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Need Info on A-Basin [for May 4-6]

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So I'm heading out to A-Bay from NY to ski Sat/Sun and Monday.  It's my first trip out West and I can't wait to finally see what skiing at a big Western mountain is all about.  Biggest for me so far is Killington and I guess Whiteface.

 

I have a few questions:

 

First on the weather:  Checking wundergound it says temps will be in the 60' and 70's but the A-Bay website and weather.com says it will be in the 30's.  Which one should I believe?  How can I expect to dress?  I'm bringing cold weather gear but will I also be okay with just a hoodie and a base layer underneath?

 

Second, I'm doing the three day pass with 15 dollar food vouchers for each day ($150).  Where should I eat on the mountain?  What stays open after the lifts close if I wanna have something to eat and a drink too?

 

Third and most important, skiing:  I consider myself an advanced/intermediate with flashes of expert sprinkled in every now and then.  Have skiied some NE trees and am a decent bump skiier under the right conditions.  I know A-Bay just got 4 inches or so and most of the Mountain is still open but given the Spring conditions and my complete virginity to Western mountains I want to push myself and have fun but stay away from something too dangerous for me.  Can anyone recommend some steeps (bowls), bumps, and glades that I can do that provide some challenge, are still in good condition but are not the exteme-end of expert-level skiing.

 

Last, traveling with skis.  I have a High Sierra luggage bag and am flying US Airways.  Looks like US Airways counts skis as checked luggage with all the associated fees (I think $50 for one pair).  Is tehre any problem checking skis on a plane or is there a better, safer, and cheaper route?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 13

Jealous!  Can't help with A-Basin, but have flown a fair amount with skis.  Checking skis works out fine, assuming you have them padded well in a soft case.  Note that skis, like golf bags, are not generally considered oversized.

 

I always carry my boots with me on a plane, along with ski clothes for a day just in case my checked luggage doesn't arrive with me.  I've taken short trips where I've left my skis at home and paid for demo skis instead.  But this late in the season, the selection might be thin.

 

Way more than you want to know about ski boots and planes in this Beginner Zone thread:

http://www.epicski.com/t/89557/ski-boots-on-plane-flights

Quote:
Originally Posted by hespeler View Post

So I'm heading out to A-Bay from NY to ski Sat/Sun and Monday.  It's my first trip out West and I can't wait to finally see what skiing at a big Western mountain is all about.  Biggest for me so far is Killington and I guess Whiteface.

. . .

 

Last, traveling with skis.  I have a High Sierra luggage bag and am flying US Airways.  Looks like US Airways counts skis as checked luggage with all the associated fees (I think $50 for one pair).  Is tehre any problem checking skis on a plane or is there a better, safer, and cheaper route?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #3 of 13

Rule #1: don't call it "A-Bay". nonono2.gif  "A-Basin" or "the Basin" are OK.

 

I get my forecasts for that area from here.  When you look for forecasts around here, be sure you get one for the right elevation - A-Basin ranges from about 10,500' to 13K, and it will be colder and windier than Keystone, Frisco, or Silverthorne.  It looks like the temps will be upper 30's/low 40's during that period with intermittent clouds and snow sprinkles.  Not really full-on spring conditions, so leave the shorts at home. wink.gif  I'd probably wear my usual shells with long-sleeve shirt and sweats under, but skip the thermal underwear.

 

You'll have time to ski every run there, so I wouldn't sweat finding the right runs.  I'm about your level, and I like the stuff under and to either side of the Lenawee lift, which includes one black run (Falcon) and a bunch of blues.  Ungroomed stuff is better after the sun gets to them this time of year, as it's often frozen solid overnight but softens by mid-morning. 

 

If the Lenawee stuff is too tame, switch to the Pallavicini lift for more challenge.   The back side (Montezuma Bowl) area is mostly like Lenawee, although there's some harder stuff on skiers right that generally requires a little hiking or traversing to get at.  Montezuma also has some trees that are OK, I guess (I don't go in them much).  The East Wall is also challenging, but beware the rocks - it's not covered very deep this year.  West Wall is in between, steep but wide-open with good coverage.  Jump off the cornice if you're feeling frisky.

 

Beware the infamous flat light - if smooth clouds cover the sun, it can get "interesting" to ski the wide-open treeless spaces at the top of the mountain, but the lower lifts will have better contrast.

 

The mid-mountain lodge closes before the lifts, but the bar in the main lodge stays open later.  Your choices are pretty limited anyway (did I mention it's a small place?).

 

Have fun!  A-Basin is a blast this time of year.

post #4 of 13

Quote:
Originally Posted by hespeler View Post

So I'm heading out to A-Bay from NY to ski Sat/Sun and Monday.  It's my first trip out West and I can't wait to finally see what skiing at a big Western mountain is all about.  Biggest for me so far is Killington and I guess Whiteface.

 

 

A Bay may (or may not) be bigger than what you've skied in New York.  It's a pretty small mountain as far as Colorado goes, but there will be good stuff for you to ski!

 

 


Quote:

 

First on the weather:  Checking wundergound it says temps will be in the 60' and 70's but the A-Bay website and weather.com says it will be in the 30's.  Which one should I believe?  How can I expect to dress?  I'm bringing cold weather gear but will I also be okay with just a hoodie and a base layer underneath?

 

I don't know what weather station wunderground was picking, but it isn't one relevant for A-Bay.  I'd use the opensnow forecast.

http://opensnow.com/location/arapahoebasin

It suggests temps in the 20's.  Bring appropriate clothing, and remember that wind is not only possible, but probable!

 

 


Quote:

 

Second, I'm doing the three day pass with 15 dollar food vouchers for each day ($150).  Where should I eat on the mountain?  What stays open after the lifts close if I wanna have something to eat and a drink too?

 

 

I'll not claim to be an expert on food at the basin, but since they built the mid-mountain Black Mountain Lodge, the food improved considerably.  That's (IMO) the place to get something for lunch.  Apres ski, you've got only the A-Frame, although I don't know what the schedule is like this time of season.

 

 


Quote:

 

Third and most important, skiing:  I consider myself an advanced/intermediate with flashes of expert sprinkled in every now and then.  Have skiied some NE trees and am a decent bump skiier under the right conditions.  I know A-Bay just got 4 inches or so and most of the Mountain is still open but given the Spring conditions and my complete virginity to Western mountains I want to push myself and have fun but stay away from something too dangerous for me.  Can anyone recommend some steeps (bowls), bumps, and glades that I can do that provide some challenge, are still in good condition but are not the exteme-end of expert-level skiing.

 

Warm up on High Noon and Ramrod.  If that goes ok, head up to the top and try Lenawee face, Powerline, Humbug, or Norway face.  If those are ok, head on over to the West wall and ski the cornice.  You can also get some nice bumps by heading to Slalom Slope.  Steeper lines are to the right of Slalom.  Head back into Montezuma and try some of the blue runs there.  

 

You might also try skiing the East Wall off of the traverse (below the traverse) if all of that is going well.  I'd try Falcon first.  And before diving into the East Wall, make sure you traverse PAST the whoop de foo and beyond the funnel into Land of the Giants.  I've not skied it this season, but there are some more "challenging" exits from that area that are avoided by going around to the east side of the bowl.

 

See if you can work yourself up to skiing Pali.  It's the signature area of A-Basin (IMO).

 

Mike

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

A Bay may (or may not) be bigger than what you've skied in New York.  It's a pretty small mountain as far as Colorado goes, but there will be good stuff for you to ski!

 

 


 

I don't know what weather station wunderground was picking, but it isn't one relevant for A-Bay.  I'd use the opensnow forecast.

http://opensnow.com/location/arapahoebasin

It suggests temps in the 20's.  Bring appropriate clothing, and remember that wind is not only possible, but probable!

 

 


 

I'll not claim to be an expert on food at the basin, but since they built the mid-mountain Black Mountain Lodge, the food improved considerably.  That's (IMO) the place to get something for lunch.  Apres ski, you've got only the A-Frame, although I don't know what the schedule is like this time of season.

 

 


 

Warm up on High Noon and Ramrod.  If that goes ok, head up to the top and try Lenawee face, Powerline, Humbug, or Norway face.  If those are ok, head on over to the West wall and ski the cornice.  You can also get some nice bumps by heading to Slalom Slope.  Steeper lines are to the right of Slalom.  Head back into Montezuma and try some of the blue runs there.  

 

You might also try skiing the East Wall off of the traverse (below the traverse) if all of that is going well.  I'd try Falcon first.  And before diving into the East Wall, make sure you traverse PAST the whoop de foo and beyond the funnel into Land of the Giants.  I've not skied it this season, but there are some more "challenging" exits from that area that are avoided by going around to the east side of the bowl.

 

See if you can work yourself up to skiing Pali.  It's the signature area of A-Basin (IMO).

 

Mike

Thanks everyone so far!  I know it's a smaller mountain but I guess I'm just excited to ski a bowl and maybe some trees that have some space in between as opposed to what we get here in the NE.

 

When does the "flat light" usually hit?  Or is it really just random?  I wanted to try skiing East Wall below the traverse.  I won't go up into the chutes from North Star.  Are you saying I should traverse past whoop de foo and beyond funnel and ski DOWN Land of the Giants?  Also, can these areas be traversed on skis or do you usually hike?

 

What are the trails at West Wall called?  A little confused by the trail guide.

 

Thanks again for everything.

 

Oh, and I'll be sure to call it "A-Basin..." ;)

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by hespeler View Post

Thanks everyone so far!  I know it's a smaller mountain but I guess I'm just excited to ski a bowl and maybe some trees that have some space in between as opposed to what we get here in the NE.

When does the "flat light" usually hit?  Or is it really just random?  I wanted to try skiing East Wall below the traverse.  I won't go up into the chutes from North Star.  Are you saying I should traverse past whoop de foo and beyond funnel and ski DOWN Land of the Giants?  Also, can these areas be traversed on skis or do you usually hike?



What are the trails at West Wall called?  A little confused by the trail guide.

Thanks again for everything.

Oh, and I'll be sure to call it "A-Basin..." wink.gif

I skied A-Basin for the first time last week. We bought the 3 packs and got up there kinda late and skied the frontside bowl and then lower down just to get oriented...you'll have fun. Always worth having both the polarized and low light goggle lenses if you have them re: flat light.

You can head straight up Lenawee from mid-mountain and warm up on the upper mountain if you want (IMO). You can see the entire bowl from your ride up, the West Wall isn't really named on the map, it's the stuff looking right from the lift back down the bowl (unless I am missing something) starting under the Cornice Run. East Wall will be obvious to your left. Don't need to worry much about the trail names straight off the lift, grooming vs. not will be obvious as well as pitch so just picking whatever looks good will suit to get your legs under you. You can skate up a bit from the Lenawee dismount and look down into Montezuma bowl while getting oriented.

We didn't ski over to the lower East Wall, but again, it will be pretty obvious from the lift. If you Google A-Basin Land of Giants some vids will pop up that give you an idea of this area. Should be visually easy to identify and avoid as you continue on the traverse if you want to stay out of there.

You do have a snow showery forecast, so while upper 30's is t-shirt weather in the sun with no wind at the base, light base and mid layers plus shell is a good plan for this forecast up higher. Easy to shed stuff back at the parking lot if you are there early enough for base area parking, it's right at the lift.

Safe travels!
post #7 of 13

How about you meet us Saturday AM and we will show you around? beercheer.gif

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

How about you meet us Saturday AM and we will show you around? beercheer.gif

Phil, a couple to four of us are thinking of making Friday a ski/board vice work day.  Hard to stay at work when this may be the last good stretch.

Are you all there starting Saturday or earlier?

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by job151 View Post

Phil, a couple to four of us are thinking of making Friday a ski/board vice work day.  Hard to stay at work when this may be the last good stretch.

Are you all there starting Saturday or earlier?

We should be there Friday. 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


I skied A-Basin for the first time last week. We bought the 3 packs and got up there kinda late and skied the frontside bowl and then lower down just to get oriented...you'll have fun. Always worth having both the polarized and low light goggle lenses if you have them re: flat light.

You can head straight up Lenawee from mid-mountain and warm up on the upper mountain if you want (IMO). You can see the entire bowl from your ride up, the West Wall isn't really named on the map, it's the stuff looking right from the lift back down the bowl (unless I am missing something) starting under the Cornice Run. East Wall will be obvious to your left. Don't need to worry much about the trail names straight off the lift, grooming vs. not will be obvious as well as pitch so just picking whatever looks good will suit to get your legs under you. You can skate up a bit from the Lenawee dismount and look down into Montezuma bowl while getting oriented.

We didn't ski over to the lower East Wall, but again, it will be pretty obvious from the lift. If you Google A-Basin Land of Giants some vids will pop up that give you an idea of this area. Should be visually easy to identify and avoid as you continue on the traverse if you want to stay out of there.

You do have a snow showery forecast, so while upper 30's is t-shirt weather in the sun with no wind at the base, light base and mid layers plus shell is a good plan for this forecast up higher. Easy to shed stuff back at the parking lot if you are there early enough for base area parking, it's right at the lift.

Safe travels!


Very helpful.  Thanks a bunch!

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

We should be there Friday. 

finding out today as i return to town if we are going or not...may see you on the mountain.  We will be a mix of skiers and boarders, but it is pretty tentative, do you all have a spot on the beach we can find you at if we go up?

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by job151 View Post

finding out today as i return to town if we are going or not...may see you on the mountain.  We will be a mix of skiers and boarders, but it is pretty tentative, do you all have a spot on the beach we can find you at if we go up?
We don't have a beach spot this weekend but next. I will be in yellow jacket, blue pants and red helmet tomorrow.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post


We don't have a beach spot this weekend but next. I will be in yellow jacket, blue pants and red helmet tomorrow.


two of us are going up, BUT have no idea if Loveland or A Basin, deciding up in Evergreen at the parking lot meet-up.  I will be in black pants blue jacket, blue helment w/stickers, if we do the basin will keep eyes peeled. Cheers. John

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