Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Sundance and Pika

Snowmaking conditions have been ideal the last few nights. We have seen some good success on Lower Sundance, the Pika conveyor area and Lower Wrangler. We hope to get these areas open soon.


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Full Beaver Moon

Last night was the full beaver moon. Kay and I skinned up to the Summit and were rewarded with the moonrise breaking over the East Wall. Despite being a crisp 6 F on top, we soaked in the view. Another good night at The Basin.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Views From The Top Of Pali


The Wall

During or following a storm, The Wall looks spectactular when the sun hits the new snow.


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Stomping The Face

The Ski Patrol has been all over the North Side the last couple days deploying explosives and stomping The Face, The Spine and other steep pitches. Again, they do this for  a few reasons including packing down the base for better skiing and disrupting propogation pathways that lead to avalanches. This kind of work is essential for managing steep terrain.

Hart Axley

Earlier this month, 1993 Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame inductee Hart Axley passed away. Hart played a pivotal role in the early days of Colorado ski patrolling. At some level, he was involved with most Front Range ski patrols. In 1960 he was selected for the Olympic Ski Patrol at what is now known at Palisades Tahoe. Most importantly to us, Hart spent the 50's, 60's and 70's patrolling the hill at A-Basin. Most famously, Hart was known to finish many a banquet with a robust singing of "Raise Your Glass." He made all of our lives better.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

New Snow Today

I just finished up some fun, afternoon skiing. We reported one inch of new this morning. It snowed off and on all day and there is a couple of more inches on the snow stake. The new snow did a lot of soften the surface up a bit. It was very enjoyable.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Molly Hogan Is Open

After some very good snowmaking sessions, the Molly Hogan Chairlift opens today for the season. This offers some green skiing, gets the Snowsports School open and gives people new to skiing a much nicer introduction to the sport.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Monday, November 20, 2023


After all those bluebird days, it is nice to see some stormy weather. As always, the new snow has made the skiing that much better. We should see showers throughout the day and then another storm by the end of the week. The next snowmaking priority will be Molly Hogan to get a lift for beginners and to get the Snowsports School open.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Lenawee Express Opens Late Afternoon

The snowmakers are done and clear of the trail. The cat drivers are putting the finishing touches on the snow. The ski patrollers are stringing their closures and getting their gear in order. Late afternoon today we will be opening Lenawee Express for the season. Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch will open with a very good snow surface. The trails are a bit narrow. Keep your eyes open for hidden and unmarked obstacles. Take your time, ski responsibly and enjoy your time in the high alpine. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Lenawee Face



I had a beautiful pre-work skin up to mid-mountain this morning. It felt great to get the body moving uphill on such a stunning morning. We have opened Uphill Access earlier than years past.  Remember for now though, skinning is limited to High Noon, going no higher than Black Mountain Lodge.

We are starting to have a few people continue past BML to the Summit. We are still making and dozing snow up there and it is not appropriate for skinners. We want to keep Uphill Access open. Be sure and follow our terrain requests and make sure your friends and other skinners are following those requests. Please, we need to keep this simple to make it work. 


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Track Packing

Following yesterday's post on side stepping, there were some good questions on track packing and snowcats. Track packing happens when the snowcats drive around and pack snow down. It is an incredibly effective tool and in a short amount of time can do way more than people side stepping.

But, there are some caveats. Track packing is fantastic on less steep slopes. Side Stepping is fantastic on steeper slopes. Track packing needs more snow. If we take the cats out when there is not enough snow, we tear up the ground and tear up the cats. Track packing and side stepping each have their time and place.

And then there is the "Disruption" or "Compaction" Roller, but we will save that one for another time.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Side Stepping

While we sometimes get accused of side stepping questions, we are proud to do this kind of side stepping. The Ski Patrol has been all over the Upper Mountain in places where the snow is a bit deeper. Packing the snow is a very important part of trail preparation. By condensing the snow, the quality of the skiing is improved. The compaction also breaks up propogation pathways that can lead to avalanches. Another reason to this is to keep the snow in place when the wind blows.

The patrollers have a lot of side stepping this Fall.


Monday, November 13, 2023

LenX Outlook

We had another good night last night. The question is, "When does Lenawee Express open?" The snowmakers are going to pause for a couple nights to let the reservoir re-fill. They will fire up again Wednesday or Thursday night depending on the weather. After that cycle of snowmaking ends, we will turn the snowcats loose. That takes some time. The lift itself is pretty much ready to go. The Patrol needs several hours once the cats are out of the way. So.........maybe this weekend-ish for Lenawee Express. My fingers are crossed. The closer we get, the better our time estimates will be.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Another Good Night

Last night was another good night snowmaking. The team was really focused on a few spots that could use some more snow. These two photos show the work they are doing to fill in the approach to Lenawee Express and for the lift maze.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Thank You Veterans

Thank you to all the veterans that have served our country over the centuries. 10th Mountain Division veterans served in Europe in World War II with honor and distinction. Upon returning to the US, many of them went on to be ski industry founders and leaders across the country in the 40's, 50's and 60's, including Arapahoe Basin's first President, Larry Jump.

Larry Jump


Friday, November 10, 2023

Uphill N' Chill Breakfast

This morning the crew at Black Mountain Lodge hosted an Uphill N' Chill Breakfast. Over the course of a couple hours before we opened, 150 guests skinned to mid-mountain for a classic BML meal of chicken and waffles, eggs, potatoes, sweet breads and breakfast salads. It has been a good week for Uphill Access. Tuesday, 153 people competed in our first Rise N' Shine event of the season. Wednesday, uphill access opened to the public (Uphill Access Pass required). And today we hosted the breakfast.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Progress Bottom Lenawee

The way our snowmaking pipelines are laid out, making snow to the bottom of the Lenawee Express takes some extra diligence. It is a long haul. Last night the snowmaking crew made some exceptional progress towards getting the lift ready to open. They made a nice, long, deep whale on the pitch leading to the lift maze.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Good Temps, Good Snowmaking

Today we have really good snowmaking conditions on the Upper Mountain. We have had a couple inches natural snow during the day. Tonight we might see a few more alongside temperatures in the single digits.


Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Uphill Access Open With Caveats

Skinning or snowshoeing up the hill is a great way to spice up your ski day.

Beginning Wednesday November 8, Uphill Access will be open with some limitations. Skiers will be limited to non operating hours or, more simply said, when the chairlifts are closed. Skiers are also limited to High Noon trail only. The rest of the mountain, except High Noon, remains closed.

Very importantly, all uphill users must have an Uphill Access Pass which can be purchased on our website.


Monday, November 6, 2023

Last Day Unrestricted Packs

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 7 will be the last day to purchase Unrestricted 3-, 4- and 5-Day Ticket Packs. After Tuesday, you will be able to purchase Midweek 3-Day Ticket Packs. This is part of our ongoing strategy to keep the quality of the A-Basin experience very high. Similar to limiting unrestricted season passes, we will only sell a limited amount of unrestricted ticket packs to prevent overcrowding on weekends.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Mid-Week Looks Good

The next 2-3 nights look a little warmer and we will probably not run snowmaking. Starting Tuesday night, it looks like we are in for another weather change. We should see colder temperatures and maybe some snow. I think the snowmaking crew's efforts mid week will be very productive.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Snowmaking Walk

Louis and I just walked down Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch to check out the snowmaking progress. I was very pleased with the work up there the last couple nights. A savvy skier could make it all the way down.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Sunny Days

 While I wish it was snowing, I am glad to see these bluebird days. The sunshine will melt some of last weekend’s snow on the south facing slopes. This will raise the streamflows, speed the refilling of the reservoir and ramp up our snowmaking efforts. 

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Basin Faces

 The best part of getting The Basin open for skiing is catching up with friends. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Snowmaking Next Steps

 While our reservoir refills, the snowmaking crew is working on their next steps. They are moving the fan guns to the Upper Mountain. Initially, they will make snow on Lenawee Face and Dercum’s Gulch to facilitate the opening of Lenawee Express.