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Are you ready for Zuma Bowl?

More terrain opening at A-Basin

'Zuma powder. bberwyn photo.

‘Zuma powder. bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Colorado powder seekers will line up for the rope drop at A-Basin’s Montezuma Bowl today, with steady early season snowfall ensuring plenty of freshies on the resort’s backside.

This season’s opening comes a month earlier than last year, and the resort announced that several intermediate runs will be open and groomed from top to bottom, including Columbine and Larkspur. Some of the favored tree-skiing stashes will also open, including Miner’s Glade.

More trail openings will be announced on the Arapahoe Basin Facebook page as well as Al’s Blog as they occur.



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Arapahoe Basin moving ahead with Beavers expansion

Open house set for Dec. 3


Arapahoe Basin is moving ahead with an expansion plan that would add more than 400 acres of terrain in the Beavers area.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Arapahoe Basin and the U.S. Forest Service are moving ahead with the first formal step in the review process for a significant expansion at Summit County’s oldest ski area.

Adding a lift the Beavers area, west of existing lift-served terrain at the area, would mitigate public safety issues and enhance A-Basin’s reputation as a destination for advanced skiers, the Forest Service said in its scoping notice for the plan. Altogether, the Beavers expansion would add about 430 acres, including 125 acres of tree skiing.

The ski area also wants to expand its reservoir for snowmaking water, add a short surface lift to ease access to Montezuma Bowl and replace the Molly Hogan lift in the beginner area, as well as remove the seldom-used Norway chair and plan for potential zip line installations to enhance summer recreation. Continue reading

Morning photo: Best of the week


A-Basin powder!

A-Basin powder!

FRISCO —Even though spring started a few days ago, snow scenes were the highlight of the week as far as photography. A chilly storm dropped one of the biggest single-storm totals of the year on Summit County, leading to some fantastic ski conditions and beautiful winter landscapes around the area. More importantly, the snow will help to at least take the sharpest edge of what was looking to be a continuing drought. We’re not out of the woods yet, but even with average snowfall the next few weeks, Denver Water is saying there’s an 80 percent chance Dillon Reservoir could fill completely this summer. Even if you’re ready for daffodils and tulips, it’s probably a good idea to keep doing those snow dances!
Continue reading

Colorado skiing: Catch a free ride to the slopes Dec. 15


The Front Range Ski Bus at Keystone Resort. Photo courtesy FRSB.

Local bus company offering a free demo day; season bus passes, four-packs and discounted ski tix also available

SUMMIT COUNTY — Who say’s there’s no free ride?

To celebrate the start of full winter operations, Front Range Ski Bus is running a free bus from Denver up to A-Basin, Keystone, Loveland and Copper next weekend, right after what looks to be one of the first real snowy and wintry weeks of the season.

The bus has already been running on a limited schedule and will start operating four days per week (Thursday – Sunday) on Dec. 14, with basic round trip tickets for $35, down from $39 last year.

“Riding the bus up to the slopes is a great way to make new ski and snowboard friends before you even get to the slopes,” said  said chief marketing officer Martin Beran, who frequently rides the bus to ride up at A-Basin. “It’s a relaxing way to get up to the mountains.” he said. “This day is a great way for Denver residents to try out Denver’s best ski bus service without spending a dime.” Continue reading

Skiing: A-Basin eyes lift-served skiing in the Beavers, zipline tour as part of a master plan update

Pali Powder at A-Basin.

Ski area hosting Aug. 29 open house to share 10-year vision with community

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — With major projects like Montezuma Bowl, Black Mountain Lodge and a new patrol headquarter all done, Arapahoe Basin is looking toward updating its master plan.

The long-term future could include a zipline tour to help boost summer business, as well as a potential expansion of lift-served skiing into the Beavers, just west of the existing Pali terrain.

The alpine terrain of the Beavers area has long been a favorite stash of sidecountry skiers who use A-Basin’s lifts to gain altitude, then leave the ski area through a backcountry access point to reach the area, subsequently skiing back down to Highway 6.

A-Basin general manager and COO Alan Henceroth said the project could include figuring out a way for skiers to traverse back to the base of Pali from the bottom of the Beavers. Read Henceroth’s blog post about the master plan here.

Other enhancements could include a surface lift to ease the trip from the top of Lenawee to Montezuma Bowl, as well as an upping water storage for snowmaking. Continue reading

Morning photo: Wintry weekend

Winter-fresh in Summit County

A-Basin in a fresh 8-inch coat of powder.

SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s looking about as wintry as it has all year, with fresh snow coating the slopes of local resorts Saturday morning and more in the forecast. Here’s how it looked early in the weekend.

Searching for a buried avalanche transceiver during A-Basin's Beacon Bowl.

Continue reading

Steep shots: Skiing confidence helps in other parts of life

Emily Palm is back in the saddle with a new column about on-mountain confidence.

By Emily Palm

Last Sunday after the coldest (and first) chairlift ride of the day  at Arapahoe Basin, I caught an edge and found myself skidding down the icy top of Pallavicini’s cornice. I’d never slid so far before self-arresting, catching myself just before the drop into The Spine.

Despite intellectually knowing that falling is an integral part of trying and that my tumble was low-consequence (had I not caught myself, I most likely would have slid to a non-icy spot to more easily stop), it certainly shook my confidence first thing. Rebuilding the assurance necessary to charge down the hill, drop that knee, and have fun playing with the mountain got me thinking about the vital role confidence holds in skiing.

To clarify, confidence is not recklessness. Sometimes the latter mingles with bravado and muddies our perceptions of what it means to extend beyond our comfort zones. Rather, self-assurance in our abilities — and taking calculated risks that lead toward growth — is what I’m talking about here. In this regard, skiing changed my life, as lessons learned on the slopes can’t help but transfer to daily existence. Continue reading

A-Basin to host backcountry companion rescue class

A participant in last year's Beacon Bowl at A-Basin whips out an avalanche probe pole to try and pinpoint a buried target. Avy experts say practicing companion rescues in scenarios that simulate challenging backcountry conditions is important.

Practicing companion rescues in scenarios that simulate challenging backcountry conditions is important

By Bob Berwyn

*Visit the CAIC home page for links to more information and registration

SUMMIT COUNTY — Knowing how to identify avalanche-prone terrain and recognize the potential for slides is a big part of the backcountry safety equation. But dozens of times each winter, that knowledge isn’t enough. Even backcountry veterans sometimes experience that heart-stopping moment when the world gives way beneath their feet as a seemingly solid snowpack falls apart.

Sometimes it forms a blinding cloud of powder that can blast down the mountain at 150 mph. Other times, the snow can move in grinding refrigerator-size chunks. In either case, if you or one of your companions is buried, most of that snow science goes out the window as you switch to search and rescue mode. How you react in those critical first few minutes may well determine whether that person lives or dies.

But do you know exactly what to do? Your heart is pounding as you switch your beacon from transmit to receive, and even after you’ve wiped the snow from your goggles, you’re still not exactly how many people are buried, and how many are available to search, probe and dig. Continue reading

Colorado: Deals on ski, snowboard lessons in January

Improve your skills with special deals from Colorado ski areas during January, tabbed as Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month by Colorado Ski Country USA.

Colorado resorts offer special promotions for Learn to Ski month

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The future economic health of the ski industry hinges partially on the retention of beginning skiers and snowboarders who are trying out the sport for the first time.Enthusiastic skiers and riders who return year after year form a strong core for the market, but it’s critical to keep new skiers coming and make sure they enjoy it enough to keep returning.

One of the best ways to do that is to help them get to the point that they can explore the mountain beyond the bunny hill safely. Colorado resorts are among the leaders when it comes to offering great lesson packages and the member resorts of Colorado Ski Country USA will focus on that goal in January, during Learn to Ski Month, with reduced prices and special programs for skiers and riders who want to improve their skills.

“Colorado resorts have always been committed to providing a top-notch ski experience for beginners,” said Melanie Mills, CSCUSA president and CEO. “Learning to ski or snowboard is a part of our heritage, and we and our resorts want to encourage one and all to give skiing or snowboarding a try. The deals and packages our resorts offer are a great way to hit the slopes and learn the ropes.” Continue reading

Skiing: Exuberance in the fall line

The kid at A-Basin.

Ski teacher tricks pay off in teaching offspring

By Bob Berwyn

A few days ago, during my first early morning scan of the news on Twitter, I saw a photo of the train station in the Austrian town of Bischofshofen, posted by a fellow who apparently travels extensively around his home country by rail, providing links to information about interesting art and historic exhibitions.

The train station is no big deal — just a few sets of tracks and platforms — but the backdrop, consisting of the massive Dachstein, is sublime and the scene instantly brought back an avalanche of memories. It was here, back in the late 1970s, that I took a rigorous week-long ski instructor training course as a first stepping stone toward what I thought would be a lifelong on-mountain career. It didn’t quite turn out that way. I did teach skiing for several seasons, but discovered along the way that, as a ski instructor, I didn’t really get to ski as much as I thought I would. Continue reading


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