Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Powder Skiing

A few images of skiing Wednesday's storm.

6" New

Now that is a treat. We reported 6" of new snow this morning. As we approach noon today, it is still snowing. It snowed very heavily before and after dusk last night. The snowcats created some incredible skiing on the groomers. It is definitely winter here today with a temperature of 17 F at mid-mountain right now. That said, this is a Spring storm. It started a little wet and dried out as the night progressed. We often do well with orographic lifting this time of year. The forecast looks unsettled for the next week. It is Spring time at The Basin (which can mean lots of snow).

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

75th Anniversary Party

Arapahoe Basin is 75 years young. Back in 1946 I think Larry Jump and his friends were on to something. This weekend, Friday night through Sunday we will be hosting the 75th Anniversary Party. Activities include a 1946-Themed Dinner, Bump and Bash, Party in the Park, Plaza Apres Party, Uphill and Chill and East Wall Scavenger Hunt. I look forward to Friday's dinner in the 6th Alley and Saturday afternoon's skin to Black Mountain Lodge for a beer and pretzel. Come celebrate 75 years of skiing The Basin. For more details go to.

75th Anniversary Party

And BTW, it is dumping at The Basin right now.

Friday, March 25, 2022


That cruisey (I made this word up) middle section of Loafer sure is fun to ski. Today's spring skiing was everything I hoped for and tomorrow may be better.


Thursday, March 24, 2022

Spring The Next Couple Days

The beginning of the week was pretty chilly around here. Today was beautiful and Friday and Saturday look incredible. We should see sunny skies with highs in the 30's. We may even touch 40. While we have had some scattered warm days, I think this weekend will be the first true Spring Skiing at The Basin.  The decks at The 6th Alley and BML will be hopping. I am sure The Beach will be very lively. I love Spring.


Monday, March 21, 2022


One of the best deals at A-Basin is our partnership with Taos. Kay and I just headed south for a couple days of skiing. They have had great snow the last couple months. With easy hikes to incredible runs like Fabian, Stauffenberg (check your WW 2 history), Meat Ball and Treskow, we loved our time there. The ski days were topped with apres ski, a bratwurst and a hefeweizen at The Bavarian. If you like A-Basin, you will love Taos. 


Sunday, March 20, 2022

Pali Face

Pali Face and The Spine always looks good. They look especially good with fresh snow.


Saturday, March 19, 2022

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Beaver Bowl

Beaver Bowl was good skiing today !!!


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Afternoon Pali Ride

I had a snowy, afternoon Pali Ride and I am really looking forward to tomorrow's skiing.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Phat 2 Inches

We are in for another beautiful ski day. We had 2 inches of snow on the stake at report time this morning. We had another inch or two fall after that which is making for really good skiing. Today should be mostly sunny with highs in the 20's. That is my kind of perfect ski day.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Steilhang Hut Deck

For obvious reasons, I think the deck at Steilhang Hut is going to be a pretty popular place. The project is almost finished.


Saturday, March 12, 2022

East Side Beaver Bowl

I found some really nice snow skiing the East side of Beaver Bowl. It faces almost straight North and the snow was soft. The views weren't too bad either.


Thursday, March 10, 2022

Employee Ski With Friends

A few times a year we do an after hours employee ski running Black Mountain Express for another hour just to let the employees have some fun stepping out of their work roles enjoying the mountain and their friends. Earlier this week we did combo party that was part employee ski, part going away party for our Argentinean friends and team members and part "Welcome to A-Basin" party for our new Ecuadorian friends and team members. We are lucky to have such a wonderful group of people at The Basin.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Afternoon Mini Powder Ski

Went for a very fun afternoon ski today. We had a couple inches of snow during the day and we should see more tonight. Soft, mini powder skiing everywhere. Way cool.

As a reminder, season passes go on sale tomorrow, March 10, at 11 AM. I try to avoid the hard sell in the blog, but season passes are worth a mention. The amount of unrestricted passes we sell will be limited for the 2022-23 season. We will sell out. I encourage you to buy your pass right away.


Tuesday, March 8, 2022

More Snorkel Nose

Jim Bauer and Zach Parsons sent me a couple more photos from skiing Snorkel Nose on Monday.


Monday, March 7, 2022

My Favorite Place

The snow in Snorkel Nose was phenomenal today.

Kay and I made a couple hikes up the Willie's staircasey. We did it for the exercise and the view. We were doing our duty to pack the snow down making for better skiing following subsequent storms. We thought we'd find some OK skiing. To our surprise, we had incredible powder skiing.

For the first hike we went to Borgy Rock and skied the left side of Willie's Wide. While there are still big rocks poking up through snow we found soft, deep powder. For the second hike, we went to the top of the staircase and slid through the Snorkel Door, my favorite place at The Basin. The skiing down Snorkel Nose was absolute paradise......deep, soft, consistent turns. Beautiful.

Standing at the Snorkel Door.


Sunday, March 6, 2022

West Vertical Cornice

There is a staircase set up in North Pole. It is vertical for a while and then takes a diagonal line towards the top of Narrow North Pole. Kay and I hiked it today. The hike itself was pretty rough and rugged. We skootched around a bit and found fun turns in West Vertical Cornice


Saturday, March 5, 2022

Steilhang Hut

Not only is it snowing, but we are in the home stretch to getting the Steilhang Hut completed. The tile and flooring are done. There is a tiny bit of plumbing to go. The kitchen equipment is being installed. The wall treatments are in progress. The outside is done including a very groovy sign. I am longing for my first bratwurst there.

Friday, March 4, 2022

State of The Basin - Numbers and Comments - Volume 2

On March 3, 2020 I did a blog post that was an update on our journey to change things up at Arapahoe Basin. Our objectives then and now are to reduce crowding and improve the guest experience. Two years ago I said that by every measure we have improved the guest experience. That has only gotten better since 2020.

During this journey, negotiating COVID has been like negotiating a mine field. The 2020-21 season was just bizarre. The demand by skiers and riders to get outside was much higher than we anticipated and from a business perspective, we did OK. One of the greatest challenges we had was limiting actual skier numbers to meet operating requirements from local and state regulators. We did that primarily by limiting the number of season passes and daily tickets that we sell and by requiring all tickets be purchased online and in advance.

During our first season with Ikon, we did have some days that were too big and we caught some negative feedback for that. Using lessons from COIVD to better manage peak days in 2021-22, we continued to limit the number of season passes and daily tickets that we sell and we required all tickets be purchased online and in advance.

Comfortable Carrying Capacity (CCC) is a planning tool we use with the Forest Service in our planning process.  It considers the size of our parking lots, acres of terrain, number of toilets, uphill lift capacity, number of dining tables and a variety of other factors. At The Basin, our most limiting factor is parking. The actual capacity of our lifts, terrain and other facilities is much higher than our parking capacity. CCC is not finite like the capacity of a water bottle. The actual comfortable condition can vary widely. For example, over the Christmas holidays families come with many people in a vehicle and we can actually park many more people than our CCC would indicate. On a Spring powder day Saturday, more people show up one person per car and parking can overflow when we actually have far fewer people than our CCC. 

The CCC at A-Basin is 4,140 skiers per day. On a day when the parking lots are just full and we don't go to overflow parking (The Whiskey Lot), the number of visitors is very close to the CCC. As a guide we try to just fill the ski area parking lots and not go to The Whiskey Lot. Using our CCC and limiting pass sales, having Ikon Passes be good for only 5 or 7 days, and limiting ticket sales, we have been very good at coming close to the CCC. In fact, this season we have only exceeded CCC one day and it was by 114 skiers. That day was Sunday, February 27 and from about noon until 12:30 we had to limit the parking lots to "one in and one out." The real objective, of course, is not about precisely hitting the 4,140 CCC number. The real objective is about making incredible guest experiences, not overflowing the parking lots and letting people have fun.

Season to Date (STD) skier days through February 2022 were 62% of STD skier days through February 2019, our last year with Epic.

STD skier days through February 2022 was 93% of STD skier days through February 2020, our first year with Ikon. 

For the 2022-23 season we are going to continue to limit pass and ticket sales. Despite that, we do have some soft spots to work on. Looking forward we will be developing products and programs to boost the quieter times. The early season has plenty of room for more skiers and riders and next season there will be a $99 Fall 3-Pack and a $279 Fall Pass. Some of you noticed the holidays were kind of dead. We are going to eliminate the Ikon blackout days. We have realized we don't need them and we can control visits better by limiting ticket sales.

We are very happy with the environment our guests and staff have created. We have been open 141 days and we have had 30 minutes when the parking lots were completely full. The result has been minimal lines. The atmosphere has been laid back, fun and easy. On a daily basis, guests reach out to us saying they appreciate the new atmosphere. People are simply enjoying themselves and their biggest frustrations are gone. I think that is good. 

We are laser focused on making this journey an incredible success for our guests and our staff. Season passes go on sale March 10.  2022-23 Full Season Pass holders will continue to get days at Taos, Monarch, Silverton and Bluebird Backcountry. I am super psyched about the addition of 3 days at Bridger Bowl. The number of passes for sale will be very similar to what we sold last season. I don't know when we will sell out, but we will sell out. 

I think we are heading in the right direction. Thanks for joining the ride.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

A Reminder

Just a reminder about what The Steep Gullies are all about.


Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Jean Claude Killy

Saturday I wrote a post about Jon Reveal's passing. Rick Sandstrom, an A-Basin patroller from that era reached out and thought that the guy on the left might be Jean Claude Killy. Jon and Jean Cluade were friends and Jean Claude did visit The Basin. I was wondering if anyone could confirm if this is Jean Claude or not.

The second photo below is a picture of Jean Claude at The Basin adjusting his pants, wearing an Arapahoe bib and standing next to the very, very young Ski Patrol Director, Jim Gentling.