A-Basin, CO May 12, 2024

EMSC

Well-known member
Unplanned day of mostly powder.

I had expected to maybe audible for a Friday ski day with 6-12" forecast but that storm hit further south with 2-3x that snowfall amount... unfortunately with all the southern resorts long since closed. Ironically the 1-3" that did hit central mtns apparently drifted into favored pockets of boot top deep at Loveland and the Basin with almost no skiers (which I didn't find out until later).

Anyway ABasin had like a foot or so earlier in the week, plus cooler than normal temps all the way through until an un-forecast 10" fell overnight sat into Sunday.

I didn't check the report until nearly 7am so didn't exactly get out of the house quickly. Cloudy to start, then way too sunny but a really fun morning with the new snow eventually getting too heavy by ~12:30p. Zuma was on wind hold which seemed strange as only the upper few hundred verts of the ridge lines had wind and 'only' ~20MPH. Also East Wall never opened either which was the real disappointment. In fact I swear that I heard explosions in the AM on the steep gullies even though they are already closed for the season. For certain it was not till noon that patrol even started working on the upper East wall terrain with some very loud blasts.

The 10" of new snow was wintery top to bottom at first with a slow then quicker rise in temps turning it denser and eventually incredibly hard to ski mank and sticky spots. 29F when I arrived and parked in a very respectable middle of the main lot (not first chance lot, the main lot across the road). I think it was approaching 40F by the time I left ~2:30p.

And if anyone couldn't tell which side of the powder vs spring snow debate that I'm on... Well, just check my recent spring TRs :)

I totally forgot to switch on GPS on my watch until I had already done 2 laps in the trees on Pali. The rest of my laps are this track.
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Pali
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Pali early
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Heading to Beavers lift where I spent the largest portion of the day. Last day of operation for Beavers too, due to too many staff moving on to their summer gigs...
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And then came the Sun.
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lots of lightly tracked if you know where to go... even at 11:30a
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Vs no pow for those staying in obvious spots...
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I swear they only got the East Wall to sluff so much due to waiting until temps had significantly warmed. If it had been opened first thing it would have been fun powder skiing and well controlled by the warm up. Shortly after bombing began at noon:
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A couple hours later with more bombing:
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About 1:30p a patroller up top saying work still going on in Zuma...
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Very clumpy dense snow on Pali Main Street ~2p. Skiing wasn't actually too bad, but it was significantly tiring work by that point.
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Coming down International for my final run.
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Crazy how fast the parking lot emptied out. This was only 2:15p. Good amount of cars for mid-May, only the final overflow lot didn't get used.
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Snowbanks on Loveland Pass are holding onto winter nicely. Will be surprised if ABasin doesn't extend their season a bit given current base depths and coverage.
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Impressive for mid-May. Especially the snowbanks.

A-Basin has done an excellent job modernizing itself. Are almost all the lifts less than 20 years old?

The Beavers sector looks to have nice trees ( I have not been since addition). Are they pretty well-spaced? Skiable without new snow?

I totally forgot to switch on GPS on my watch until I had already done 2 laps in the trees on Pali. The rest of my laps are this track.

What app do you use? Or is it a Garmin-type watch?
 
Are almost all the lifts less than 20 years old?
Yes. Zuma is the oldest lift there and only like ~17 or so years old.

What app do you use? Or is it a Garmin-type watch?
I have not used any phone based apps for resort skiing, only the Avenza maps GPS tracking for Mustang Powder. Part of that was/is the reputation of so many GPS apps to suck down the battery on phones which I'm also using for pics, communication, etc... My watch (bought just a couple months ago) is a Garmin that is just easier to access and use and pretty decent on battery life - with only one ski day using GPS, it'll still last ~week on a charge. If I used the GPS for skiing every day it would probably only last ~3 days of battery. But still way better than so many smart watches.
 
Garmin that is just easier to access and use and pretty decent on battery life - with only one ski day using GPS, it'll still last ~week on a charge

I am lucky to get one day - maybe 36 hours - with my iWatch.

I also have a Tag Hueur watch with automatic movement charging. Supposedly, I should have a reserve of 48 hours, but not in actuality.

Basically, both watches die after 24 hours, and my iPhone can survive longer.
 
Vertechs are long out of production but a guy in NorCal can maintain or repair them. Does Suunto still make altimeter watches? I'm under the impression the new ones are all battery gobbling GPS.
 
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