Friday, October 20, 2017

Loveland Opened Today

Congrats to our friends at Loveland Ski Area for opening this morning. I am so happy to see people sliding down the snow at both Loveland and The Basin. Here's to another great season of deep snow, blue skies and lots of fun. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New Website

We launched a new website yesterday. There will be many more images reflecting The Basin's look, feel and vibe. The navigation should be a lot easier on the front side. The backside of the website is much easier to manage so we can adjust and change content to more rapidly reflect the latest action. Lastly, the new site will be much more friendly with mobile applications.

The next project is a new e-store slated for next year. I know our current store is a bit klunky, but more cool stuff is coming.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ramrod Is Open

Ramrod is open for the season. The cat drivers spread the piles last night and the trail is ready to go. This has been a very good snowmaking season for us so far. Lots of very pleasant and fair days, but good, cold nights. Today and tomorrow our snowmaking team will be transporting equipment to the Upper Mountain. Now our snowmaking focus zeroes in on Lenawee Face, Dercum's Gulch and Molly Hogan with a special objective of getting Lenawee Mountain Lift open. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Slash Piles

We are burning slash piles along the proposed  Beavers lift line. We have already burned piles on The Steep Gullies Hike Back trail and plan on burning piles on Loafer and Davis.

There were multiple phases in our trail preparation work. First the loggers dropped the trees to the ground. Second, we used a helicopter to fly the logs to the parking lot. There the logs were chipped and transported to the biomass plant in Gypsum (that is another story). Third, a contract crew traveled the trails again flush cutting stumps and piling any remaining slash. That crew should be done this week. Fourth, our crews are burning those slash piles. Next season we may have to do a little more clean up and pile burning.

Our strategy for this entire process has been to minimize ground disturbance. Through this work, we have had no tracked or wheeled vehicles on these trails. While the trees have been removed, the ground has not been substantially disturbed. This has a significant and positive impact on erosion and water quality.

We will be burning as long as conditions allow or until we are done. I suspect we will be doing this for several more weeks.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Outstanding snowmaking

With a mid-mountain wet bulb temperature of 13 F, last night's snowmaking was outstanding as shown on this morning's web cam images. We turned the system on Friday night and it has been running since. We anticipate a shut down soon as today's temps warm up. The major focus has been on Ramrod, but we also have guns running on the Upper Mountain and Molly Hogan. The forecast for tonight looks good. We may see more terrain soon.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Opening Day Media

I thought this was a fun picture I took as first chair was getting ready to load.

Friday, October 13, 2017

We Are Skiing

We had a very fun opening day. People turned out and had a blast. Never underestimate people's desire to go skiing and riding. Thanks to all of our employees and guests that made today happen and thanks to Dave Camara for the photos.

Into The Night

The Park Crew worked into the night and this morning will be offering a 20' Down Rail, a Down Flat Down Rail, a Hitching Post Spine, a 20' Flat Rail and a Down Tower Tube. I think we can have some fun with these features.

20’ Down Rail
Down Flat Down Rail
Hitching Post Spine
20’ Flat Rail

Down Tower Tube

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Terrain Park

We will have a terrain park for opening day. As I look out my office window, I can see the Park Crew with their snowcat getting it ready. I am not sure what features will be in it, but I will try and post some pictures Friday after the park opens.

High Noon Is Ready

The cat drivers are just about done. Gerry will be in early putting a final touch on High Noon. Both the drivers and the snowmakers have done an exceptional job. The groomed surface is superb.

All kinds of stuff happens on opening day, first turns of the season, picking up your pass, joining the Mug Club, getting the latest, coolest A-Basin gear, etc. There is still construction activity in Early Riser Lot so people will have to park in High Noon or Last Chance Lots. We will be stuffing some employee vehicles in and around the construction equipment in Early Riser. Hopefully, we only have about a week of that left. Other than that, Summer is buttoned up and we are ready to roll. Let's go skiing.

See you in the morning.

Basin Faces

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Cats Are Pushing

Ace cat drivers, Scott and Gerry, came in this morning and have been pushing snow all day long. Both of these guys have been driving snow cats at The Basin for 30-35 years. We definitely have a lot of snow on High Noon. The snowmaking machines tend to make big, long piles of snow called "whales" sometimes 5-10' tall. Scott and Gerry will very methodically break down those piles spreading the snow evenly across the trail. The process is as much art as it is craft. Every time I watch them work, I am amazed at how they convert these random piles into so much skiing fun.

Welcome back guys.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Friday - Ski Day

Friday, October 13 will be opening day for the 2017-18 ski season. Our snowmaking efforts have gone very well with cold temperatures and high streamflows. I just walked High Noon. The snow coverage is really good. The snowmakers are already moving fan guns to Ramrod and Dercum's Gulch. Two snow cat drivers will be in Wednesday to start pushing the snow around. 

Welcome to ski season.

Incredible Night

The last 36 hours, especially last night, have been incredible for snowmaking.

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Very Good Day

Today was a very good day for snowmaking. The morning started out cold, snowy, overcast and windy. As the day progressed, the wind died down and the sun came out. The high temperature at mid-mountain was only 21 F. The snowmakers have capitalized on the ideal conditions. Tonight, the temperatures may drop down to single digits. We have whales. Good. Good. Good.

Snowy Morning

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday Evening Update

The Saturday night snowmaking turned out OK, actually a little better than I expected. Sunday was just a gorgeous, breezy, bluebird Colorado Fall day. I spent a little time at The Basin and had a great bike ride around Lake Dillon.

The forecast still looks strong the next few days for snowmaking. Right now the air temperatures are dropping slowly. Supposedly sometime after midnight, the air temps are supposed to nose dive and stay that way until Tuesday. Can't wait to see what morning brings.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Snowmaking Update

The snowmakers had a very productive session Friday night. The forecast for Saturday night looks so-so. Beyond that, Sunday afternoon through mid-day Tuesday looks very cold. If the forecast holds true and if all the equipment works properly, we could be sitting on a very large pile of snow by Tuesday. .............................That would be good.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Wet Bulb 23 F

The wet bulb temperature at Mid Mountain is 23 F and falling. The snowmakers just turned the system on. We are hoping and planning for a good night. We are hoping and planning for a good week. The forecast is still favorable.  Sooner or later we are going to have to start talking about getting this place open.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Basin Morning

The place looks delightfully white.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 3

Can you believe this photo was taken October 3?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Uphill Access Closed

Uphill Access is now closed and will remain closed until sometime in November. Currently, we have snowmaking equipment, power cords, hoses and fan guns scattered around the Lower Mountain. With just a bit more man man made and natural snowfall, we will have over snow equipment moving around. For safety reasons, on hill traffic doesn't mix all that well with the process of getting the place open. I appreciate your patience on this. Like you, I am excited to start skinning once more terrain opens.

On another note, last night was very good for snowmaking. Tonight we might see some good temperatures and, right now, early next week is looking very good for snowmaking.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Power / Phone / Cellular Outage

It is certainly awesome to get this much snow, but sometimes these big early or late wet storms cause utility problems. Much of Summit County has had a power outage today including A-Basin. Schools were cancelled because of the outage. Our phones, both land lines and cellular are also down. We do have some limited auxiliary power generation capabilities, but not a lot. As a result, some of  our systems are kind of working, but many of them are not. One of our webcams is updating, the others are not. Surprisingly, the blog is working. So, bear with us. We look forward to getting everything going again.      Al

My Kind Of Snowstake

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Winter Weather Advisory

Yesterday afternoon and evening's storm was kind to us. The pictures below are from the webcams this morning. We are in a Winter Weather Advisory until Monday evening with some pretty good snow expected.   ..................And we have unsettled weather forecast for a few days beyond that. Late September and early October are looking pretty good.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Hiking Out Of The Beavers And Steep Gullies

We are still getting lots of questions about hiking out of The Beavers. This is a paradigm shift for some and will take adjusting to some peoples' mindsets. For this season and for hiking out of The Steep Gullies in future seasons, hiking out of this zone is going to be much easier than it has been in the past. If you stay in-bounds, all routes eventually lead to either the Grand Portage or The Steep Gullies Hike Back Trail. The Grand Portage meets The Steep Gullies Hike Back Trail at Rendezvous Point. From Rendezvous Point, there is a relatively easy 30 minute uphill hike to the bottom of Pali Lift. For strong, fit skiers and riders, this hike will only be 15 minutes.

This new hike will be visually more appealing than hiking up to the road and hitch hiking. It will be physically much easier (no climbing up that steep, loose fill bank). It will be  logistically much easier (no hitch hiking and walking across the parking lots). It will save time and make the experience of getting back to Pali much more enjoyable.

The ski area boundary around The Beavers will be closed with the exception of a "Backcountry Access Point (BAP)" along the Western boundary above timberline. If you choose to exit the ski area boundary through the BAP, you are on your own and may want to hike up to the highway. If you stay in-bounds, you cannot cross the closed boundary. If you stay in-bounds there is no hiking up to the highway.

I know some people are adamant about continuing to hike up to the highway. I encourage you to check out this new route. You will discover how much nicer, easier and cleaner of a way it is to ski this terrain and return to Pali Lift.

From the Summit webcam this morning

Friday, September 29, 2017

Faceshot Gully

Face Shot Gully, directly West of the West Wall Saddle, is another great run out in The Beavers. The name is a common one used around here for decades. I think its origin is clear. This summer we did some minor glading in an area that was already extraordinary skiing. More good skiing and riding. Check out the old, wooden ski I found in The Gully a few years ago. I am sure there was quite a story back in the day. I am curious how old that binding is.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Somewhere Along The Colorado River

Have you ever wondered what Rio does when we are not open for skiing? Well, it turns out she is a pretty decent river dog. She stinks a bit when she is wet, but so do most of us. Between swimming, hiking and floating, she is a fun critter to hang out with.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Snowmaking Moose

Good to see a moose out there enjoying the snow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

22 F This Morning

At dawn this morning, the temperature at mid-mountain was 22 F.  The snowmakers had another good session. Getting a September snowmaking start is good. The North facing slopes are still holding snow. The forecast for the week shows a bit of rain and snow. I suspect things will just get whiter as the week goes on.

Friday, September 22, 2017

They're Back

It is that time of year. The Ski Patrol is in the midst of their annual four day refresher. They will be practicing and training emergency medicine, explosives handling and safety, lift evacuation and a variety of other tasks. While many of patrollers work at The Basin during the Summer, it is fun to catch up with those that have been working (or playing) across the country and around the world. It is good to have them back.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Disc Golf Update and Summary

Today our crack Disc Golf crew took down the course for the season. Thanks to all of you that came up and enjoyed a round or two. This Summer we added six holes giving us a total of nine. It was exciting to see the great turnout. I must say, more people showed up to play than I expected which is great. It was also great to see people not only enjoying the course, but enjoying a bite and a beverage with their friends at The 6th Alley. No promises just yet, but we are working hard on figuring out and the getting the approvals for another nine holes. Ben has a preliminary map and vision for the back nine.

Thanks again to everyone that participated.