Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Ramrod Thursday

We just had a awesome night of snowmaking. We received 4" of natural snow and the wet bulb temperature got down to 14F, absolutely ideal snowmaking conditions. Ramrod will open Thursday. The next push is to get Lenawee Mountain Lift open. The snowmakers already have a big jump on Lenawee Traverse, the path from Black Mountain Lodge to the bottom of Lenawee Lift. 

The snowmakers just shut down the system on Ramrod. They will spend the morning taking all of the equipment off Ramrod. They will spend the afternoon setting up that same equipment on Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch. Also this aftertoon, cat driver Scotty will come in and doze and groom Ramrod. By this evening, the fan guns will be firing on the Upper Mountain. By first chair tomorrow, Ramrod will be open.

.........And the forecast looks great.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Beavers Chair

Now we really have a chairlift.

Storm Day Tuesday

OK, I pinched the term "Storm Day Tuesday" from Opensnow this morning. It is snowing right now. We are expecting a good pulse of snow now and another one later in the day. Temperatures are good for snowmaking and we are cranking on Ramrod and Lower Dercum's Gulch. The forecast for the rest of the week for temperatures and precipitation is good. The snowmakers, groomers and patrollers will have a busy week.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Chairlift Spinning

The new carriers are heading down the line. The crew has been placing chairs on the lift all day long.

We did want the chairlift to be completed by mid-October. It will more likely be completed by the end of the first week of November. So it is about 2-3 weeks behind the desired completion date.

Through The Beavers planning process, we thought the lift would open about the same time as Pali Lift or maybe 1-2 storms after Pali Lift opened. That said, on an average year, we hope the lift will be open between mid-December and Xmas. If we get the lift completed by November 7, that gives us plenty of time to reach our projected opening.

Now we have had some nice surprises, particularly on Loafer. Our snowfences have caught a tremendous amount of snow. The trail work, especially that done by the spider hoe and masticator, has come out much smoother than we expected. Over the next couple of months we will actually get this lift open and really find out how close our opening projections were.

Beavers One Piece

This holiday season, each of your loved ones is going to need a Beavers One Piece Hoodie Jumpsuit.

Saturday, October 27, 2018


The carriers (name for the actual "chairs") are being staged as I write. The rope is completely on and spliced. The lift has actually been spinning with the wire rope moving. This morning the Leitner Poma crew walked down the lift line, climbing towers and aligning all the sheave assemblies. By tomorrow morning they will start putting the carriers on the line. From the top of Black Mountain Express you will be able to look up and see carriers on the top couple of spans.

I kind of like the forecast starting Monday.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Moving The Snowguns Up

On Ramrod we are still waiting for either, that one really cold night or several kinda' cold nights. In the mean time, every spare fan gun is being moved to the Upper Mountain. As soon as Ramrod is ready, we will be firing away on Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Moonlight Dinners

It is getting to be that time of year. The Moonlight Dinner Series will begin before you know it. For the past several years we have taken reservations for all the dinners on October 1. While this was easy in some ways, it did create a few problems.We are trying something different this season. We will be booking the dinners, online, 1 or 2 at a time about a month in advance.

The first two dinners are, The Randonee Dinner - A Taste of Africa December 1 and the New Year's Even Dinner December 31. Both of these dinners will go on sale November 1 at 8 AM. 

For information on all the dinners and their booking dates go to:

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Rope Splice

As you can tell, the rope splice takes a lot of hands. These guys are working on the splice at Tower 15. It is a little chilly and blustery out there today. Once this is finished up, the crew will start placing chairs on the wire rope. That means the bullwheels will be spinning soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Just A Little Colder Please

The Good News. With these warm days, much of the snow on the south facing terrain above the ski area has melted. This has not impacted any of the snow where we have been working on terrain. The streamflow has bumped up and we now have a decent amount of water in our reservoir. In fact, we have enough water to make enough snow to get Ramrod open.

The Not Quite So Good News. The last couple of nights have been pretty warm. The last time we made snow was Sunday morning. This isn't weird or unusual. It is just typical October weather, some great nights for snowmaking and some not so great nights for snowmaking. So, we need the night time temperatures to drop about 5 more degrees and we will get this snowmaking operation cranking again.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Upper Mountain

The Upper Mountain is looking pretty darn good with that two feet of October snowfall. We had so much snow that we had to plow the road to get the final Beavers Chairlift parts to the Summit. This week's snowmaking priority is Ramrod. Once that opens, we will be moving nearly all of the equipment up to Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch. I look forward to getting two chairlifts open.

Sunday, October 21, 2018


Yesterday afternoon I slipped over to Loveland for a few runs. I am very glad to see them open. I had a chance to catch up with some old friends. The snow was really good. The coolest part was riding their new chairlift, Chet's Dream. Those Loveland guys are doing some fine work. Congratulations to them on getting open and building that chairlift.

Beavers Wire Rope

The Leitner Poma crew spent the last few days putting the wire rope on the Beavers Chairlift. The first thing they do is manually run a small wire rope down each side of the line.  The small line is on the sheave assemblies at each tower. They splice these two ropes together at the bottom. The wire rope for the chairlift is attached to the small line and, using a very strong winch, the small line pulls the big line on to the sheaves, towers and bullwheels.  The big rope is now in place and will be spliced this week.

This is a tedious and difficult job, but critically important. It moves slightly faster than paint dries.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ramrod Is Next

Just about all of our snowmaking resources and energy has been moved to Ramrod. Louis and I walked down it this morning. The snowmaking crew has a good jump on that trail. We could have skied it although it would have been a little tricky. We will do our best to get that trail open as soon as we can. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

A Good Opening Day

The day started early. There was a line for mugs and there was a line for first chair. People are so excited to get back to The Basin and get back on the hill. Everywhere I went, skiers and riders were having fun. Kudos to all of our crew that made the day happen and kudos to all of our guests keeping the spirit of A-Basin strong. Here's to the 2018-19 season.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

First Ski Runs

Well, I just took my first couple of ski runs for the season. Had to do that final check before opening, if you know what I mean. 

To get things started, as I was riding Black Mountain Express, I saw a moose in the woods just West of Tower 5. Maybe if you are lucky tomorrow, you might spot this gal. If you do, be sure and stay far, far away. Always give a moose as much room as possible.

The Terrain Park crew is prepping four features. I am not sure what they will be just yet, but those guys are creative. I am sure it will be fun.

The snow on High Noon is excellent. The corduroy was fantastic. I had a blast. It feels good to get the legs moving in a new direction. I look forward to seeing many of you soon. Here's to a great season.

Beavers Lift Update

Even with all the excitement of opening tomorrow, we are still working hard at getting the Beavers Chairlift finished. The wire rope will be installed over the next couple of days and the rope splice will occur early next week. Soon after the splice, the carriers (the chairs) will be attached to the line. Throughout all of this, there is a lot of work being done by the electricians. We anticipate the Acceptance Test (Load Test) to be completed the first week of November. That gives us plenty of time for a Beavers Chairlift December opening.

See you skiing in the morning.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Ready To Open

So yesterday, after we had announced the opening, I was out and about trying to figure out what to do next. I looked up and saw this paraglider way, way, way up there in the sky. I said "Cool" and went back to work. Well, today I received this email and photo from an old friend, Robert Stone, aka "Stoney." What an image !!! Wow. That ski area looks ready to open.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Friday Is Opening Day

We will open Black  Mountain Express and High Noon this Friday at 9:00 AM. It will be a fine opening.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Dozing Piles

Ace snowcat driver Scotty came in this morning. He has started dozing the piles on High Noon. He will be working and putting things together the next few days. You can track his progress on Lower High Noon through the Base Areas Webcam.

Upper High Noon Snowmaking

I just took a walk down High Noon. The coverage is good. We have several fan guns cranking on the upper portion of the trail. Do not get confused by my last message. We are not out of water. We just don't have quite as much as we'd like. Snowmaking is still moving right along.


Snow Everywhere

Normally, this time of year, I am only taking pictures of High Noon. We have a lot of snow everywhere. Mother Nature has been kind that way. Some of you have noticed that not all of the snow guns are running. We do have ideal temperatures. Unfortunately, with the cold temps, the streamflow has slowed down. This morning, as I am waiting for the sun to break the East Wall ridgeline, we have blue, blue skies. Sun and warmer temps will melt some of that South facing snow and bring the streamflow up. Even with our reservoir, the snowmaking capacity is really tied to that streamflow. Right now we have a hand full of snowguns making fabulous snow. I look forward to having two handfulls of snowguns making fabulous snow.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Even More Snow

Another good night. A few more inches of natural snow. Great snowmaking temperatures. We have had a snowcat up on the hill. So far, we are mostly connecting the dots and moving a few fan guns. The next step will be to start dozing and spreading it out. The forecast the next several days is ideal. We should see sunny, but cool days with fantastic snowmaking temperatures at night.

.....And, sorry, but no uphill access.

The place looks good !!!

Auto Camo

This is the newest snomaking fan gun in the fleet. It is an SMI automatic gun. It adjusts itself for temperature, humidity and snow quality. On top of al that, it has a snappy winter camouflage finish.

Saturday, October 13, 2018