Record-breaking April snowfall helps set stage for late-season turns
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — With the snowpack in the upper Snake River Basin nearly double the average for this time of year, A-Basin is going to extend its season well into June, and possibly through the Fourth of July, according to chief operating officer and vice president Alan Henceroth. More details on late-season operations here.
Full operations will end June 5 as planned, but the ski area will re-open for at least two subsequent three-day weekends, June 10, 11 and 12, and June 17, 18 and 19, Henceroth wrote in a May 13 blog post.
Skiing will start at 8:30 a.m. The Black Mountain Express will close at 2 p.m. and Lenawee will close at 2:30 p.m. For now, Henceroth said it’s still to early to say whether the Basin will be able to stay open through Independence Day.
“Well, we would like to be open on the 4th, but it is still a little too early to make that call. Please be patient on that one. We are excited about the great snow season and are very excited to be open for extra skiing and riding in June.” Henceroth wrote.
As of May 14, A-Basin was reporting a 90-inch base with 8 inches of snow in the past three days and six of seven lifts operating and nearly all terrain open, including Montezuma Bowl and the East Wall.
A-Basin had record-breaking April snowfall, with 87 inches for the month, or 162 percent of average. As of May 1, season snowfall totaled 405 inches, which is 130 percent of average for that date. According to Henceroth, the snowiest month on record for A-Basin was January 1996, with 136 inches of snow. As recently as April 30, A-Basin was reporting a 102-inch base.
Recent seasons when skiing extended to early July include 1993, 1995, 1996, and 1997.
Late season operations are dependent on snow conditions, and in 2006, in response to a query from users on the EpicSki.com forum, Henceroth said his ski area has had a much harder time maintaining adequate coverage in recent years.
Here’s what he had to say:
“I am not sure of your position on Global Warming and Climate Change. Whether you buy into or not, there is no question that we have a much harder time keep the snow in a quality condition during the summer months now that we did in the mid-nineties. What was relatively easy to do then has proven to much more difficult in the years since.”
In any case, the Basin will be rockin’ the next few weekends, with the Hazel Miller Band on May 21, Coral Creek on May 28 and the Festival of the Brewpubs on May 29. Click here to see A-Basin’s event calendar.
Filed under: Arapahoe Basin, climate and weather, Colorado, global warming, La Niña, Ski Resorts, skiing and riding, snow, Snow and weather, Summit County news, Summit County snow and weather Tagged: | A-Basin 2011 closing date, A-Basin Fourth of July skiing, Arapahoe Basin extends season, Colorado 2010-2011 ski season, Colorado skiing, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Summit County skiing