Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to start up its upgraded Lenawee Express lift on Friday, Dec. 16

More terrain is coming at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area just in time for the weekend. According to a news release from an A-Basin spokesperson, the ski area will begin operating its Lenawee Express lift shortly after 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 16. 

The high-speed, six-person chairlift will be operated seven days a week, thereby opening access to several upper-mountain runs including Humbug, Dercum’s Gulch, Lenawee Face, Lenawee Parks, Powerline, Cornice Run and West Wall. 

The lift’s previous nine-minute ride has been shortened to four minutes thanks to the upgrade. Guests can expect the loading and unloading process, and the terminal locations, to be similar to how they were before. Plus, the upgrade means the system will have to stop less frequently. However, the release explained that since the lift is almost entirely above tree line, Lenawee is still susceptible to brief pauses because of A-Basin’s high-Alpine winds.

The opening of the lift means that all of the ski area’s lifts will be in operation except for Zuma, which serves the south-facing back bowl.

The release also explains that Lenawee is critical infrastructure because it travels from mid-mountain to the summit of A-Basin’s lift-served terrain at 12,456 feet. It serves a significant portion of the ski area — including The East Wall, Montezuma Bowl, upper-mountain frontside intermediate runs and The Beavers.

It also provides quick access to A-Basin’s two, upper-mountain restaurants, Il Rifugio and Steilhang. Steilhang Hut, a German restaurant, will open for lunch on Saturday, Dec. 17, according to the release. 

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