The snowmaking machines are ready to roll and [R20R, Arapahoe Basin] is anxious to get the season going. They never know when the snowmaking machines will get fired up,but everyone in Summit County is crossing their fingers for an early opening.


A-Basin cranked up their snow guns for the first time on 9.29.11. Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Trembearth/Arapahoe Basin.

“We need a cold night with low humidity. We can start blowing snow at anytime if the weather will cooperate,” Arapahoe Basin Spokesperson Leigh Hierholzer said.

Last year’s opening date was Oct. 25.

“It has been as early as Oct.9 in 2009. We’re hoping for sometime between the second and third week in October,” Hierholzer said.


The snow guns were ablazin' at A-Basin on 9.29.11. Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Trembearth/Arapahoe Basin.

The new addition to A-Basin this year isn’t necessarily glamorous—the resort is getting 225 new parking spots above the Last Chance lot across from the CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) Barn.

“People have been trying to park further down on the highway towards Keystone so this should really help alleviate the pressure to do that,” Hierholzer said.

Another successful addition last season was the new Black Mountain Express. It was the first year for the high-speed quad which uploaded skiers and riders out of the base area.

“It was very well received, especially for beginners and intermediates," Hierholzer said. "It’s just so much easier to load and unload. Plus we used it for our nighttime dinners.”

The Full Moon Snowshoe Dinners are a huge hit throughout the season. The evening begins with a ride up the Black Mountain Express to the Black Mountain Lodge. Guests enjoy cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres, followed by a themed dinner, and entertainment by local musicians. Dinners are themed from mountain regions around the world, such as Dinner in the Dolomites, Under a Fuji Full Moon, a Night in the French Alps and a German Feast. The evening ends with a lift ride down, or light snowshoe or hike down to the base area.

Full Moon Snowshoe Dinners sell out quickly and can be purchased here.