big snows in May. Sometimes we get them in June. Some of the best powder days happen in May. Very cool.