Arapahoe Basin Ski Area chief operating officer expounds on status of possible terrain openings |

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area chief operating officer expounds on status of possible terrain openings

Woodward Copper to open North America's first superpipe of season Saturday at Copper Mountain Resort

A skier carves turns on upper-mountain terrain accessed off the Lenawee Mountain lift on Tuesday at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
Courtesy Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

DILLON — On Thanksgiving morning, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Chief Operating Officer Al Henceroth expounded on what it will take for the Continental Divide ski area to open more of its upper-mountain terrain.

In a post on his blog, Henceroth said the ski area is trying some new things this year in terms of the placement of A-Basin’s snow guns on the upper mountain. Henceroth said the ski area’s snowmakers are pleased. No matter the wind direction, the snow is ending up “somewhere useful.”

As of Thursday, Henceroth said the ski area has been making snow for three days on the upper-mountain, front-side Powerline trail off the Lenawee Mountain lift, which Henceroth said was “looking very good.” In terms of snowmaking this weekend, Henceroth said the ski area doesn’t anticipate snowmaking Friday through Sunday in order to let A-Basin’s snowmaking reservoir refill.

He said A-Basin’s ski patrol and members of Team Summit helped to sidestep Powerline and Norway last week in an attempt to compact the snow on the yet-to-open trails. 

Henceroth also said A-Basin’s snowcat operators this week began work in The Beavers terrain zone at the ski area’s front-side western boundary. He said the snowcat team made it halfway down the Beavers’ two intermediate runs, Loafer and Davis, as of Thursday morning. Henceroth said he expected that project in The Beavers to conclude by the end of the day Friday.

As for A-Basin’s back-side terrain, Henceroth said the ski area’s snowcats also are undertaking work to track-pack the main corridors of Montezuma Bowl.

“This work helps set up the snowpack, ensuring big wind events won’t carry our most precious resource eastward,” Henceroth wrote on his blog. “It’s also important to establish a consistent base so that we are ready to go once we get a real storm with good snow.

“One big storm and we’ll be able to open a lot more,” Henceroth continued. “West Wall, Grizzly Road, so much terrain is so close.”

As of Friday afternoon, before the evening storm rolled into Summit County, A-Basin reported a 19-inch base with one inch of new snow over the previous 24 hours and machine-groomed conditions. A-Basin listed 10 runs as open, including Dercum’s Gulch, Humbug and Lenawee Face off the upper-mountain, front-side terrain.

Also Friday, A-Basin announced skiers and snowboarders will be able to purchase the ski area’s Black Friday deal through Dec. 2. The deal is a four-pack of ski days for $199 with no blackout dates.

Copper superpipe opens Saturday

Woodward Copper will open the first superpipe in North America on Saturday with the opening of the Woodward Superpipe at Copper Mountain Resort’s Center Village.

The internationally acclaimed halfpipe, which is a quick hike from the base of the American Eagle lift, is free to the public to ride though its primarily for elite-level park skiers and snowboarders with extensive halfpipe experience. To put the superpipe into context, it will host the mid-December season-opening International Ski & Snowboard Federation World Cup halfpipe event: the U.S. Grand Prix.

In the social media post announcing the superpipe opening, Woodward Copper officials also said crews are blowing snow on Woodward Copper’s Central Park terrain zone between Center and West Villages to be able to open it as soon as possible.

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