Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Approaching Twilight on the Divide

Just finished up a nice little skin up to Black Mountain Lodge. I was lucky to catch the late day sunshine on the Divide. Today was another beauty. It looks like we will have partly sunny weather Wednesday and Thursday. There is another big storm brewing out there to the west and we might see snow falling on Friday and through the weekend. It just keeps getting better.

Monday, January 29, 2024


I am not used to seeing these guys hanging out in the base area in the middle of winter.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Saturday, January 27, 2024

A-Basin Style

The day was as good as I was hoping for. With the slow start to the Colorado ski season, I think there has been some pent up demand. Today, the skiing was tremendous. We had a few morning clouds and then it turned into a near perfect bluebird day. The place was crawling with happy people. Everywhere I went, from the parking lots to the restaurants to the lifts to the trails, I had nothing, but great encounters with smiling people. And tonight we are going to top it off with a Black Mountain Lodge Moonlight Dinner - The Foods of South America.

Friday, January 26, 2024

MGD - West Zuma

Geez, that was good. This afternoon I skied several runs in Black Bear, MGD and West Zuma. So much fun. By the sheer luck of good timing, I got into Jump pretty early on - which meant skiing some sweet powder. As fantastic as today was in stormy weather, tomorrow, with a high of 20 F and sunny skies, is going to be - oh my - the best.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

70 Inches In January

We have had 70 inches of snow in January including 8 inches over the last four days. Tomorrow should deliver a few more inches and the weekend looks to be mostly sunny. With the snow surface being unbelievable and the forecasted Colorado bluebird skies, the weekend is shaping up to be those classic "A-Basin kind of days."

The Ski Patrollers and Cat Drivers have been covering lots of ground and doing everything they can to deliver more and more skiing and riding. This afternoon should see an opening of MGD in Montezuma Bowl. It keeps getting better

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Montezuma Bowl Open

Montezuma Bowl opened about 11 AM today. We started with the central core, Upper Larkspur and Columbine, being open and added much of the 14'ers a little later. The cat work back there was exceptional. The lift crew and the patrollers also put a lot into the opening. In the coming days, we will be widening the terrain, conducting avalanche mitigation steps and working towards the steeper stuff.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

More Zuma Images

This weekend.

A Foot New - Zuma Buried

Still dumping and we reported 8 inches of new snow this morning. It has snowed a few inches since report time. Let's call it a foot new......so far.

We have a ton of new snow in Montzema Bowl. The lift crew spent a bunch of time digging out the bottom terminal of the lift. We have two snowcats back there today. The Ski Patrol is busy trying to get The Beavers open "side to side". Once they are done there, they will head back to Zuma. A lot of their work cannot be done while the cats are winching and on the move. As the cats wind down their work, the patrollers will ramp up theirs.

When I say Zuma is buried, there is a huge smile on my face.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Natural Avalanche Cycle

We experienced a significant natural avalanche cycle in Montezuma Bowl towards the end of the storm. Zoom in on the photo for a close look at the slides.

Prompted by this tremendous storm, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) had also issued an "Avalanche Warning" for much of the state encouraging people to stay away from avalanche terrain.  If you are even thinking about spending time in the backcountry, I encourage you to become a daily reader of the CAIC website.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Dog Woods Are Deep

The Dog Woods are Deep. The four gladed trails, Digger, Alex, Jetta and Jaeger, were named after our first four avalanche dogs. We have reported new snow for 13 days in a row and 32 inches over the last 4 days. Needless to say, the skiing has been incredible.

The Beavers are open and going strong. The Dog Woods opened today with exceptional conditions. We have have more work to do, but in the coming days, we can look forward to opening the Thick and Thin / Face Shot / Bailey Brothers zone as well as Pioneer Willy / Glockenspiel and the glades west of Loafer. This is going to be THE WEEK. You don't want to miss these conditions.

......And, oh yeah, it is going to snow Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Incredible - What To Expect

This has been a weekend to remember. The highways and the winds were tough, but the skiing has been over the top. At least one person I spoke with thought Sunday was his best day ever at The Basin. It was that good.

What can we expect next? Quite a bit of snow fell during the day today. Tuesday morning will be very cold and I think we will have a slow start, but temps should be ski-comfortable by the afternoon. The remainder of the week looks like good winter temperatures and maybe another 1/2 foot of snow Wednesday and Thursday. Great ski weather.

With all the snow, the Patrollers and Cat Drivers will be playing catch up all week. Expect a lot of terrain to open on the North Side and The Beavers. The Upper Mountain will lose a lot of closures with more wide open alpine skiing. The big nugget is Montezuma Bowl. The winch cat was back there all day today and that will be repeated throughout the week. The stormy weather and limited visibility prevented us from seeing much back there the last couple days, but I expect some major changes. Getting that zone open takes a lot a cat work and patrol work. If all goes well, we just might have Zuma Lift - and actually all of our lifts - open by the weekend.

13" New Today

It is to imagine that the skiing could be better than yesterday.  Today just might be.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Zero To 60

I think we just went from zero to 60 in about two seconds. Monday morning will be the 12th day in row that we reported new snow. The last two days we reported 11 inches and it snowed all day today. The snow stake is already loading up. Snow should to continue to fall for another 24+ hours. The base is in the mid 40's.

The real story is the conditions. The skiing was deep today. Pali was beautiful. Loafer was beautiful. Slalom Slope was beautiful. 13 Cornices was beautiful. Just incredible skiing all around. Over the next couple days we will see more of the North Side and The Beavers open. We had a snowcat working in Montezuma Bowl all day. Zuma is right around the corner.

My favorite part - all the smiling faces.


Saturday, January 13, 2024

Sunday, More Snow - Less Wind

Today was a windy one. We had 4" of new snow, but the wind kept the ridge top lifts closed. The people that came today enjoyed temperatures that were about 10 degrees warmer than the previous couple of days. Tomorrow looks to be top notch. With 2+ feet of snow in the forecast, a foot of that snow could fall Sunday. The peak wind gusts should be about 25 mph less than today. I anticipate all lifts being open Sunday.

We are about to enjoy the best skiing of the season.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Thursday, January 11, 2024

First Spine Lap

The Pallavicini Trail is open for the season. I just took my first Spine lap of 2024. Oh, was it sweet. The snow was soft and blown in. The turns were everything you hope for. The forecast for snow and wind should favor this zone. It is willow-y at the bottom, but the skiing is PHENOMENAL.

Have I told you, of all the ski trails I have skied on four different continents, The Spine is my favorite? 

The Wait Is Over

This morning is the 8th day in a row that we have reported new snow. Heavy snow is forecast over the weekend. The place has changed. The sun popped out briefly yesterday afternoon. The skiing is great. The Beavers Lift is open. We will be skiing more and more of the North Side. If you have been waiting, I think your wait is over.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Early Riser Carpool / Pay Parking

It is that time of year. Beginning Saturday, January 13, on weekends and holidays from 6 AM to Noon, the Early Riser Lot will be free for people carpooling with 3 or more people and cost $20 for those cars with less than 3 people per car. After 12 Noon, parking is free in Early Riser if space is available. High Noon and Last Chance Lots remain free this season.

I know some of you love this program and others don't. This is part of our effort on busier days to get everybody a parking space, manage to our comfortable carrying capacity, keep the highway moving and make sure Basin skiers and riders get to enjoy The Basin. The goal is to have fewer cars with more people, not make more money. I would be ecstatic if we had 100% carpoolers in Early Riser.

Going To Be Fun

It is going to be a very good day........and the snow is still falling.


Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Loafer, Davis, Beavers, Open - Great Forecast

There is a lot to be excited about. Loafer and Davis are now both open. The Beavers Lift  is open for the season and will run at its normal hours, 9 AM to 3:15 PM. I had a great run down Loafer about 2:30. The grooming on those two trails has been fantastic

As I write, the snow is falling. Even better, the forecast has really shaped up. This will be a great week and weekend to go skiing. We are rounding the corner.......


Monday, January 8, 2024

Class of 2024

This year's team of new patrollers have just completed their initial training are now officially Ski Patrollers, red coat and all.  Their training involved all kinds of stuff including emergency medical care, toboggan handling, risk management, trail maintenance, lift evacuation, avalanche management and lots more. Despite being a very challenging job in a tough physical environment, this is an exciting time for the crew. Now the real patrolling begins. Welcome aboard.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Bit Of Pali Skiing

The new snow has been good. The Ski Patrol has been doing some directed skiing on Pali Main Street and Pali Face. It is a little thin, but there is some very good snow and soft turns. As we do this a bit at a time, mixing up the snow from each storm, the snow gets packed nicely prepping for a regular opening in the future. Most importantly, these continued impacts break up the snow slabs and reduce potential propagation pathways mitigating avalanche concerns.

And........it is really fun.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Loafer Is Almost Ready

We have seen some light steady snowfall over the last couple of days. I just skied Loafer with Louis. It has been tilled top to bottom. This morning's 2" were on top of the corduroy. The one weak spot is the steep pitch just above timberline. With the forecast snow and wind, I think the snowcats will get that pitch in shape. I anticipate that all of us will be skiing Loafer, maybe Tuesday-ish. Stay tuned for more details.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Final Snowmaking

We are in our final snowmaking effort of the season, making snow at the top of Norway and on Lenawee Face. Operating our snowmaking system involves roughly one gazillion rules. Of special note, we are only allowed to divert water through December 31 each season. So, at midnight on New Year's Eve, we plugged the diversion. While no longer diverting, there was a little bit of water still in the reservoir. Today and yesterday we are converting that final water into snow on Norway and Lenawee Face.