Friday, July 31, 2020

Thursday, July 30, 2020

In The Distance

This picture, taken from bike path near Saphire Point, shows A-Basin in the distance. The two highest and furthest peaks away are Grays and Torreys just East of The Basin. The ridge just of front of them includes Grizzly Peak, Black Mountain and Lenawee Mountain.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Not Your Childhood "Ropes Course"

Our Aerial Adventure Park is open Thursday thru Sunday. The Park is not your childhood ropes courses. This concept has grown a long ways since that team building exercise you did 15 years ago. The elements are super fun. This is a great activity to do with friends and family. It can be exciting and challenging and a great way to enjoy Arapahoe Basin.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


The fireweed has started to blossom at The Basin. Keep an eye on Lower Sundance. That trail is covered with Fireweed and will be spectacular over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Summer Trail Run #2

We will be hosting our second Trail Run of the season July 30 - August 2. Test your lungs and legs on this 6.8 mile, 1,700 vertical foot course, to the Summit and back. You will need to use Strava. Register online on our Events page. Cost is $15 for the run or $30 for the run and a $20 meal.

There will be a third run August 13 - 16.

Sunday, July 26, 2020


The monsoon arrived this weekend. Bringing moisture up from the Gulf and complicated by Hurricane Hanna, Colorado saw some good rainfall this weekend. These storms definitely interrupt our recreational activities, but the moisture is certainly appreciated. Most of our summer rain comes from afternoon thunderstorms. A good rule of thumb is to get an early start each day.

You Gotta' Love Helicopters

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Virtual Disc Golf Tourney

This weekend we are doing our first Virtual Disc Golf Tournament. Athletes are still playing a round, but they are doing it at their convenience over the course of four days. The competition has been pretty exciting as more people have signed up than we expected. You can still sign up for this tourney at A-Basin Events. There will be another tournament August 6 - 9. Competitors do receive a complimentary Arapahoe Basin disc.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Big Concrete Fly Day

Leitner Poma has had a very successful fly day. A lot of concrete was poured at the top terminal and at three of the lift towers. All the concrete forms were flown into place at the remaining tower locations. CDOT was also successful with their Professor project. There are now two avalanche towers standing, one on the Professor and one on the Widow. It was a little noisy for a while, but a lot of work was done today.

Check out this link to see what was installed on the Prof. Professor Avalanche Work

Thursday, July 23, 2020

CDOT Avalanche System - Professor

This summer CDOT is installing a remote avalanche mitigation system on The Professor. With this system, avalanche work can be initiated remotely. No more waiting for a helicopter or military hardware during busy, snowy avalanche periods.  The objective is to remove many of the obstacles from remote avalanche work and have a more effective and efficient system.

This afternoon a huge Chinook helicopter landed at The Basin. In the morning, it will be flying all the new gear (on left side of photo) to the top of The Professor.

Also tomorrow morning, Leitner Poma will be flying concrete and other gear for Pali Lift.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Half Moon Trail - NEW

Our Trail Crew is building a new hiking trail (no bikes) called Half Moon. The trail begins near Black Mountain Lodge. It winds through the woods just East of Lower Lenawee Lift before climbing through a rocky area in Half Moon Glades. It tops out at tree line at Half Moon Vista. The trail is just under a mile long. The first half is very, very easy with little elevation gain. The second half is steeper gaining almost 350 feet in elevation. The view of the East Wall from Half Moon Vista (and most of the trail for that matter) is extraordinary.

This can be a simple hike for those riding Black Mountain Express or it can be a longer hike from the Base Area when combined with Argentine North Fork Trail. Construction should be completed by late August.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Poma, Single, Double (x2), Triple, Quad

The Exhibition Trail is under the Black Mountain Express. In the ski area's history, this location has seen six different lifts. The original lift was a single chair (photo below) installed in 1946. In the 1950's and 60's, two double chairlifts and Poma Lift were installed and all in place at once. In the 1978, those three lifts were removed and the Exhibition Triple Chair was installed. In 2010, "Exo" was removed and the Black Mountain Express quad chair was installed. Poma, single, double, triple, quad.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Wire Rope

The wire ropes for both lifts have arrived. While much of the lifts have been manufactured in Grand Junction, some components have been imported. The wire ropes were made in France and transported via ship across the ocean.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Pallavicini Motor Room

The Pali motor room was set on Friday. The cables (or wire ropes) for both Molly Hogan and Pallavicini arrived Thursday. 10 of 12 Pali tower holes have been dug. The lift team will spend the next several days working on the remaining 2 tower holes and setting all the concrete forms. Perhaps as soon as the end of the week, we will have another big helicopter day flying concrete.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

John Lewis (1940-2020)

America has lost one its greatest leaders. As one of the Freedom Riders, John Lewis was in the center of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. He led the way in places like Selma, Montgomery and Rock Hill. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King. He was jailed and beaten in his quest for freedom and racial equality. His skull was fractured. Still, he preached non-violence as he sought justice for all. John Lewis has set the standard that all of us should aspire to.

Please take the time to read the links below and to recognize what an extraordinary American John Lewis was.

Friday, July 17, 2020

So Close On The AAP

We are so close to getting the Aerial Adventure Park open. Construction is fully complete. The staff is trained. We are waiting on some administrative duties from the construction contractor and the park will open very soon. I have been on all the courses now. Way cool. If you never done something like this, I highly recommend you give it a try. It is so fun.

And that is a great use of an old Norway chair.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Flying Out The Old Pali Towers

The old Pali towers were flown out today. We will hang onto to a couple towers, just for fun. I think we are going to sell the sheave wheels as souvenirs. Most of the rest of the steel will be recycled.

A Pile of Pali Towers

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Down The Via Ferrata

This morning I toured the Via Ferrata with Mike Friedman and Neve of Adventure Partners. They are building our Via Ferrata. We drove to the Summit and then hiked to the top of Lenawee Pinnacle (12,937') just south of Lenawee Mountain. Hiking up the ridge, we saw several goats including a couple very cute newborn kids. The pinnacle is the high point of the Via Ferrata. We made a series of rappels down the entire course. The route is stunning. Mike's team has prepared much of path through rock scaling. They have started installing rungs. They will spend the next 6 or 7 weeks finishing their work.

This is going to be cool.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Bottom Terminal Pallavicini

The foundations for the bottom drive station of Pali have been back filled. Preliminary grading has been completed. The two tower tubes that support the motor room and the bullwheel are standing. The motor room should be shipped to The Basin and installed by Friday.

Monday, July 13, 2020

An Enormous Piece of Concrete

This is the top of the old Pallavicini Lift. Everything you see here was below ground. The vertical pipe is about 8 feet tall. There was an additional 8 feet of pipe that has already been removed. The bullwheel rested on top of that. The pipe is full of concrete and it is embedded in a concrete mass approximately 10' x 20' x 5'. That is huge. The top of a chairlift has to be incredibly heavy to keep it from being pulled down the hill. Between the weight of the chairlift and the motor that drives the lift, there are tremendous forces at work. We will be breaking this concrete chunk apart. The Leitner Poma guys will replace it with a new foundation of comparable size.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Spider Hoes Are Back

The spider hoes that helped us build the Zuma and Beavers Chairlifts are back. A spider hoe is a very specialized type of excavator. It is designed to travel in extremely rugged terrain and leave a very small foot print. The machine has four big rubber tires on legs that articulate in many directions. The legs and the boom that holds the bucket allow the operator to guide the machine gently and slowly down very steep and rugged terrain. We used these machines to dig the tower holes on the Zuma and Beavers Lifts. It is hard to tell where the machine traveled on those lift lines.

Right now there are two spiders hoes working on the Pali Lift Line. The photos below were taken yesterday at the site of NEW Pali Tower 3.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Perfect Weather

The mountain is in tip top form. The weather the next couple of days should be perfect, blue skies and highs in the lower 70's.Yesterday morning I walked up the Argentine North Fork Trail to Black Mountain Lodge. Today, I wandered around the lower Pali Lift zone checking on construction. Flowers are everywhere. It is beautiful and a treat to be on the hill wandering around.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Molly Hogan Motor Room

The Molly Hogan Motor Room arrived today. It weighs somewhere in the 35-40,000 pound range. After quite bit of prep time, the very large crane set the structure in place in just a few minutes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Pouring Concrete - Bottom of Pali

Today the Leither Poma team successfully poured the concrete for the bottom terminal of the new Pallavicini Lift. That is a lot of concrete. The bottom will have an LP Alpha terminal very similar to the bottom of Lenawee, top of Beavers and top of Zuma Lifts. Two steel towers will support the drive station or motor room. Each of those towers has a very, very large concrete foundation most of which is buried. The biggest part of any lift, in both size and weight, is buried and most people never see it.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Misty Morning

Last week one of our employees captured this misty morning image in the Aerial Adventure Park.