Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Stunning Day

After a couple of very snowy and cold days, today was sunny and spectacular. The snow surface continues to be excellent.

We had a good day working on the lift. A lot of the key back filling was completed at the bottom terminal. The Leitner Poma crew got all set up starting the chair loading process. That should be done soon.


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Powder Day - Carriers - Chairs

It is an excellent ski day up at The Basin. We reported 3 inches of new snow at 5 AM and have received a couple more since then.

The carriers (chairs) for Lenawee Express have been moved to the bottom of the lift. They come in two pieces, the bale which holds the seat and the grip/hanger. Starting tomorrow, the two pieces will be assembled and placed on the line. That should take 1-2 days.


Monday, November 28, 2022

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Friday, November 25, 2022

Lift Update - Splice Complete

The Lenawee Express haul rope splice was completed this morning. Following the necessary inspection and measurement, the rope was placed on all the sheave assemblies. The engineers are busy at work in the terminals and lift operator houses. They will spend the next several days powering up the drive systems, making sure they are working properly and, ultimately, getting the lift to spin . Sometime next week, we will start attaching the carriers (chairs) to the haul rope.

Back on November 4, I wrote a post that said the "lift will be done this month and maybe by Thanksgiving." Mea Culpa. Whether I was overly optimistic or just underestimated how long it would take, I was wrong. Right now my best estimate is that the lift will be completed in Mid-December. I am bummed about the update, but want to be as straight forward as I can be. No one wants this lift completed and open more than me. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Turkey Dinner

 And the whole staff, including the splicing crew, got a turkey dinner.

Thanksgiving Splice

As I write, the Lenawee Express haul rope is being spliced. There are only a few people around the country that do this kind of work. Today, Justin Knight from Knight Equipment Company of Missouri is here leading the splice process. He is a third generation rope splicer. For years we worked with Justin's Dad, RJ. Their company was founded by RJ's Dad, Aubrey, in 1945.

The splice itself is about 150 feet long. The process takes almost 20 people working together at the direction of the Splicer. While slow and tedious, it is an amazingly cool process. By the end of tomorrow, the splice should be complete with the haul rope resting on all the sheave assemblies on each tower.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Dynafit Rise N' Shine Rando Series

This morning we hosted Race #2 of the Dynafit Rise N' Shine Rando Series. For the 2nd time this Fall, 140 athletes took part in the exciting and challenge uphill/downhill race. In addition to wandering around Sundance, High Noon and Ramrod, we managed to have the racers ski above Black Mountain Lodge to  Lake Reveal. The competitors had a blast and everyone was smiling. We have four more races scheduled in the series with the next race being December 6. For details go to Rise N' Shine Race #3.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Haul Rope Is On

The haul rope is now on the lift. As the process begins, the rope is on a giant spool at the bottom terminal.  Here are some cool pictures showing the process.

Picture 1 - At the bottom terminal the haul is attached to the pilot line shown in the center of the photo. A winch is pulling the pilot line which is pulling the haul rope uphill onto the lift.

Picture 2- The haul rope progressed to a few towers up the hill.

Picture 3 - The haul rope has been pulled all the way to the top, gone around the bullwheel in the top terminal, travelled all the way down the line and is now entering the bottom terminal.

Picture 4 - While the lift is still de-tensioned, the haul rope is now on the towers and through both terminals.

Splicing the rope is scheduled for later this week.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Side-stepping Slalom Slope

The Ski Patrollers had a very good effort side-stepping Slalom Slope. Much like tracking packing green and blue trails, the side-stepping packs the snow down, creating better skiing following subsequent storms. It has an added benefit of breaking up propagation pathways within the snow that could lead to avalanches. They have completed similar work in Lenawee Parks and on the West Wall.


Friday, November 18, 2022

Phat 2 Inches

We reported a Phat 2 inches of snow this morning. It skied like 4 inches and made for some great riding.

I went to the Summit to check out Upper Mountain snowmaking. I walked down Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch and wished I would have brought my skis. The snowmakers have done a fine job and the snowcat drivers have been doing some strategic packing. It looks really good up there.

Len Face Snowmaking

We have just had a really good run of snowmaking on Lenawee Face and in Dercum's Gulch. It has been quite chilly here the last several days. The snowmakers had a number of fan guns running with favorable winds. Our water situation for this time of year is still quite good. Our current, primary snowmaking objective is to create outstanding skiing from the top to the bottom of Lenawee Express. We are well on our way to doing that.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Pilot Line

Yesterday, the pilot line was installed on Lenawee Express. It is a thin cable that is manually pulled from the top to the bottom on both the heavy and light sides of the lift. A staffer climbs each tower and places the thin line on the sheave assemblies. The big haul rope is attached to the pilot line and, using a winch truck (which has just left the Thunder Lift at Jackson Hole), the pilot line pulls the haul rope into place. That process is scheduled to begin Saturday. The haul rope splice is scheduled for next week. Soon after the rope is spliced, we will start attaching the carriers (chairs) to the haul rope.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Monday, November 14, 2022

Dercum's Gulch Snowmaking

After several days of excellent snowmaking on Molly Hogan and in Lower Dercum's Gulch, the snowmakers are taking a few days off. We will take this time to let the stream re-fill our reservoir. Forecasted snowmaking temps and stream flows the next week look outstanding. When the rested and refreshed staff returns they will be firing up Dercum's Gulch and Lenawee Face in preparation for the opening of Lenawee Express.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Good Lift Building Week

We had a very good week of Lenawee Express lift building. The lift operator house and Tower 1 have been installed. Construction on "The Wall" and associated dirt work went well. The haul rope is on a giant blue spool at the bottom of the lift. All of the chairs (technically called carriers) are in the parking lot. All of the big stuff is here.

Next week should be a good one. The power will be connected and the electricians can get started ramping up the brains of the machine. We will start the process of installing the haul rope. And, knock on wood, "The Wall", should be substantially completed.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Molly Hogan Open

The Molly Hogan Chairlift, Pika Carpet and the Snowsports School are open for the season. This is an excellent time to get that friend or relative in a ski or snowboard lesson. Learning to ski and ride with a pro is so much easier and faster than having a well-intentioned friend "show you how." Remember, friends don't let friends teach ski lessons.  For lesson details, go to  Snowsports School.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Uphill Access Open 5 AM - Chairlift Opening

Uphill Access is now open from 5 AM until the chairlifts open in the morning. Due the chairlift construction impacts on snowmaking, we will be having an atypical start to the "Uphill Season."  For now, keep the following rules in mind:

    -Uphill Access is only open from 5 AM until the chairlifts open.

    -Uphill Access is only open on Lower Sundance, High Noon and Ramrod.

    -There is no Uphill Access above Black Mountain Lodge.

    -Uphill users must purchase an Uphill Access Pass. If users have not physically picked up their pass, they should bring confirmation of purchase.

Skinning, hiking and snowshoeing up the hill is a very fun and healthy way to spend time at The Basin. Please follow our Uphill Access rules Uphill Access.  Enjoy.   

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Upper Mountain

We have fan guns running on Molly Hogan and in Dercum's Gulch. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Molly Hogan Snowmaking

Last night we started making snow on Molly Hogan. With the forecasted cold temps the next several days, we should be able to open the Molly Hogan chairlift soon. This gives us some beginner skiing, a chance to open the Snowsports School and a chance to bump the rental business a bit.


Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Track Packing

This past storm was pretty good to us. We reported 19 inches of snow over 5 days. It was enough natural snow to start doing some track packing last night. On gentler terrain, the snowcats drive over the snow to pack it down. Typically, they leave a rough tracked surface not a corduroy tilled surface. Subsequent to the track packing, future natural snow and snowmaking  comes down as a more solid, ski-able base. So far the cats have packed portions of Molly Hogan, Dercum's Gulch and Humbug.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Lenawee Parks Ski Cutting

Surprisingly, it has been snowing all day and we are expecting a bit more tonight. With yesterday's 7 inches and today's snow, the natural snowpack is starting to accumulate. We have enough for the Ski Patrollers to do some snow work. They made several passes in Lenawee Parks ski cutting and ski packing the snow. Season to date, our snow work has been focused on snowmaking. Today was the first real day of managing, disrupting and impacting the natural snowpack.

The weather has been too socked in to get good photos of Lenawee Parks, but I took the one below walking from BML to the bottom of LenX while it was dumping.

Friday, November 4, 2022


I know some of you are getting nervous about Lenawee Express getting finished. Mea Culpa. I have been intentionally vague about when Lenawee Express will open for the season. We are a couple weeks behind schedule. We are not off by a lot, but the supply chain issues and summer rains put us back a little. Truth is, as of today, I don't know exactly when we will be finished. At the risk of having to eat my words, I think the lift will be done this month and maybe even by Thanksgiving. As always, as soon as I know the date, you will know the date. Hope this helps relieve some anxiety.

It does look like a chairlift.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Snowing Heavily

It has been snowing off and on all day. About mid afternoon the snow started coming down very heavily. We might see a pretty good dump tonight. On top of that, the temps are supposed to really drop this evening which will be a great addition to our snowmaking efforts on Sundance.


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Vaccine Bus - Saturday

It is time for me to get my COVID booster. Luckily, the State of Colorado Vaccine Bus will back at The Basin this Saturday, November 5. COVID vaccines and boosters will be available from 8 AM to 3 PM in the Administration Lot (bus drop off lot by the buildings). You can just show up or you can make an appointment at Colorado Vaccine Bus


Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Lenawee Express and The East Wall

This morning I caught this view of the East Wall looming over Lenawee Express.