Sunday, February 22, 2009

Arapahoe Basin

After fighting I-70 the day before, I decided to leave the house at 6 am instead of 7. This put me up at A-Basin a little bit too early. Luckily they opened the lifts at 8:30. To start the day I took the Pallavicini Lift to Pali Face. This run has some nice steep bumps. I missed the Radical and Standard runs, but had fun on Powderkeg, Wildcat, and South-Chute. Photos 1 and 2 give you a view of the upper front side of the mountain.

A-Basin causes you to do a bit of hiking everywhere. If you just ride the Montezuma Lift you are forced to hike a couple hundred yards to reach the Zuma Cornice and the double black runs off the backside. A better strategy is to alternate from front to back. Ride the Lenawee Lift which will get you higher and you can avoid removing your skis to get to the Zuma Cornice (photo 3 with Keystone and Breckenridge in the distance). Then ride the Zuma Lift and take Falcon or the Half Moon Glades.

I had the most fun on Schauffler and Groswald. These runs are very steep but open allowing you to choose your line. At the bottom I had fun on Eureka: a short run through the trees. The Torreys and Grays runs look a lot longer on the map than I found them to be. I was hoping for more tree skiing. Maybe I missed something.

Later in the day I took Exhibition which is a great mogul run right under the lift. I was a bit tired so didn't display my best exhibition to the folks on the lift. I ended the day with a nice little blue find called North-Fork. It makes a nice combo with the TB Glade which offers easy tree skiing.

I like A-Basin for its easy access. You can park right on the slope and have a BBQ. Of course you must arrive early to get a spot in the "Early Riser" lot. The snow was mostly very packed which was the only downside for the day. I guess I could have crossed the highway and gone off-piste. Check out the nice carvings in the last photo.

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