Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Track Packing

The skiing on a specific trail is much better when we manage the snow prior to opening that trail. Generally speaking, on black and double black diamond trails that means using explosives, ski cutting, ski packing and foot packing. On green and blue trails, especially those without snowmaking, it means packing the snow down with a snowcat. We call this "Track Packing". The compacted snow is firmer and eventually leads to better skiing. The rough snow is better catching and consolidating wind blown new snow. Each time it snows a reasonable amount, we drive the cat over it again. Once there is enough snow the Cat Operator will run the rear tiller over the snow and leave that sweet corduroy surface - and opening soon follows.


Monday, November 29, 2021

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Old Pali Bullwheel and Plaque

As most of you know, we took the old bullwheel from the first Pali Chairlift and moved it up to the very tippy top of the Pali Knob. It is a special place for many of us. We recently added a nice plaque with some thoughtful prose that will make you smile. Once that lift and terrain opens, be sure and take a few extra minutes and walk up to, and enjoy, the scene. There is substantial value in having an employee with a B.A. in English from Boston College.


Saturday, November 27, 2021


I skied Loafer and rode the Beavers Lift. Wow. The Cat Drivers have done a greal deal of work above timberline. They have farmed the captured snow out of the fences. They dozed and winched the first steep pitch. The Ski Patrol has skied up the snow below timberline. The coverage there is fantastic. The Patrollers have foot packed the entire bottom pitch. Ultimately, we will get a winch cat all the way to the bottom of the lift. Getting the Beavers Lift open should closely follow the Pali Lift opening.


Friday, November 26, 2021

First Pali Ride

Yesterday I made my first Pali ride of the season. Always fun. There is a fair bit of snow on the North Side. Grizzly Road looks especially good. The snowfences caught a great deal of snow. The Cat Crew has done a fine job dozing and spreading the snow and topping it off with a corduroy till. Who knows? Another storm or two and..............?


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Basin folks out there. We are enjoying a near perfect bluebird Thanksgiving Day. I just skied for a couple hours and the place looks and feels very nice. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are a couple of my favorite days at the resort. On these holidays there is a special warmth shared by the people working and visiting the Basin. I like it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

First Chair

People were eager to ski this morning. I took this photo of people walking out to the lift maze and standing in line anxiously waiting for the chairlift to open. 2 or 3 inches of snow fell after folks got on the hill. Another great day at The Basin.


Tuesday, November 23, 2021


Wow, we are having a really good snowmaking session on Ramrod right now. Fan guns are blowing snow from top to bottom. I suspect the snowmakers will keep running there until late Wednesday or early Thursday. There will be a fair bit of equipment clean up and dozing to be done once the snowblowers are turned off. Look for a good Ramrod opening by week's end.


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Swirling Clouds

Last night's storm was steady for a few hours and we reported 2" of new snow. I took this photo yesterday morning while riding Lenawee looking across the top of Pali, across Highway 6 and into a region we call "No Name." The swirling clouds, sun and shadows always deliver exceptional views. The skiing is still good. We might see some snow mid-week.


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Intermittent Showers

We saw light, intermittent showers throughout the day. At dusk, right now, there is a little bit steadier of a snowfall going on. It is November 20 and the skiing is very good. Molly Hogan Chair and the Snowsports School opened today. Lower Wrangler opened. Next week's snowmaking energy will go towards getting Ramrod fully open and widening Molly Hogan.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Uphill Access Opens Saturday At 5 AM

Uphill Access will open for the season Saturday at 5 AM. For now, Uphill Access is closed during the day during ski area operational hours. Be sure and have an Uphill Access Pass. They are free for A-Basin season pass holders. For non-AB pass holders, the Uphill Access Pass is $79 with $10 going to the National Forest Foundation.

Don't forget, it is early season. The place probably looks very different from when you skied last season. There is lots of snowmaking and grooming equipment on the hill. Stay away from it. Variable snow conditions exist.  Be safe. Be careful. Keep you speeds down. And have loads and loads of fun.

For details about the program, go to Uphill Access.


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Cornice / West Wall

It is odd. Denver may set a record for its latest first measurable snowfall and The Basin has really, really good skiing. We have a 24" base of natural snow. Snowmaking has gone very well. In order to pack down the snow and offer some fun skiing and riding, the Ski Patrol has been doing some short term openings in areas without snowmaking. Trevor has done an outstanding job grooming the drifts out the Cornice Run. This afternoon I got a couple hour opening on Cornice / West Wall. The groomed Cornice Run was superb and the steeper, ungroomed West Wall was soft and carvy.  

The skiing is so much fun.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Black Mountain Lodge

I never get tired of this place.


Saturday, November 13, 2021

That Kind Of Day

I think the smiles on Snowsports School Instructors Dave Singleton and Tim Stroh tell the story of what a great day we had up here.


Friday, November 12, 2021

Sundance Saturday

Sundance will open Saturday. It has been a very good week. We reported 11" of new snow over the last three mornings. The snowcats are track packing more and more terrain. Friday Afternoon Club is a hit today. People are out there having fun and The 6th Alley is shaping up for a Basin-style apr├Ęs ski session.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Four Early Runs

I just took four beautiful, early, pre-opening runs with Louis. The objective was to evaluate snowmaking and grooming (and have a little fun). Conditions were excellent top to bottom. We are having continued snowmaking success on the Upper Mountain despite a planned power outage last night. The snowmakers did get started on Upper Sundance and Lower Wrangler. We skied those trails and were pleased with the initial effort. Looking at the weather forecast, I am excited about the snowmaking outlook the next few days.

And the corduroy on High Noon was as good as it gets.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Snowmakers and Rando Racers

The Snowmakers are on a roll. They had a very good night enhancing Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch. They also got started on Upper Sundance. Tonight they will fire up a couple guns on Lower Wrangler. The next few days look very promising for low temperatures with the possibility of running continuously for 48-72 hours. That would be good.

This morning we had our first race of the "Rise and Shine Rando Series." 107 skiers climbed Sundance and descended Ramrod as many times as they could in one hour. There were impressive athletes out there with some of the women making four laps and some of the men making five laps.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

So Nice

It is so nice to be open to the top. This coming week, the Snowmakers will work on "fattening up" Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch and get started making snow on Upper Sundance and Lower Wrangler. 


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Lenawee Will Open Sunday

Lenawee Lift, Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch will open Sunday. I am not exactly sure what time it will open, but hopefully by Noon.

We needed one more good night of snowmaking Friday to make this happen. The forecast was not great. True to forecast, temperature only got down to about 31F. Lucky for us, the relative humidity was very, very low and brought the wet bulb temperature down to about 21F. Kudos to Bill LeClair and the Snowmaking Team for taking full advantage of the weather and laying some nice snow down where we needed it most. 

Enjoy the Upper Mountain.


Time For The Snowcats

Friday we turned the snowcats loose on the Upper Mountain. While we have been travelling up there with the cats, we just starting dozing on Friday. Scottie and Dorse are really putting the trail together. The snowmaking work has been very good. Still have some work to do at the bottom of Lenawee.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Looks Good

While not quite as cold as Wednesday night, last night still had some pretty good snowmaking. Overall, Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch look close to be being ready. We are focused on a couple of weak spots including the area around the bottom of the lift.


Thursday, November 4, 2021

Another Great Night

 We are getting so much closer to the top.


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

More Snowmaking

We had a fairly decent night snowmaking on the Upper Mountain. We kept running all day and tonight looks to be better. The clouds are expected to clear off some and the temperature should get close to, if not in, the teens. That would be very good. We are very focused on getting Lenawee Mountain Lift open, but we need a few more good nights of snowmaking.


Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Snowy Tuesday

We are enjoying a beautiful, snowy day. This storm has been good to us and we anticipate some cold snowmaking temperatures this evening. I came up on my day off yesterday and made some turns purely for fun - no work involved. I enjoyed the heck out of it.

Monday, November 1, 2021

More and More Like Winter

The place looks more and more like winter every day. The new hut looks pretty too.