Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Logging Questions

I had some good questions about environmental impacts. When we decide to do a project, there are impacts. We search for ways to minimize those impacts while still meeting our major objective of creating an incredible place for people to ski. 

We could have proposed 10 major trails. Instead we proposed a couple of modest trails and some good glade skiing. We are removing trees, but we are removing far fewer trees than if we had done a conventional ski trail design.

We could have put many machines on the ground (and tearing up the ground) for several months removing the logs. Instead we had loggers go in on foot and drop the trees and we are using a helicopter for about three weeks to remove the logs. Yes, the helicopter uses fuel, but way less fuel than covering the ground with machines.

We could have left the logs on the ground, but that would have been very messy and the skiing would not be so good.

So.....we are going to create opportunities for great experiences. Yes there are impacts, but we are making them as small as we reasonably can.

Chipping in Progress

Monday, August 28, 2017

Found Ski In Beaver Bowl

This afternoon I found a ski at the very bottom of Beaver Bowl. It is a 163 cm Volkl Aura with Dynafit bindings. It has a little rust on the edges, but appears to be in pretty good shape. It doesn't look like it has been out there too long. Let me know if it is yours.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Norway / Powerline Snowmaking

Earlier this summer, our snowmaking team installed a new 600' snowmaking pipeline.  The pipeline has two shelters and a total of four new hydrants. Alongside the pipeline, they installed an electrical line to spin the fan guns. Two of the hydrants are on Lower Powerline and the other two hydrants are on Norway. We have made snow in these areas in the past, but it has involved dragging hundreds of feet of hoses and power cords to run one fan gun. Now we can run four fan guns over there, making more snow in a shorter period of time and, generally, being much more effective and much more efficient with our time and resources.

The pipeline itself was laid right in our Summer Service Road so we did not have to tear up any virgin ground.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Where Do The Trees Go?

As you can see, the trees are starting to pile up in the Early Riser Lot. Our contractors will process the wood products. Some of the trees have merchantable value as saw logs. Those logs will leave the ski area heading for a sawmill in Western Colorado. The material that has no merchantable value as saw logs will be chipped and shipped, probably, to Gypsum to be used in the new Biomass Power Plant to generate electricity.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Heli Logging

The heli-logging has begun. The loggers have been working on Loafer, Davis, the Hike Back and the Lift Line. We are trying to have as small of an impact on the ground as we can. Accessing these areas with vehicles is extremely difficult and, since we did not build any roads, can really tear the ground up. So to minimize those impacts, the loggers put the trees on the ground, the helicopter is picking them up and flying them to the base area. It is an expensive, but very effective process with the smallest impacts. Once the logs are removed, we will flush cut the stumps and, either scatter the slash or pile and burn it. As needed, spots will be re-seeded with native vegetation.

It is an exciting show to watch and will be going on for a while. Sitting on the 6th Alley deck and checking it out could be a good weekend activity.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Beaver Bowl

Beaver Bowl is an exciting chunk of terrain in our "NEW" Beavers area. I say new because it has been considered part of the ski area in the past. Below is a trail map from 1958. Unfortunately, the resolution is not great. If you look at the far right side of the map you can see #13. The key identifies #13 as Beaver Pond Run.  I have other maps, one dating to the 1940's that also identify Beaver Pond Run. If you ski the line outlined as #13, you eventual end up in the beavers ponds in the valley bottom. 

In the early days of Arapahoe Basin, the concept of exact ski area boundaries was different than it is today, but the Beaver Pond Run has been an integral part of The Basin since the beginning, 70 years ago. Over time, the name has been shortened to simply The Beavers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2016 Sustainability Report

Attached is the link to our 2016 Sustainability Report. The report outlines our environmental policies, shares our tracking of the resources we use, lists our goals and initiatives, and highlights recent energy savings projects. I am particularly excited to see a trending decline in electricity consumption. With heating controls and more solar panels scheduled for installation this summer, I anticipate that usage to further decline.

Whether you are a passionate environmentalist, a numbers geek or simply an A-Basin fanatic, I strongly encourage you to review the report and check out what we are up to.

Monday, August 21, 2017

New Mugs

The Food and Beverage team is finalizing the design for next  season's Mug Club. It won't be long until the new mugs are on site. There just might be a beaver on that mug. That means it is time to swing in and pick up last season's mug. Please try and get yours by Labor Day. Thanks.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Local Brew Fest

We are just winding down our first Summer Local Brew Fest. Oakhurst delivered a great show on the stage. Upslope, Crooked Stave, Great Divide, Odell and Outer Ranger Brewing Companies provided the beverages.  A good time was had by all listening to music, eating and drinking, riding Black Mountain Express, hiking, playing disc golfing and hanging out in the mountains.

A Summer event at The Basin won't be like 4th of July in Frisco or Oktoberfest in Breckenridge. Those are great events, but a Summer A-Basin event will be a much lower keyed affair in a much mellower place. If that appeals to you, consider visiting us in the Summer.

Hope you can join us Monday to watch the eclipse.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Trail Map

The new trail map is here !!! The new trail map is here !!! The new trail map is here !!! We have some beautiful, new artwork that includes The Beavers and The Steep Gullies. This map also includes the new trail names. We chose these names for a variety of reasons. A couple of the more commons names, Marmot and Ptarmigan, were chosen because those two specific areas are crawling with marmots and ptarmigan. Some of the trail names like Beaver Bowl, The Steep Gullies and Christmas Trees are nomenclature that has been used to describe these same areas for years. Other names, like Loafer, Davis, Bailey Brothers and Alex, have significant historical meaning for The Basin. In the coming weeks and months, I will share specific details about what some of these names mean.

The map can be found at the link below. This map is very specifically for the 2017/18 season and does not include the chairlift that will be installed for the 2018/19 season. For the 2017/18 season, all the areas in The Beavers and Steep Gullies require a hike at the end of the ski.

Trail Map

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Just A Little White

It wasn't very much. It didn't last very long. It has already melted. It is not unusual in August, but this morning we were greeted with just a little bit of white stuff high on the East Wall.

Don't panic. Summer isn't over. We have a couple of great events in the next week, the "Local Brewfest" Saturday and an "Eclipse Party" Monday. These little, late Summer weather events remind us to savor these warm days and realize.................it won't be long.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Solar Eclipse At The Basin - FREE CHAIRLIFT RIDES

The solar eclipse is coming soon, Monday, August 21. Sounds like there are going to be some crazy, fun, busy times up in central Wyoming where there will be a total solar eclipse. At The Basin we will experience a partial eclipse with 92% of the sun covered at about 11:45 AM.

If you are not heading to Wyoming, you should grab your eclipse glasses and head to The Basin. You can hang in the base area, wander up the hill, take a free chairlift ride, hike down the Argentine North Fork trail to the base area or head to The Summit. Somewhere in there you can grab a bite and a beer at The 6th Alley.

And yes, we are offering FREE CHAIRLIFT RIDES for the eclipse from 9:30 to 2:30 on Monday, August 21.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

PHQ Progress

We have made some progress with the Patrol Headquarters remodel. The foundation is complete and back-filled. The slabs are poured. This week the framing begins.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Bald Spot

The Bald Spot is a unique zone in our Beavers Project. The terrain is very comparable to the Lower Alleys in terms of pitch, size and vertical drop. It is located about 500 feet W-NW of the bottom terminal of the proposed Beavers Lift. With an approximately 250 vertical foot drop, most of the terrain is located at an elevation below the bottom of The Beavers Lift. It will have its own designated access gate(s) and when finished skiing these great little steeps, one will have to hike up to either the bottom of The Beavers Lift or traverse East and hike to Pallavicini Lift.

Another really sweet nugget.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Moose On Pali

Walking up the valley floor below Pali Lift, I stumbled upon a moose this afternoon. She was chomping on the willows in the Pali run-out zone. Now I always enjoy seeing moose, but one of my objectives is to see them from as far away as possible. Hence, the blurry top photo. I was not about to sneak up close enough to get a crystal clear shot with the iPhone. For perspective on the bottom photo, the moose is in the lower, left corner.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Skiing

This is what some of the skiing will look like in The Beavers.

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Little Smokey

Yesterday I went for a little walk-about in the Lower Alleys, Waterfall, Gauthier zone. Pretty rugged, but a great place to be. The afternoon weather was kind of strange. It was very hazy. I think it was smoke from far away fires. There were constant on and off showers. Each one lasted about the time it took me to put on my rain coat. Another special walk at The Basin.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Birdies, Bogeys and Bloodies

Saturday, a new event, Birdies, Bogeys and Bloodies. Activities include a Disc Golf Tournament, live music with P-Nuckle, BBQ from Chefs Rybak and Vlass, vodka tasting, hiking, yard games, FREE CHAIRLIFT RIDES and, simply, your really fun, A-Basin small festival type of atmosphere.

If you play disc, go to the website, get all the details and register online. Walk-ups are welcome.

If you don't play disc, come up anyway and join the fun.

The Summit Stage will be running between 10:00 and 3:30 from River Run at Keystone to The Basin

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Riding Pali In Summer

This Summer our crews are taking advantage of riding Pali Lift to access the terrain they working on in The Beavers. It has been a fun ride checking out all the ski lines we slide down in Winter. Deer hang out under the lift not bothered as folks pass overhead. A couple of small snowfields persist high on The Face. A great place to spend time.