Thursday, October 31, 2019

When It Gets This Cold

OK, I can't lie. It has been kind of cold the last couple days. On the mountain, temperatures have been below zero. That is extraordinarily rare to be this cold in October. When it does get this cold, our snowmaking crew can do some tremendous work. The fans guns literally look like they are making and billowing clouds. It is impressive.

It was another good night on the hill for both grooming and snowmaking. So very, very close to getting Lenawee open.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


 I just finished a tour on the Upper Mountain. It was surreal. The clouds were lifting. The light was stunning. The bright sun and blue skies were amazing. Totally surreal.

OK, the million dollar question, when does Lenawee open? The snowmakers are doing a fine job. If you are a seasoned A-Basin follower you know that our water for snowmaking is somewhat limited. The snowmakers are matching inflow to our reservoir with output from our fan guns. We are using every drop of water available to us. The snowmakers are strategically dropping some snow in the final key spots to get things open up there. So close.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Packing The Snow

Having this much snow in late October is really quite good. There is enough snow on the ground to really be packing it down. The Ski Patrol has wandered pretty extensively on the West Wall, Lenawee Parks and Powerline. This is good for so many reasons. When the wind blows, the packing helps the snow stay in place. The packed snow, mixed with future snow and future compaction makes for a better skiing surface. The breaking up of the snowpack and the breaking up of propagation pathways reduces the chance of avalanches.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Just What We Wanted

The first storm this week was just what we wanted. We reported 4 inches of new snow at 5 AM this morning. We had a bit more snow after that. The temps were great and we had some very positive snowmaking. The snowcat drivers are covering some real ground now. A lot of track packing has been done. The snow and temperature forecast for the second storm on Tuesday and Tuesday night is very, very favorable.

Conditions wise, this is just where we want to be.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Happy Halloween

From the people serving your bacon, Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Restroom Remodel Complete

This is probably the only photo you will ever see of me in the A-Frame women's restroom. Our women's and men's bathrooms remodel is complete. New tile, new paints, new sinks, new toilets, new urinals (extremely low flow), new mirrors. Everything works. It looks good. It smells good. Glad to have that project in the rear view mirror. 

I hope you enjoy your time there.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Upper Mountain Timing

Sorry if I got a few of you excited about the Upper Mountain for this weekend. It does look great up there. The snowmakers had a good session last night and are expecting another one tonight. We don't have a date set yet for getting Lenawee Lift open. That will depend on this next storm and continued snowmaking success. If I had to guess, I would say we are still probably about a week away from opening to the top. Let's pay very close attention to this storm. 

On another note, Loveland opened today. Unfortunately, I didn't get to ski there this morning, but I heard conditions were outstanding. Kudos to Rob Goodell and the entire Loveland team. Very glad to see them open.

Uphill Access Changes and Open House

Uphill Access has long been a fun and exciting component of skiing and riding at The Basin. A few years ago, the popularity of skinning and hiking uphill was growing dramatically. We realized it was time to review and analyze the program. Ultimately, we introduced a more formalized program that required users to obtain a free uphill access pass. 

We expected we'd give out a couple hundred passes. We were wrong. So far we have issued nearly 10,000 Uphill Access Passes. I think this is really cool. People love it. It is another good way to enjoy the mountain. I am one of the regular users. Over time, usage has continued to evolve. Managing uphill access has turned into a fair bit of work. We don't mind the work, but there is a lot of real work involved. 

Over the last year, we have spent a great deal of time reviewing the program and planning its next steps. Much of the Uphill Program remains the same. There are four notable changes for the 2019/20 season.
  • Each user is required to get a new Uphill Access Pass annually
  • Uphill Access Passes are $30/season except passes are free for Arapahoe Basin Season Pass holders
  • Passes can be purchased online at
  • Uphill Pass users are required to wear a reflective armband issued with the pass
Passes can be purchased on our website. Typically, uphill access opens for the season in mid to late November as more terrain becomes available There will be an Open House and Q and A on Uphill Access in the A-Frame Saturday, November 2 at 9:00 AM.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Slide Into Weekend - Friday Afternoon Party

REMINDER - Don't forget to Slide Into The Weekend this Friday afternoon. Enjoy the party. $20 lift tickets from 2-4 PM. $5 Beers and Apps in the 6th Alley 2-5 PM. Most importantly, lots of good people and lots of good fun. See you there.

The place looks pretty good for October.

Above Timberline

I went for a good wander on the Upper Mountain this morning. It is always fun to get above timberline. There is a lot going on. We have had some very nice natural snowfall. The Cat Drivers (Operators) have done some substantial track packing. They have pushed snow out from many of the snowfences and have even left tilled surfaces on the Summit. The Ski Patrol has done some ski cutting on the West Wall and in Lenawee Parks. Lastly, the Snowmakers are off to a great start.

Looks like we have a couple more sunny days in store and then snow again Sunday. Nice...........

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Starting To Add Up

We have reported a foot of snowfall over the last 4 mornings. It has snowed much of the day today with at least a couple of new inches next to the unicorn on the Flaming A. Snow is still falling at a fairly good rate. The snow guns are running on the Upper Mountain. This is good. It is cold. We are making snow. There is a bunch of natural snow on the ground. Streamflow and reservoir recharge rates are good. Whenever the sun actually pops out, natural streamflow into our reservoir will spike even more. This is all very, very good.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

All Energy On The Summit

In addition to making snow on Lower Dercum's gulch last night, we did just a little more snowmaking patchwork on High Noon and Ramrod. Tonight, all the energy will be on Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch. It is no small task making snow above 12,000 feet. The temperature forecasts look great. We will get to the top just as soon as we can.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Fine Day Of Skiing

We have received a very fat 8 inches out of this storm so far. It continued to snow off and on all day today. Ramrod is open. I think conditions are getting better and better with each day. I like it and can't wait to be skiing off the top.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Snowing and Ramrod Monday

All kinds of stuff to talk about this morning. We measured 4 inches of new snow this morning. It has been snowing continuously since report time.

The snowmakers had another good night on Ramrod. In fact, they just turned the system off. They are draining the pipeline and preparing to move all of the equipment to the Upper Mountain. Once they are clear of the trail, the cat drivers will get after it, dozing and grooming the snow piles. The Ski Patrol is already setting up their closures and pads and signs. A lot of their work can't be done until tomorrow morning when the grooming is complete.

Ramrod will open Monday, perhaps not very, very first thing, but Ramrod will definitely open Monday.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

In The Low Teens

We had an excellent evening of snowmaking. The temperature dropped down into the low teens. The snowmakers were able to convert a lot of water into snow. I just walked Ramrod. I should have skied it. There is a lot of snow there. Tonight and all day tomorrow look very favorable. I suspect that by Sunday afternoon, we will have enough snow to make a decision about Ramrod.

And yes, Angela, "improving weather" means cold and snow. That description should also include a "strong, favorable wind." 👍

.....And we might see some decent snow Sunday.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Improving Weather

It is snowing pretty nicely as I write this morning. The last two nights temperatures remained fairly high and we did not make snow. Over the next 72 hours we have a couple of different storms passing through. On top of natural snow, we anticipate some favorable snowmaking weather. We do have a strip of snow connected from top to bottom on Ramrod. The snowcats have done some work there. This next weather events should give us a chance to turn that strip into a ski trail. I look forward to getting Ramrod open.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Slide Into The Weekend - Friday Afternoon Parties

Last Friday afternoon was such a success, we decided to do something similar for the next 6 Fridays. Join us for an afternoon of fun every Friday through November 22. We will be doing $20 lift tickets from 2-4 PM along with $5 beers and $5 appetizers in The 6th Alley. Bring your skis, snowboard, spouse, kids, friends, acquaintances, dogs (keep 'em on a leash), girlfriends, boyfriends or just bring yourself up for some fun. If you didn't buy an A-Basin pass, don't want to ski an entire day or don't want to burn one of your Ikon days, this is a great, cheap way to have some fun at The Basin. Hope to see you there tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Beautiful and Quiet

As planned, not too many lift lines at The Basin these days.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Skied Ramrod

The snowmakers have a good jump on Ramrod. I was able to sneak down about 99% of it with my skis on this morning.  While definitely not ready for public skiing, they created some good whales and some good, wide dispersion of snow. Tonight should be another good night. Let's keep our fingers crossed for getting it open in the next few days. After that, they head to the Upper Mountain.

Monday, October 14, 2019

On To Ramrod

Last night, the snowmakers moved to Ramrod. Several of the same snowmaking hydrants used for High Noon are also used for Ramrod. We simply move the fan guns to the east and point them in a different direction. 

We are optimistic for the week. Our snowmaking is linked to streamflow. The higher the streamflow, the more water available for snowmaking. We are forecasted to see sunny, warm days and clear cold nights. During the day, much of last week's natural snowfall will melt, raising the streamflow. With cold nights, we will convert that increased streamflow into increased snowmaking.

October 2014 Ramrod Snowmaking 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Wonderful First Couple of Days

The first couple days of the season have been fantastic. Opening day skiing was fun. We threw a great party in The 6th Alley for The Basin crew. The enthusiasm and excitement for the season was super high. The snowmakers spent Friday and Saturday nights buffing out High Noon. Just as we hoped, lift line, parking and crowd issues were non-existent. What a good way to kick off the season.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Funniest Thing On The Internet

There was a lot of very hysterical stuff on the internet yesterday. Someone called me Alan Petty Henceroth. I assumed that was because Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were my favorite band of all time. 

This meme, pulled off Keystone's Facebook page, by far gave me the biggest laugh of the day.

Friday, October 11, 2019

We Are Opening Today

The race to be the first to open in Colorado and the country is always a treat. Vail has announced that Keystone is opening tomorrow. I know Loveland is right on their tail. Congratulations to both resorts.

We are proud to announce that we will open Black Mountain Express today, Friday, October 11, from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. There will be $15 lift tickets, $5 beers and $5 apres ski dishes in the 6th Alley. Starting tomorrow, we will be open with normal operating hours. Mug Club sales begin Saturday.

Our team has done an extraordinary job making snow, grooming snow, getting the annual tramway licenses, hiring staff, training staff, etc. etc. etc. We have been having fun. I can't wait to get my skis on. As I write, the cat drivers are putting the finishing touches on the snow. The lift ops and the ski patrollers are getting their gear in order. The staff gets an A+ for this one.

Today we will be hosting an extraordinary Friday Afternoon Club. Come join us for a few turns, a quick bite and a beverage with friends. Ski season is here. Thanks so much for being part of Arapahoe Basin.

Cats On The Hill

.....And last night we had another brilliant session of snowmaking. The snowmakers have shut down the system. They are pulling hydrants and moving fan guns. Scotty and Dorse are back in their cats dozing up piles and spreading the snow. I am pacing everywhere, trying to avoid bugging the employees as they get their operations ready to open.

This is going to be a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

We Are Going To Open..........Soon

I am not exactly sure when, but we are going to open very soon. The snowmaking crew is raging, totally capitalizing on this tremendous weather event. Can't wait to see the place in tomorrow's morning light.

A Very Big 24 Hours

Right now it is snow nicely. The air temperature is dropping precipitously. The relatively humidity is high with all the snow so the wet bulb temperature is similar to air temperature. Currently, that air temperature is 17 F at mid-mountain, but expected to continue to drop all day. These are ideal conditions.

We have had some good snowmaking weather over the last week. The next couple days will be VERY, VERY, VERY good snowmaking weather. By Friday morning, The Basin will be a very different looking place. 😆