Arapahoe Basin Ski Area concludes strong year of snowmaking, opens Steep Gullies |

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area concludes strong year of snowmaking, opens Steep Gullies

This photo showcases snowmaking efforts on Arapahoe Basin Ski Area's intermediate, lower-mountain "Ramrod" run in late October.
Courtesy Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Wednesday marked the end of this winter’s snowmaking efforts at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

A-Basin chief operating officer Alan Henceroth said in a post on his blog on Wednesday morning that Dec. 31 is the last day the ski area is allowed to divert water from its snowmaking source. As a result, the diversion point to the reservoir was plugged earlier this week. A-Basin on Wednesday was finishing using the last water remaining in its reservoir for snowmaking.

Henceroth continued to describe this winter’s snowmaking season as one that got off to a “dubious start.” That said, he further described the three-plus months of snowmaking as “great.”

“With last summer being so dry,” Henceroth said on his blog. “We were very concerned with the amount of water that we would have in the North Fork of the Snake (River). That awesome November snowfall was a tremendous help, raising stream flows and putting snow on the ground. On top of that, the snowmakers did great work and really spread the man-made snow wisely. They made ‘just enough’ snow in the places we needed snow.”

Steep Gullies open

A-Basin on Wednesday also announced the season opening to its Steep Gullies terrain.

The Steep Gullies is regarded as some of the most extreme and advanced in the state.

The terrain is accessible via the extreme double black-diamond Pali Cornice run off of the top of the Pallavicini Lift, though the bottom of the Steep Gullies terrain is not serviced by a chairlift. Rather, skiers and riders are required to complete a 20-to-30-minute hike back to the Pallavicini Chairlift from the bottom of the Steep Gullies.

As of Wednesday afternoon, A-Basin has opened nearly all of its skiable terrain outside of the extreme, double black-diamond East Wall, which has yet to open for public skiing and riding this season.

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