Araphoe Basin extends Colorado ski season to June 12 with top-to-bottom terrain
Summer at the Basin
Just because the chairlifts will finally stop spinning doesn’t mean Arapahoe Basin goes into hibernation until October. Here’s a look at the activities, events and more coming to the foot of the Divide this summer.
June 4 — Spring Concert Series featuring Whitewater Ramble
June 5 — Springs Concert Series featuring High Five
July 1 — 6th Avenue Bar reopens for summer (11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fri-Mon)
July 14 — Yoga on the Mountain
Aug. 21 — Summit Challenge Trail Run and barbecue
Aug. 21 — Sunday Barbecue and Tunes at Black Mountain Lodge
Sept. 11 — Clam Bake and Lobster Boil
Don’t break out the storage wax just yet.
Earlier this week, Arapahoe Basin breathed an extra weekend of life into the Colorado ski season with one final extension. After 220 days of continuous operation — from opening day on Oct. 29 to the original closing day on June 5 — the ski area will re-open from Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12, with top-to-bottom service on Black Mountain Express and Lenawee Mountain lifts. Beach parking is first come, first served the final weekend, and uphill access is restricted to Friday, Saturday and Sunday outside of operating hours (access very limited when lifts are spinning).
As usual this time of year — remember: June 12 is a solid two months after most other stateside resorts shut for the season — don’t expect any beginner terrain. It’s all blues and blacks and slush the whole way down. That includes the terrain park.
“This spring has been perfect for maintaining our snow surface in terms of the temperatures and timing of our snowfall,” said Alan Henceroth, the chief operating officer for A-Basin. “I am excited that we’re able to offer skiing and snowboarding to our guests well into June.”
The skiing and riding might even be pretty good. On June 1, A-Basin’s base was 50 inches, and the majority of frontside terrain was still open. Henceroth says cool and overcast conditions this May have protected the snow, which means there are still hardly any slush pockets or puddles until you reach the lower third of the mountain. Even Lake Reveal remains hidden.
But, that hasn’t quelled the summer skiing fever.
“The best thing about this season is that people are still excited,” A-Basin communications director Adrienne Saia Isaac said shortly after the announcement on Wednesday. “We’ve had great turnout the last few weekends in May, and, even though we always shoot for the first weekend in June for closing, this time around it just felt too early.”
Before then, A-Basin is open daily until June 5, with service on Black Mountain, Lenawee and, if all goes as planned, Montezuma Express. The lifts re-open on June 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for the final weekend. Only full-day tickets are available for the extra weekend ($57 adult, $47 youth, $34 child, $25 senior). A small selection of guest services, including the rental shop and pass office, are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. So yes, you can still rent skis this late in the season, but no, you won’t be able to take them on the bunny slope at Molly Hogan.
You also won’t be able to get a drink at 6th Alley Bar and Grill. Beginning early next week, A-Basin is digging into a round of renovations at the fabled hideout in the base area A-frame. This means all services — the bar, food court and lower restrooms — will be off-limits to skiers for the final weekend.
“People ask us every year if we’re closing for construction, and no, it really is the snow (conditions) every year except for this year,” Saia Isaac said. The A-frame will re-open for summer events and service on weekends only from July 1 to Sept. 5, with bar and food services from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You will, however, be able to get a drink, bite and potentially free live music at Black Mountain Lodge during the extended weekend. The lodge is open all three days from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., complete with barbecue on the deck and restrooms. Live music is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a band to be determined.
‘The extension weekend is all about saying goodbye to the season,” Saia Isaac said. “There won’t be a wild festival or anything else, but it’s going to be a good time.”
For more info about the extended weekend, including ticket pricing and services, see http://www.arapahoebasin.com/extendedweekend.
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