Saturday, December 31, 2022

Only If You Like Skiing Powder

So Good..............................

Snowy Morning

We reported 5 inches of new this morning. It is still snowing and we could see that much again today. The skiing is going to be good.


Thursday, December 29, 2022

Powder Day

Today is a powder day. We reported 5 inches of new snow. As you can imagine, the skiing was fantastic. Hard to beat The Basin on a powder day. Looks like more snow coming this weekend.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

First Zuma Ride

Today I took my first spin in Montezuma Bowl this season. The Cat Drivers and the Ski Patrollers have been back there quite a bit. The Snow Safety Team has been working the MGD zone. Trails Manager Trevor has been working magic with the snowcats. He has packed out most of the main travel corridors. While we aren't yet ready to open the Bowl, his works sets us up very nicely for the snow forecasted to fall over the next week. 

Not enough to get open, but enough to get excited.


Tuesday, December 27, 2022

More Thoughts On Early Riser

We expected and have appreciated the feedback we have received on Early Riser parking. There are definitely green benefits to this plan, but our primary reason for doing this is to give our guests a chance to park and ski and ride at The Basin on busier days. This is a forward thinking plan and I am providing the information below to help give a more in depth understanding of parking at A-Basin.

-Beginning December 31, on Saturdays, Sundays, Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day, from 6 AM to Noon, Early Riser Lot will be free for vehicles with 3 or more people. Other vehicles will pay $20 to park there. After listening to feedback, we changed the end time from 2 PM to Noon.

-Addressing busy days, our objective remains to meet, but not exceed, our comfortable carryng capacity of 4,140 skiers per day. We were very successful at this last year only exceeding ccc three times, including on a 16" powder day May 21.

-We have taken three major steps to control visits. We have limited the number of unrestricted season passes that we sell (we are sold out this season). We limit the number of tickets we sell each day. We joined the Ikon Pass because there are restrictions to how much it can be used.

-Over the years we have continued to expand our on mountain facilities, such as Lenawee Express, The Beavers, Steilhang Hut and the Il Rifugio remodel/expansion, to address peak visitation periods and keep the quality of experience high. Our mountain ski experience continues to be tremendous.

-Over the COVID years carpooling and Summit Stage ridership declined putting pressure on our parking on the busiest days. Looking forward and to combat this developing problem, we are implementing The Early Riser Parking Plan.

-High Noon and Last Chance Lots remain free at all times.

-Early Riser Lot remains free Monday-Friday except MLK and President's Day.

-The driving force behind this plan continues to be to provide incredible experiences for our guests without exceeding our ccc.

-We think incentivizing carpooling is the best way to achieve that goal. A few years ago when we had a similar, but smaller version of this plan in the Early Riser Lot, more than 75% of our guests were carpoolers. We hope the carpooler number is higher than 75% this time. On the surface, this may appear like a money grab. It is not. We would be far better off with a nearly full lot of carpoolers versus the revenue generated by pay parking.

The themes I have discussed have been consistent with A-Basin for several years. We have a laser focus on creating an incredible ski experience. That experience includes access to parking, providing an extraordinary mountain with an appropriate lift system and offering restaurants and facilities to match. 

Again, this plan is forward thinking and will help us achieve our goal of providing the very best ski expereience.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Happy Holidays

Today was a beauty at The Basin. We reported 2" of new snow and it snowed at least a couple more inches during the day. The skiing was nice everywhere and clearly groups of family and friends were out there enjoying the snow. I had an especially fun run down The Spine and Rock Garden (my personal favorite).

From all of us at Arapahoe Basin, Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Early Riser Parking Changes

Beginning Saturday, December 31, on weekends and holidays from 6 AM to 2 PM, the Early Riser Lot will be free for people carpooling with 3 or more people and cost $20 for those with less than 3 people per car. High Noon and Last Chance lots will remain free

Over the COVID period, people have carpooled less and are riding the Summit Stage less. That puts a strain on parking and is a trend we have to change. In a perfect world, every vehicle in Early Riser has carpoolers. This is not an effort to make money. It is an effort to let all A-Basin skiers and riders have a place to park, ride and have fun.  Additionally, it is a move to reduce emissions and combat climate change.

We did institute something similar in the pre-COVID years. I know this feels like a big change, but in the spirit of keeping the guest experience high and addressing our sustainability objectives, we think this is very important.


Nice Day

We are having a nice day. Yesterday was a little tough with cold temperatures and some big winds. Glad that is behind us. Today is 15-20 degrees warmer and the winds have died down. The sun is poking through the clouds every now and again. We might see a few snow flurries later today and tomorrow. The snow surfaces are excellent. It is simply a good time to ski The Basin.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Rio The Avalanche Dog

We lost Rio the Avalanche Dog today. She had 11 tremendous years of service at Arapahoe Basin. Not only was she in a league of her own as a rescue animal, she was everybody's best friend. Every time I saw her she made me laugh and smile. She touched so many lives and made The Basin a better place. She will be missed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

North Side Skiing

On Monday we opened the North Glade and Pali gates. There is some excellent skiing to be found. That said, it is still early season. Be aware of hidden and unmarked obstacles and keep your speed down and stay in control. If you can do those things, you will enjoy some sweet snow and classic "Pali Skiing." 

Monday, December 19, 2022

Steilhang Hut Open

 If you find yourself hankering for a bratwurst and a cold one in a dramatic mountain setting, you will be excited to hear Steilhang Hut is open for the season.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Argentina - World Cup Champions

One of my favorite things about working at The Basin is that every year we have several international workers. Over the years these employees have added incredible warmth, richness and beauty to our culture.

A couple weeks ago about 20 Argentinian college students  joined us for the winter - as the World Cup Finals approached. This morning I spent the last hour of today's Final in The 6th Alley with our new friends from South America. The game was a nail biter all the way. Tied at the end of regulation, tied at the end of a 30 minute overtime, Argentina won in a dramatic shootout. Getting to see these young people singing and celebrating and sharing so much fun and emotion so far from home was something I will always remember and treasure.

.........And I am so glad Argentina won.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

A Couple Nice Days

I have had a couple of very full, nice days. Skier and riders are loving the Lenawee Express. Last night, after the Grand Opening, Kay and I buzzed down to the big city for the annual Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats Holiday Show at Ball Arena. Always incredible. Today was a beautiful ski day around the mountain. Much warmer than yesterday, I had really fun runs on Loafer, Davis, Lenawee Parks, Cornice Run and Humbug.

A couple days like this remind me how lucky we are to spend time in Colorado.


Friday, December 16, 2022

We Have A New Lift

We had a magnificent opening day for the Lenawee Express. Thanks to all of you that came out today to enjoy the ride.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Lenawee Express Opens Friday

Arapahoe Basin's brand new, high speed, detachable, 6-person Leitner Poma Lenawee Express Chairlift will open Friday morning just after 9 AM. We will do a brief ribbon cutting and champagne cork popping ceremony and then - THE LIFT IS YOURS.

And you will love the ride.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The Last Tasks

We are down to the last tasks to get Lenawee Express open. The team is building the loading ramps. The Snowcat Drivers have pushed snow into the maze. There is some final equipment testing being done. The electrical engineers are doing their last adjustments. We anticipate the license to be in hand soon. If we can stay on course for the next 18-24 hours, we just might make an announcement.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Lift Looks Good

The crews are still plugging forward and we are so close. We are working through the last few physical tasks and the last process steps. I am still thinking this week for a LenX opening. 

For a ski area person, this is a beautiful image.


Sunday, December 11, 2022

Now That Is A Happy A-Basin Skier


Acceptance Test Complete

We just finished  the two-day Acceptance Test. This involved an engineer from the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board (CPTSB), an engineer from the Forest Service and a bunch of engineers from the lift manufacturer, Leitner Poma. Additionally, we hire a third party engineer for us to make sure all of the other engineers were doing the right thing. They started, stopped, slowed and sped up the lift every way possible. They checked every switch, knob and widget they could find. They loaded the lift with boxes of water to simulate a fully loaded lift and tested how it performed. After all that is done, our Ski Patrol demonstrated that they can evacuate the lift if necessary.

We now have a punch list to complete. Upon completion of that list, we will get an operating license from CPTSB. We are talking just a few days now.


Saturday, December 10, 2022

Beavers Lift Open

The Beavers Lift is open for the season. Initially, Davis will be open from the West Wall saddle. Also initially, from the top skiers can access the Cornice Run to Davis and West Wall. Soon thereafter, we will get Lenawee Face and Humbug open.  After that, we are looking at snow Monday night and there will be all kinds of fun to be had.


Friday, December 9, 2022

....And First Lenawee Express Ride

.....And I just took my first ride on the new Lenawee Express. Per tramway code, the lift has to run for several hours prior to being open to the public. Our, much anticipated, Acceptance Test (load test) is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Following that there will be some punch list items to complete, some final cleanup to do, some snow to push around and some general fine tuning. Dare I say, next week?

BTW, the ride was smooth and sweet.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

First Beavers Ride

Just after lunch I took my first ride on the Beavers Lift this season. There is a lot of snow back there. I skied Davis from the West Wall saddle. The cats had track packed it and coverage was really good. They have also track packed much of Loafer. As I write, Trevor is in the winch cat on Davis working on its first till of the season. 

While getting Lenawee Express open is going to happen relatively soon, Beavers Lift may open even sooner.

Pallavicini Lift Open For The Season

At 11:30 this morning we opened Pali Lift for the season. After paying homage at the "Center of the Universe," I had an absolutely beautiful powder ski down Slalom Slope. So far West Wall, Slalom Slope, Powder Keg and Grizzly Road are open. As always, you can expect a few more powder treats in the coming days.


Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Off The Top Of Pali

Tony C took some great photos for me this morning. As you can see the Patrollers and Cat Drivers have been busy. The West Wall has been winched and tilled. We have done extensive ski packing. The Patrollers encountered some tender snow on the North Side triggering several slides. We are extremely focused on getting more terrain open. Expect more soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Getting Terrain Open

The Basin reported 8" of new snow this morning and there is another inch or two sitting on the snow stake already. The forecast calls for more snow the next few days, a sunny weekend, and snow again next week. Right now our Snowcat Drivers and Patrollers are all over the mountain. The winch cat has been active in Lenawee Parks and the West Wall. I just skied Grizzly Road and it looks much better than last week. The Ski Patrol will be making lots of "BOOMS" today followed by lots of ski cuts and packing.

While I don't see much terrain opening instantly, this is going to be a very good week for getting terrain (and maybe another lift) open. We have a tremendous amount of work to do. Look for some excitement towards week's end.


Snowmaking To Lenawee Express

In order to finish Lenawee Express, we had to keep the road plowed and the maze and infield clear of snow. So almost instantaneously after the vehicles clear, we will need to fill the maze up with snow. The Snowmakers and Cat Drivers have planned for that, stock piling snow on Lenawee Traverse.


Monday, December 5, 2022

Have To Be Ready


Lenawee Face / Dercum's Gulch

 Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch are ready to go.

Sunday, December 4, 2022