Tuesday, December 29, 2020

5" New

Another beautiful morning at the Basin. Happy Holidays to all.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Black Mountain Rime?

Black Mountain had a very cool look to it yesterday. It almost seemed like the high cliffs and rocks were covered in rime ice? The late day sun made it  glisten. It was easy to enjoy the special views while riding the new Pali Chair.


Monday, December 21, 2020

The Old Bullwheel

When it came to removing the original Pallavicini Double, we couldn't get rid of everything. We kept the old, top bullwheel. The Lift Maintenance team fabricated some legs and capped the spokes with expanded metal creating a fine deck. With a quick pick from the helicopter, we moved it to the very top of the Pali Knob. The site was already flat because it was the unload area from the Poma Lift that ran up Radical to the the Top of Pali 50+ years ago.

We hope this will be special for the A-Basin Faithful. It is a great vantage to soak in the view. It is spiritual for some. It is a place to to sit and catch your breath or gobble a snack. You can enjoy it winter or summer. It is a magnificent site to enjoy a sunset or a sunrise. It might become a shrine or an altar. It might be a great spot for an afternoon nap. Whatever it becomes, I hope you enjoy it.


Sunday, December 20, 2020

New Pali Lift - Open

Saturday morning we opened the new Pallavicini Double. Leitner Poma built us a beautiful, fine chairlift. The color is a galvanized silver versus a glossy black. While it is a new machine, so much is the same. As I load the machine I know it feels different at first. A new comfort bar sits across my lap. By Tower 3, I am getting into the groove. The ride is smooth. As I near the top, I realize I am riding my favorite chairlift - ANYWHERE !! An incredible amount terrain and vertical for such a short ride. So good to have her open for the season.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

That New Lift

Dressed in white, that new lift is looking pretty good.


Friday, December 11, 2020

Divide Cam

Earlier this evening I caught this image on the Divide Cam.


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Monday, December 7, 2020

From BML Deck

It might not be snowing, but the days are beautiful. Today I enjoyed my day off with a couple hours of skiing and a pulled pork sandwich on the deck at BML. Pretty nice.


Friday, December 4, 2020

From The Cornice Run

The view from the Cornice Run is certainly one of my favorites.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Taos Update

The Arapahoe Basin / Taos Ski Valley partnership is alive and well. Taos, like A-Basin, is working closely with its state and local authorities to develop an operating plan consistent with COVID-19 guidelines. Again, like A-Basin, Taos has to reduce skier visits on peak days. Because of that, we have to make some changes.

Pending New Mexico State Health Orders, your A-Basin season pass will still get you three, free days at Taos to ski or ride. For the 2020-21 season, those days will be limited to Monday thru Thursday with the following blackout days: December 19-January 3 and March 13-28. Pre-reservations will be required and tickets will be limited each day. Taos and A-Basin are ideal partners and we look forward to getting beyond these COVID-19 challenges. Thank you for your understanding.

Please call 888.262.8398 to book your reservation. For skiing, riding and opening day information, go to Skitaos.com.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Molly Hogan, Snowmaking, Snowsports School

The current snowmaking push is on Molly Hogan. We plan to open the new quad chair and the Pika Magic Carpet Saturday. This allows the Snowsports School to kick into a much higher gear offering lessons for anyone interested. More work for our employees and more chances to get people hooked on skiing and riding.

Tomorrow the Snowmakers move to Sundance. We managed to get that trail open with natural snow. It was good fun for a while, but right now, it needs a little love from the Snowmakers and Cat Drivers.

Monday, November 30, 2020


With a ski down Loafer Saturday, I took my first my first spin of the season in The Beavers. Below timberline, there was a very consistent 20 inches of snow on the ground. The skiing was quite good. Above timberline still needs a few storms and a lot of snowcat work. The fences near the ridge have caught a decent amount of snow. The two steep pitches need the most work.  Folowing future storms, the snowcat drivers will push the drifts on to those steep pitches. We have a ways to go, but this is a great start.

All these steps that our Patrollers, Snowmakers, Cat Drivers and Lifters take in the fall become the foundation for great skiing throughout the season.


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Directed Skiing

Over the last few days, the Ski Patrol has led some Directed Skiing on Slalom Slope, West Wall and Lenawee Parks. This really helps the snow set up nicely. They start by doing ski cutting and foot packing with some of the earliest snow. After more snow they let a few people ski it up and pack it down. Following subsequent storms this is repeated until there is enough snow to handle a full opening. We don't want to just open it up and ski it to ground. Each time it is skied or disturbed, the snow gets a little more packed. Patiently packing in those first few storms of snow makes for a really good ski surface.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Lenawee Opens Thursday

Lenawee Lift will open Thursday. I took a couple of runs on Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch this morning. It is fantastic. The staff spent the entire day getting the trails ready. The snowmakers moved their equipment out of the way. The snow cat operators dozed and manicured the snow. The lift team prepped their terminals. The ski patrol deployed their ropes, pads and signs. With the added lift and terrain, we can host a few more people. This is good.

We just spent the last 24 hours dealing with a royal pain in the $%&. Our internet provider wasn't providing the last 24 hours. That means the website, e-store and lots of other stuff doesn't work so well - or at all. For that time period, even though we added more tickets to the e-store inventory, no one could buy tickets. That is all fixed. If you were unable to buy a ticket, go check the store again. There are more tickets now and the store is working.

And the skiing is great.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Thanksgiving Surprise

We may have an Upper Mountain surprise on Thanksgiving.


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Lenawee Face Snowmaking

Slowly, but surely, we are getting there.


Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Calm

Today was a beautiful, calm day before the storm moving in tomorrow.


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Lenawee Next

In a typical year, following the High Noon opening, our snowmaking efforts would move to Ramrod in preparation for its opening. This is anything but a typical year. Our next move is to open Lenawee Mountain Lift and Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch ski trails. This will give us another lift to spread out skiers and riders. More snow is forecast for the weekend. We have stored a decent amount of water in our reservoir. We have done a bit of ski packing and machine packing on the Upper Mountain. Following the weekend, snowmaking up there will kick into high gear.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Lenawee Parks

 A Patroller ski cutting in Lenawee Parks Thursday.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Voluntary Request - Season Pass Holders

We are looking good. We are open. We reported 4" new this morning (you know it skied more than that). We have another storm heading this way for the weekend. There are some unique things going on and I am expecting the next three days to be fairly busy. There are not many other ski areas open and there is a lot of pent up demand from last Spring's early closing and this Fall's delayed opening. We only have one chairlift open. Opening day excitement still abounds. And it is the weekend.

I am so happy that reservations are not required for A-Basin season pass holders. In my September 10th blog when I announced this policy, I did say there may be voluntary requests to avoid busy periods. I am making one of those requests. Over the next three days, could each of us ski a little less? Is it possible to move your ski day to a week day? If you were going to ski two days over the next three, could you ski just one? Could you ski in the afternoon, say after 1 PM, when there are far fewer people around?

Again, this is a voluntary request. We are going to get Lenawee Mountain Lift open as soon as we can. More ski areas will open soon to spread people around. Paring skier visits down a bit for the next three days will be really helpful. Thank you so much for considering this.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Is It Normal Yet?

Has life at The Basin returned to normal yet? No, I can't say that, but we are open for skiing and riding. We opened yesterday afternoon with very little promotion. We are taking management of the resort in the COVID era very seriously. We did not want to see a typical, crowded, rowdy opening day. Our strategy worked. With Wolf Creek and Keystone already open, that took away some of the opening bluster. By opening for a couple hours in the afternoon, we took even more of the edge away. Lastly, our plans for A-Basin passes, Ikon Passes and lift tickets worked well these first couple of days.

We are so excited to be open. With everyone wearing masks, I did not see a lot of friendly faces, but I heard a lot friendly voices. It is good to be skiing.

Is It Normal Yet?

Has life at The Basin returned to normal yet? No, I can't say that, but we are open for skiing and riding. We opened yesterday afternoon with very little promotion. We are taking management of the resort in the COVID era very seriously. We did not want to see a typical, crowded, rowdy opening day. Our strategy worked. With Wolf Creek and Keystone already open, that took away some of the opening bluster. By opening for a couple hours in the afternoon, we took even more of the edge away. Lastly, our plans for A-Basin passes, Ikon Passes and lift tickets worked well these first couple of days.

We are so excited to be open. With everyone wearing masks, I did not see a lot of friendly faces, but I heard a lot friendly voices. It is good to be skiing.

Monday, November 9, 2020


We are open for the 2020-21 season. Black Mountain Express, servicing the High Noon trail, will be open until 4:30 this afternoon. Tuesday (tomorrow), the lift will be open from 9 AM - 4 PM.

If you have an A-Basin Season Pass or Any Day Pass, come on up.

If you have an Ikon Pass, you can ski or ride today without a reservation. Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, you will need a reservation.

Lift ticket must be purchased online and in advance.  Tickets are available for today thru Friday, December 18.

The A-Basin ski season has begun and it is snowing.

Remember, COVID rules apply.

This Is Better

More natural snow last night. Great night of snowmaking. Snow cat operators are dozing piles. Snowmakers have shut down the system and are re-positioning equipment. Today's news is even better than yesterday's news !!!

Sunday, November 8, 2020

This Is Good

As forecast, the snow came in after midnight and the temperature dropped down into the teens. We have had a few inches of natural snow. The fan guns are cranking and should do so all day (and night). The reservoir is re-charging nicely. The forecast calls for more snow and more cold temps.

This is good.


Friday, November 6, 2020

Last Weekend

I think this will be the last weekend of the Fall that we are not going to be open for skiing. The 6th Alley and Arapahoe Sports will be open. The Rental Shop will be open selling a bunch of last season's demo gear (a lot of good stuff there). Of course the Ticket Office will be open to pick up your season pass.

The delayed opening has been caused by some challenging snowmaking conditions. It looks like a lot of that is changing Saturday night. I am starting to feel pretty good about opening sometime next week. Let's see what happens with this upcoming storm and cold snap.

 This could be your season pass.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Sunday, November 1, 2020

A Good Night

We have more water heading into our reservoir now. Last night's wet bulb temperature was near 20 F. The snowmakers had a good night on High Noon.


Saturday, October 31, 2020

East Wall

I never get tired of looking at the East Wall, especially with a dusting of Fall snow.

Word on the street is that the snow at Wolf Creek is excellent. I know of at least one person that said "best opening day ever." Kudos to Davey and Roseanne Pitcher for kicking off the Colorado ski season.

I think we will be making snow tonight.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pali Webcam

Pali Webcam shot from last week.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Moonrise to Sunset

A very nice photo shared by Chris Nelson.


Zuma Cam

Monday morning, Zuma Cam 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Snowmaking Update

This past storm was very good for us. Colorado's drought, however, has impacted snowmaking. Our ability to make snow is driven by many factors including streamflow. The higher the streamflow, the more water we have for snowmaking. The lower the streamflow, the less water we have for snowmaking. Following a dry Summer and Fall, our snowmaking is moving a little slower than most of you want to see. With the recent snow and sunny days forecast all week, we are seeing a big jump in streamflows. On top of that, our restrictions on diverting water are more favorable for snowmaking in November and December. After a good snwomaking start earlier this month, the last week has been kind of slow. We anticipate a good bump in snowmaking later this week and through November.


Monday, October 26, 2020

Good To Us

This storm was very good to us.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

To Summit County Residents

Like much of the rest of the country, COVID rates are going up in Summit County. Over the last two weeks, Summit's cumulative rate of cases was the 6th highest in Colorado. If this rate doesn't go down over the next two weeks, more severe restrictions will be put in place, hampering our ability to ski, work and enjoy life. 

Conventional wisdom tells us that these cases are being brought in by outside tourists. Turns out that is almost completely false. Contact tracing has told us Summit County residents are spreading COVID to other Summit County residents. Nearly all of this is happening through socialization - an evening party, drinks after work, hanging too close with too many people. Many of the transmissions have occurred in the late evening, after partying, when peoples' guards are down. If we want to enjoy winter in Summit County, we are going to have to turn things around quickly. Keep your face coverings on. Maintain your physical distances. Keep your groups small. The time to act is now.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Approved To Open

Since last Spring, we have worked diligently on our opening plan for the 2020-21 Ski Season. That has involved numerous discussions with all kinds of stakeholders. That means Zoom call after Zoom call after Zoom call. We worked very closely with Summit County and State of Colorado governments to develop a safe and appropriate operating plan. This involved a lot of listening and a lot of exploration as to ways The Basin can be opened. Over the last week, the State has released its guidance for ski area operations. We submitted our proposed operation plan to both the State and the County. I am pleased to say that on Friday, we were notified that our plan meets the Guidance for Colorado Ski Areas. We have received clearance to open the ski area this season.

Details about operations can be found at COVID-19 Operations.  Opening in the COVID-19 era involves a lot work for A-Basin staff. It also involves the need for appropriate behavior by our guests. In essence, we all have to minimize our exposure to others. We need to wear our face coverings, maintain our distances and keep our groups small. At its most basic level, this is not that complicated. If we are all a little more careful and a little conscientious, we can ski and ride with minimal exposure to COVID-19 transmission. Every one of us has to do their part for us to enjoy the ski season.

Friday night Summit County issued a new public health order. The most notable impact to Arapahoe Basin is the reduction of indoor group sizes from 10 people down to 6 people from 2 different households. We will be making this change in our dining and other retail outlets.

With an excellent weekend forecast for snowmaking and natural snowfall, the outlook for opening just got a little brighter. We do not have an opening day set yet, but the outlook is definitely a little brighter.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

East Troublesome Fire

This afternoon our A-Basin Divide cam caught this photo capturing smoke from the East Troublesome Fire. On the left side of the photo, just above Loveland Pass, you can see the smoke. This is a very dire situation for our friends and neighbors to the North. The town of Grand Lake was forced to evacuate yesterday. Today, an evacuation order was issued for Estes Park residents Please send all your good thoughts to the residents and rescuers caught up in this disaster.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Another Weekend

We won't be open for skiing this weekend, but the Ticket Office, The 6th Alley and Arapahoe Sports will be open again Saturday and Sunday. The Ticket Office is actually open seven days a week. So come on up, pick up your new RFID pass, grab a bite, check out all the groovy stuff at Arapahoe Sports and watch the snow fall.

We just might have a pretty good storm heading our way this weekend. Stay tuned for weather updates.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pallavicini Acceptance Test

The Pallavicini acceptance test has been going on the last couple of days. There were a few little items caught in the test and those will all be fixed. Like on Molly Hogan, the engineers loaded up the lift with water to simulate a load of people. Again, they stopped, started and slowed the lift. They did everything they could to trick and outsmart the lift. The lift won. 

The Ski Patrol had to show that they were proficient at evacuating the lift. They were dressed up in harnesses and other gear and sliding down the wire rope and lowering "volunteers" to the ground. It was fun.

Check out this VIDEO produced by Ian Zinner and starring Louis Skowyra.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Ski Magazine

Nice article in Ski Magazine.


Saturday, October 17, 2020