Saturday, August 31, 2019

Trail Building near Paliwog

The Trail 2 construction crew is moving right along. Eventually, the trail, designed for downhill mountain biking, will go from Black Mountain Lodge to the Base Area. This summer we are building the lower half of it. The crew started at the Banana (gap between High Noon and Sundance halfway down Lower Mountain) working their way downhill and west. The trail surfaces and turns look fantastic. They have crossed beneath Black Mountain Express and Pallavicini Lifts and have reached their furthest west point in The Glen (between Rock Garden and Paliwog). They have completed the first of three switchbacks there. It won't be too long before they finish in the base area at Molly Hogan.

As of now we plan on running our trails as a cross country system. If there is interest and demand for lift served riding, we are open to consider that. As of now, however, we do not have plans for a lift haul.

Over the next couple of summers we have plans to build an exceptional loop on the Upper Mountain.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Season Pass and Elevation Any Day Pass - Buy Before September 5

If you are reading this blog and still haven't bought some kind of pass for this coming season, now is the time. Our season pass is the only unlimited, unrestricted way to ski The Basin. The pass also includes 3 days at both Taos and Monarch. New this year, we also have Elevation 2, 3, 4 and 5 Any Day Passes if you plan on being here just a few days. On top of that, the Ikon and Mountain Collective Passes offer all kinds of great ski opportunities.

The real point of the message is to encourage you to buy now. Prices go up September 5. The earlier you buy, the lower the price.  The season pass price will move from $449 to $499. Check out our website for details on the products.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Sundance Fireweed

The fireweed blossoms have been exceptional this Summer. In particular, Sundance is really stunning right now. Over the last several summers, fireweed has spread across that trail. These flowers are readily enjoyed hiking the Argentine North Fork Trail.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Snowmaking Tower - Lower Sundance

The snowmaking crew is in the process of installing a new snowmaking tower gun on Lower Sundance. We currently make snow on that section of the trail, but it isn't easy. There are no water or electrical lines in the area. Getting fan guns there is also a bit tricky. 

By being taller, tower guns make more snow than conventional fan guns. The water crystals are released much higher in the air and tend to freeze even more completely making more snow. Obviously, we don't want tower guns all over the place, but this gun in this location can probably do the work of 2 or 3 conventional fan guns. It is permanently located and available at any time for snowmaking. The snowmakers will still have to run about 500 feet of hose and power cords, but this new tower gun will help the crew be much more effective and efficient snowmakers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tiny Frost

Found a little, teeny, tiny frost on Lower Standard this morning.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

First White Stuff

And so it begins. Not sure if it is snow, hail, sleet, slush or what, but the first white stuff of the season was high on the East Wall this morning.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Todd's Ridge

The other new gladed trail out in the Western Territory will be Todd's Ridge. This will be very different than Tinker Toy. Located between Bighorn and Glockenspiel Glade, Todd's Ridge is steeper and much longer. The tree skiing was already good there. Our trail crew really enhanced it further with a tad bit more tree removal and lots of pruning.

The name Todd's Ridge has been around for at least 20 years. Its namesake was Todd Trenchard, an incredibly kind and warm A-Basin local, Keystone Patroller, Alma resident and musician who passed away back in 2011. His infectious smile and spirit is deeply missed.

You will like skiing this one

Monday, August 19, 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019

More Trail Building

More trail builders photos by Ian Zinner.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Trail 2

This morning I walked the under construction section of Lower Trail 2. That is the trail number designated on the planning map. We will come up with a cool trail name by Summer 2020.  The IMBA and A-Basin crews have built some sweet turns and have done some very nice rock armoring. This trail is designed for downhill mountain biking. Right now, construction is moving downhill and is just crossing Black Mountain Express lift line near Tower 3. Below that, the future trail crosses Lower, Lower Standard, Slalom Stadium and Bear Trap before making a few switchbacks in The Glen (between Pali Wog and The Rock Garden) where it starts heading back to the Base Area. It will be a fun, rolling, exciting ride.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Tinker Toy

We are adding a couple more gladed trails out in The Beavers west of Loafer. An early planning process name for this area is the C-Pod. I like calling it the Western Territory. Today I walked Tinker Toy, a new trail between Peaceful Valley and Dreamcatcher. It is a black trail with some rolling pitches and fine tree skiing. It will be fun.

A-Basin's early lifts had lattice towers. Staff back in the 40's and 50's often referred to these towers as Tinker Toys.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

East Wall Wander

I was out on the East Wall this morning wandering around the tundra patches and talus fields. Several trail crews members and I were doing the final design on our trail that accesses the via ferrata. It was a great morning out there. Mountain goats were wandering around Lenawee Face. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. We are excited to share this Summer adventure zone with folks next year.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Discrete Cirque Series

Today, 458 runners took on the Discrete Cirque Series at Arapahoe Basin. As usual, Mother Nature threw out a mixed bag of rain, sunny skies and everything in between. Athletes started in the base area and worked their way to the summit of Little Lenawee Peak and then back to the bottom. Joe Gray tore up the course making it up and down in 50 minutes.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Minor Re-Route - ANF

We have had an International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) - Trails  Solution team here this summer. They have been working closing with our trail crew on a few projects. As mentioned in an earlier post, they added a section to the Lower Argentine North Fork (ANF) Trail giving people a chance to start hiking right in the base area, bypassing the water tank road.

They have just completed a re-route of the ANF about half way to Black Mountain Lodge. There was a really tight and very steep turn that was eroding badly. We re-did a couple of turns in the section below The Banana and it will flow a lot better.

What I most excited about is that the IMBA / A-Basin teams have just started Trail 2 (check the map below). It will be primarily a one way, downhill mountain biking route. We hope to complete the lower half of it by the time the snow starts sticking. They are a few hundred feet into it and there are some sweet turns.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

3 Days at Monarch Mountain

Arapahoe Basin Season Pass Holders will now get 3 free days of skiing at one of Colorado's coolest resorts, Monarch Mountain.  It has a classic, laid back atmosphere with awesome snow and terrain. Hiking and skiing Mirkwood Bowl is my favorite there.

When The Basin decided to make our change last season, we took off on an extraordinary challenge. We wanted to make the business work better for our guests, our employees, our community and the environment. It would have been cool to make one simple February announcement. That was impossible. We were working with many, many different people and organizations. We had obligations and time constraints. We looked for good new partners that fit with The Legend, but we could not and did not make a deal back then. As soon as we could make good, new partnerships, we did. And as soon as we made those partnerships, we announced those partnerships to you. Along the way we shared what we knew. For example, we announced the only way to ski unlimited days at A-Basin is to buy an A-Basin season pass. It is the only product that will offer unlimited and unrestricted skiing at The Basin.

We are committed to a significant reduction in weekend and holiday crowds. We are committed to keeping the A-Basin culture and vibe strong and alive. We are committed to improving the already awesome Arapahoe Basin mountain experience. We have chosen our exciting, new partners - Monarch Mountain, Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective - to meet those commitments.

All that said, following today's Monarch Mountain announcement, we have nothing else brewing. We have put together an extraordinary set of pass and ticket opportunities to ski Arapahoe Basin. I hope you will join us this season. The experience will be better than ever. I am so excited to partner with our friends at Monarch Mountain.

These are some of the ways to ski Arapahoe Basin for the 2019-20 season.

Arapahoe Basin Season Pass
-Unlimited, unrestricted skiing at A-Basin
-3 free days at Monarch Mountain
-3 free days at Taos
-50% off window price lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts

Arapahoe Basin Double Down Pass
-Two seasons of unlimited, unrestricted skiing at A-Basin
-3 free days at Monarch Mountain (guaranteed for 2019-20 season only)
-3 free days at Taos  (guaranteed for 2019-20 season only)
-50% off window price lift tickets at Mountain Collective resorts

Arapahoe Basin Midweek Pass
-Unlimited skiing Monday through Friday at A-Basin
-No blackout days (other than Saturdays and Sundays)

Arapahoe Basin Elevation Any Day Pack
-Choose from 2-5 days of unrestricted skiing at A-Basin
-No blackout days

Ikon Pass
-7 days of unrestricted skiing at A-Basin

Ikon Base Pass
-5 days of restricted skiing at A-Basin
-10 blackout days during Christmas, Martin Luther King weekend and Presidents weekend

Mountain Collective
-2 days of unrestricted skiing at A-Basin
-50% off window price lift tickets at A-Basin once the 2 free days are used

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Mountain Collective

Today Arapahoe Basin joins the Mountain Collective. Some very exciting news for Arapahoe Basin Full Season Pass Holders is that they will receive lift tickets for 50% off window price at all Mountain Collective Resorts.

Few resorts have the challenge, the adventure, the high alpine environment and the culture of Arapahoe Basin. We chose Mountain Collective because their resorts do. This pass offers two days at each of 18 different resorts in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Chile. These resorts include Aspen Snowmass, Alta, Snowbird, The Remarkables, Lake Louise, Mammoth, Niseko, Jackson Hole, Taos, Thredbo, Valle Nevado and more. Additionally, after using their two free days at a member resort, Mountain Collective pass holders get lift tickets for 50% off window price.

For skiers and riders that plan on visiting a variety of resorts throughout the winter, this is a great pass offering ski days at resorts around The Rockies, The US and the world. Folks that connect with A-Basin will love riding our new partner resorts. Imagine the week long, multi-resort ski trips you could do with this pass. An Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Snowmass and Taos loop sounds pretty good to me. Go to for more details.

Stay tuned for more A-Basin Pass Holder news later in the week.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

An Active Sunday

We have a lot going on today. It is Day two of the Arapahoe Basin Alpine Open Disc Golf Tournament. The Summer Trail Run starts at 10 AM with a challenging course to the top of Pali. Yoga Sundays on The Perch is at 11 AM. Monday morning at 11 AM we will do a Wildfower Hike on the Lower Mountain. More details are available on our website.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

A Dog's View From Pali

This dog had a pretty nice view from the top of Pali today. Sometimes it is worth taking a moment to soak in the view and the vibe around this place. It is hard to be anything but happy when you get to spend time here. Look forward to seeing all of you soon, hopefully this Summer and definitely next Winter.

Friday, August 2, 2019

A-Basin Joins The Ikon Pass

As you know, back in February we announced that there would be some changes to make the skier experience at A-Basin even better. Over the last 15 years, Arapahoe Basin has expanded the ski area twice adding The Beavers and The Steep Gullies and Montezuma Bowl. We added Black Mountain Lodge, the Kids Center, Black Mountain Express and more, all to improve our guest experience. With these improvements we have seen substantial visitation growth and have, at times, had trouble maintaining the quality of experience that we aspire to. We realized, as many of you have, that changes were necessary.

Our focus has always been to provide extraordinary mountain experiences and we already have the terrain and staff to make that happen. Staying true to our guests, our employees, our business, our community and the environment, we searched for the best path forward for The Basin. We have targeted a substantial reduction in ski and snowboard visits on weekends and holidays next season to improve our ability to provide the services and experiences we are known for.

Today we are proud to announce that we have entered into a partnership with the Ikon Pass. Skiers and riders will have 7-day access with no blackout dates on the Ikon Pass, and 5-day access with selected blackout dates (Christmas holidays, Martin Luther King weekend, President’s weekend) on the Ikon Base Pass. These restrictions and blackout dates will make our already busy periods more manageable.

We know that many of our guests want a multi-resort pass. We believe this pass solution will provide the ideal access to Arapahoe Basin while joining a team of excellent resorts and providing us better control of our business. With this addition, we will only be part of two limited passes (Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass) and we will no longer be part of very low-priced multi-resort passes.

Lastly, as I look at the Ikon Pass partner destinations—Alta, Snowbird, Jackson, Big Sky, Revelstoke, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, Aspen Snowmass, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain and more—I realize that most of my ski vacations have been to these resorts (Yes, I still go on ski vacations). We are pleased to partner with these destinations whose brands are so in sync with ours.

I am very excited for the next chapter in A-Basin’s history. The Ikon Pass will be a fantastic new partner. As skiers and riders, all of you will have even more exciting ways to enjoy The Basin. The new partnership is designed to preserve that culture and vibe we all love. Those of us who call Arapahoe Basin home will have that same great feeling upon arrival, except now … we will have a fair bit more “elbow room.”

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Alpine Open

We have our first Sanctioned Disc Golf Tournament this weekend.  There is still space to sign up.  I might not be the biggest Disc Golfer out there but our course is one of the best.   Please join us on Saturday and Sunday for the Alpine Open.  You will enjoy a great walk, a little competition, and just a great day at Arapahoe Basin.   Sign up today. 

The Alpine Open

We have our first Sanctioned Disc Golf Tournament this weekend.  There is still space to sign up.  I might not be the biggest Disc Golfer out there but our course is one of the best.   Please join us on Saturday and Sunday for the Alpine Open.  You will enjoy a great walk, a little competition, and just a great day at Arapahoe Basin.   Sign up today.