Beachin’ at the Basin |

Beachin’ at the Basin

Beachin’ at the Basin. . . say these words to Summit County locals and watch their eyes light up and silly grins spread across their faces. Just what is all the smiling about? For anyone who has spent a spring in the High Country, beachin’ at Arapahoe Basin – the ski area known for staying open through mid-summer, means great snow, warm temperatures, lawn chairs, barbecues, and beer.

“Beachin’ at the Basin is a whole atmosphere where the parking lot meets the ski trails. Tail-gaters even bring palm trees and flamingos,” said Alan Henceroth, director of mountain operations at A-Basin. “The warmer it gets, the fuller the swing gets. Springtime at the Basin is a part of Summit County culture,” said Henceroth.

This year, A-Basin hopes to stay open through June or July, depending on snow conditions, according to Henceroth. The record latest closing day for the Basin is Aug. 10. The ski area encourages skiers to come out and enjoy the mountain and beach festivities, but warns the parking lot tends to fill up fast – some groups even camp out the night before to get a good space.

Summit County veteran Greg King, who moved from Vermont ten years ago, said he likes spring skiing at A-Basin for the great snow.

“I’ve skied an 11 inch powder day in June that was amazing. Hiking the west wall also takes you to some great steep runs. All the tourists have left and it’s only hard core skiers left,” said King.

Kevin Berg, who’s spending his 5th season in Summit County, said he has a particular fondness for spring at A-Basin – he celebrates his April 7 birthday there every year.

“It’s a good excuse to get some people together and ski and you meet people too because the atmosphere is so laid back,” said Berg. “I don’t think there’s anyone who’s lived here more than a season who doesn’t think of the Basin when they think of April and May.”

Renting a hot tub is a way to relax between runs and have a place for friends to congregate during a day at the Basin. Bring the camper or just a cooler, but if you haven’t experienced the Basin in spring you’re missing out.

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