Saturday, August 29, 2020

Friday, August 28, 2020

The Journey

The journey to the Top of Pali has begun.


Thursday, August 27, 2020


With all the fires around the West, it has been a bit smoky. I think today was the clearest, most beautiful day in the last few weeks. Maybe the recent rain showers tapped the fires down a bit. Maybe the wind is from the right direction. Maybe the slightly cooler temperatures settled the fires down. Whatever the reason, today was awesome.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Wheels Up - Bike Trail Update

Last Summer we built Wheels Up, a mile of flowy, fun downhill bike trail on the lower half of the Lower Mountain. A number of you checked it out in September and October. It was a blast. Our intention was to finish the trail and have a great downhill ride from Black Mountain Lodge to the Base Area. When the COVID-19 closure hit and we had to re-think our capital projects, this was one we pushed off to Summer 2021.

To complicate matters a little more, Wheels Up feeds right into the Pallavicini and Molly Hogan construction projects so it has been closed for the Summer. Our intention next summer is to re-open what we have already built and to finish Wheels Up to Black Mountain Lodge.

Over the next couple summers we have plans to build a loop on the Upper Mountain also. The trails have already been designed and laid out by Joey Klein of IMBA Trail Solutions. Combining both the Upper and Lower Mountain trails, we will have a really special 12-13 mile loop with about 1700' of climbing and descding. The descent will be spectacular crossing The Beavers, Pallavicini and North Glade. It will be cool.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Bit Of Rain

We finally had a bit of rain this afternoon and evening. We can sure use it.  Fire fighters across the state can really use the rain to slow things down. I think tomorrow afternoon's forecast call for even more rain. Bring it on.


Monday, August 24, 2020

Top Terminal Steel

We have some steel set at the top of Pali. The bullwheel is next.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Tower 6 New Pali

All the concrete work is done for the new Pallavicini Lift. This photo is of the Tower 6 foundation. Just below this foundation is site of old Tower 9 at the top of Turbo. The new lift has fewer towers than the old. For some reason, when Yan built lifts, he counted the bottom terminal as Tower 1 and the first actual tower as Tower 2.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Change On Blog Comments

I will be making a change to the blog today. The comment section will be removed, but there will be a direct email link to me. More than ever, I want to hear your questions and comments. Via email, I think we can do this more productively. The blog does go automatically to the Arapahoe Basin Facebook page. If you still want to make public comments, you can do it there. Thanks. I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Low Country Boil

Low Country Boil.  Beautiful. Gulf shrimp. Chesapeake Bay blue crab. Kielbasa. Olathe corn. Lenawee and Black Mountains for a backdrop. Lucky.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Half Moon Trail - Open

The Half Moon Trail is open for your hiking pleasures. No bikes on this trail - hiking only. The trail starts from the Argentine North Fork Trail just below Black Mountain Lodge at tree line. It is beautiful. The first part is very easy and wanders through meadows and forest with stunning views of the East Wall and the Upper Mountain. A quarter mile into it, the trail gets a little steeper as it winds its way to Half Moon Vista. The views from there are extraordinary. Eventually, we will build a trail from the Vista to the west connecting to the Upper Summer Road and future Trail #5.

A perfect 2-3 hours - ride Black Mountain Express, do a round trip hike to Half Moon Vista, eat lunch at Black Mountain Lodge or The 6th Alley.

 View from Half Moon Vista

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Center

The concrete work and most of the grading is now complete at the Top of Pali. Since I took these photos, the steel that supports the bullwheel has also been set. I will get some pictures of that soon. We will construct a very small lift operator house in roughly the same location as the old lift op house.


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Pali Poma Line

 At one time there was a Poma Lift that ran up Radical and across the northern part of Slalom Slope to the top of Pali.  Most of the foundations are still visible in the summer time. I don't know the installation date exactly, but I think it was around during the 1960's and 70's. It was gone by 1978. I love the photo of the woman riding the lift with The Professor in the background.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Hanging Around Mid-Mountain

Summer time at Black Mountain Lodge and the mid-mountain area is always stunning.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Looking Towards Ski Season

This has been a crazy, crazy five months. The shutdown in March was a shocker to us all. We were able to re-open for 12 days beginning May 27. While the skier day restrictions and the reservation and lottery systems were disappointing, the people that were able to ski, really enjoyed themselves. The re-opening affirmed what a joyous experience visiting Arapahoe Basin can be.

We took the lessons learned from those 12 days and carried them into our summer operations. The opening of our Aerial Adventure Park has been a huge success. Summer usage of the 6th Alley, Black Mountain Lodge, Arapahoe Sports, the Disc Golf Course, hiking and biking trails and chairlift rides has been its highest ever. With the Via Ferrata construction almost complete, Arapahoe Basin summers are the funnest they have ever been.

Knowledge gained from the Spring and Summer experiences will help finalize plans for the upcoming winter. We are working very closely with the Summit County and the State of Colorado governments. Knowing exactly what restrictions lie ahead remains somewhat unclear. We do know the risk of COVID-19 transmission is low while outdoors. We do know that risk can be higher indoors. We do know that skiing and riding on a mountain our size is a good, healthy activity with a low risk of COVID-19 transmission. We do know there are already restrictions in place for restaurant and retail spaces. We do know that parking is a low risk activity. We are working very hard developing a plan for people to transition safely and quickly from our parking lots to the mountain.

We can expect the usage of buildings to be very different. We will have restaurant, retail and rental services, but they will be limited to whatever current government restrictions allow. The buildings will not be places to hang out. You can expect to put your boots on at your vehicle. Our trademark, raucous, social activities like apres ski in the 6th Alley and Moonlight Dinners at Black Mountain Lodge will be on hold for a while.

We are deeply committed to the safety and well-being of our guests and our employees. We are deeply committed to those people that have already purchased season passes and products valid at A-Basin. We are deeply committed to offering skiing and riding with as few restrictions as are absolutely possible. The upcoming season will be all about the skiing and riding.

We anticipate opening as soon as Mother Nature allows. As regulations and guidelines develop, our plans will mature. As you know, we are really into offering as long and as good of a ski season as we possibly can. I look forward to seeing you on the hill very soon. Keep your face coverings on and your distances long! 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Smoke In The Air

As beautiful as the mountains and the flowers have been, we definitely have some smoke in the air. Our firefighters working west of us definitely have their hands full. We all need to wish them our best and thank them for their very hard work.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Walk In The Neighborhood

Kay and I make an effort to do a little backpacking and enjoy the mountains that are close to home. We just spent three days soaking in the best of our "Neighborhood" here in Summit County while enjoying some time in the hills. The smoke from the fires made for awesome sunrises and sunsets. I am not sure if the trip highlight was ridge running (actually walking and scrambling) near 13,000 feet, the four moose (three bulls and a cow) that walked circles around our camp for 18 straight hours or watching a cinnamon colored mama bear and cub playing in a field of flowers. Either way, it was a great time.

I have said it before in this blog. Those of us that get to spend time hanging out in Arapahoe Basin, Summit County and Colorado are so lucky.


Sunday, August 9, 2020

In The Trees

There have been a lot of people having fun playing in the trees in the Aerial Adventure Park.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Master Rock Artists

Our Trail Crew staff have become Master Rock Workers and Artists.  The photo below is of a very well done rock path and staircase on the Half Moon Trail.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Pali Video

Enjoy this video update of our Pallavicini project.

New Towers

The first towers have arrived.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

RFID Gates

Some of you have inquired about the excavation going on in the base area. A portion of that work is related to running power and communication lines to the two new lifts. Another big chunk is related to our RFID gate program. The orange pipe coming out of the ground in the foreground of this photo is for power and communication lines for the BMX RFID gates. Our passes and lift tickets this year will have RFID chips in them. All you have to do is keep your ticket/pass in a pocket on your left side and get scanned as you go through the gate. No more close interaction with a lift operator asking you to pull your pass out for a scan. We are installing these gates at the Lenawee, Pallavicini, Molly Hogan and Black Mountain Express Lifts. The gates should be up by late August or early September.

Monday, August 3, 2020

A Couple More Fly Days

Today and tomorrow will be big fly days for Leitner Poma. In addition to finishing off the top terminal foundation, they will be finishing the concrete tower foundations for Pallavicini Lift. Completing the concrete is a major, major step in lift building. There is plenty of work to go still, but I always feel very good once the concrete work is done

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Lenawee Mountain - Via Ferrata

Enjoy these two images taken near the tops of Lenawee Mountain and the Via Ferrata.