Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Some Color

Technically, the start of Fall is September 22. That said, we are getting some autumnal hints. There is some decent color starting to show in the willows and aspens. At my house in the morning the temps are in the mid thirties when I wake up. We still have plenty of nice warm days ahead of us, but it is clear, the start of the big change has begun.


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Four New Tower Fan Guns

We are installing four new tower fan guns on Lower High Noon. The new equipment arrived last week. We have already installed the foundations. The next time a helicopter is here working on the new lift, we will fly the new towers to the foundations.

This addition brings us to nine tower guns. They have distinct advantages. The towers are in place when snowmaking begins and there is no hauling equipment around with heavy machinery. Also, the towers are higher than a conventional fan gun. The higher the gun, the more loft/time for water droplets to freeze. Typically, we can make a little more snow with a tower gun. The one disadvantage is that the guns are not mobile. They only make snow in one spot.

We will keep looking for places to strategically put tower guns, ideally looking for places where a tower has a bigger impact.

Monday, August 29, 2022

And This Is Joey

And if you don't know Joey, this is him doing final design refinements out on Zuma Cornice with a little rainbow action in the background.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

Beavers Loop Progress

Joey Klein with IMBA Trail Solutions sent me this update on the Beavers Loop trail construction. Joey has designed all of our summer trails. He is a former A-Basin Ski Patroller and Atomic Janitor. Same guy that came up with the ski trail name, "Janitors Only." Mostly, I thought his image is really cool.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Sunrise - Beavers Loop

 Enjoy the sunrise photos taken during the Upper Beavers Loop construction.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Tower 4 - Lenawee Express

The Tower 4 foundation is complete. The spider hoe has back filled the concrete. Towards late September, the helicopter should be back to fly the towers. Prior to flying, the crew will remove those large nuts and then the helicopter will set the tower on those bolts and the nuts will be replaced before the helicopter disconnects from the tower. You can also see the copper grounding wire attached to one of the bolts.

Once the tower is set and more of the line work is complete, we will re-vegetate the disturbed areas using seed, fertilizer and excelsior mats. We have good success re-vegging the towers on our other lift builds. After a few years, the lack of disturbance, it looks like the towers "grew out of the ground.


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The White Stuff

Yesterday afternoon was pretty stormy up here and some white stuff fell out of the sky. In the base area, it was more like hail. One of the Via Ferrata guides told me it was more like snow up high. There is always the question, "Is this the last snow of last season or the first snow of the coming season?" In late August, I tend to think it is the first of the coming season. It is fun to get excited, but this snow won't last. In fact, we will have a few storms like this that don't last, but it is fun to start thinking about skiing.


Monday, August 22, 2022

The Wall

Building and grading the new bottom terminal area of the Lenawee Express is a big project. The maze area is going to be bigger than it has been in the past. In the past, skiers and riders had to move uphill through the maze. The entire area is changing and there will be a gentle glide into the maze and to the load area. Additionally there will be a wall on the North and East sides of the maze and lift. Actually, it will end being a pretty big wall. As progress on the wall continues, I will keep you posted.


Sunday, August 21, 2022


We are having a very good wild flower season. Many of the flowers have come and gone. One of the my favorite flowers is fireweed. It blooms a little later and lasts a little longer. Walking the Argentine North Fork Trail, there are still big fields of blooming fireweed.

 Lower Sundance on Friday

Saturday, August 20, 2022


We are in the midst of nice rain storm this afternoon. It has been a good, wet summer for us. Sometimes the rain can be a little annoying, but it is so good for us. The greener The Basin is in Summer, the better. It keeps our plants and animals healthy. It keeps the creeks and rivers alive. I am one of those weirdos that likes rainy days in the mountains. I like the sunny days too.


Friday, August 19, 2022

Burger Night aka Local's Night

Summer Thursday nights are Burger Nights in The 6th Alley. Last night was a huge hit again. There was no shortage of laughs and good times. An entire neighborhood (pictured below) showed up and were in their best form. We have two more of these left this Summer, August 25 and September 1. Come join us.


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

A Climate Change Win

All of us at Arapahoe Basin are excited about the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act. It includes $370 billion in climate provisions that are the largest such investment in United States history. The incentives, bonuses, tax credits, investments and more for citizens and businesses from this bill put the country on a path to a 40% emissions reduction by 2030. These actions will lower the cost of clean energy and help our transition to a clean energy economy and world. People and organizations, including our friends in the ski business and beyond, have been lobbying and advocating for action like this for years. Every step along the way, every letter written, every thoughtful vote and every time someone spoke up has made a difference. Thanks to all of you that have contributed.

This is awesome and this is a very big deal.


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tower Concrete Complete

Despite the rain and fog, we had a very successful fly day for Lenawee Express. The Leitner Poma team, using the civilian Blackhawk, was able to complete the concrete pours for all of the towers. That is a major step forward. Once the forms are pulled, the spider hoe will return and backfill the holes.

And our buddy Isaac came up to enjoy the show.

Sunday, August 14, 2022


Check out the sunrise from near Loveland Pass looking South towards The Basin.


Saturday, August 13, 2022

What's Next With Lenawee Express

We are making some big headway with Lenawee. As I mentioned earlier, the 8 new tower foundation holes have been dug. As I said earlier, we are able to use 7 of the existing Lenawee foundations. The foundation forms have been flown into those 8 holes. The forms are the plywood pillars that can be seen in the top photo. Once in place, each of those forms takes final adjustment which has been completed. Keeping helicopters on schedule is no small task, but, tentatively, we are flying concrete to the 8 new foundations on Tuesday. Soon after the concrete sets up, the forms will be stripped. We then have the spider hoe return and backfill those foundations. 

Then I have a big sigh of relief. While there is still a lot of lift building to go, getting the foundations completed and backfilled is a major milestone for me. Then the fun stuff begins, flying towers, installing the terminals, setting the haul rope, placing the carriers, etc. Foundations are just plain hard work.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Beavers Loop Update

The Beavers Loop trail building is going exceptionally well. With a combination of machine and hand building, the trail is complete from the top of Radical to the Top of the Spine. One crew has built the trail down Zuma Cornice to the top of Elephant's Trunk. They have made the big turn and are heading back towards Beaver Bowl and ultimately to Davis. The second crew is working in both directions from Davis, towards the top of the Spine and towards Beaver Bowl. We feel like we are on schedule to complete this by the time snowfall comes (sooner than most of you think).

We have done sample riding and photography trips. The reports back from riders are all A+. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Spider Hoe

Last week the spider hoe was back at The Basin. We use this equipment to do excavation in sensitive and/or very rugged areas. This summer we are using it dig tower foundation holes for Lenawee Lift. The machine is able to "walk" down terrain leaving very few marks. The new Lenawee Lift will have 15 towers. We are able to re-use 7 of the existing tower foundations so we only had to dig 8 new holes. It is an amazing machine and fits our ethos of minimizing land disturbance.

Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures this year, but enjoy the spider hoe pictures from the Pallavicini construction in 2020.