Waking up on a couch in Dillon, I looked at my iPhone only to find a CDOT update that Loveland Pass was closed and that A-Basin had received over 12” in the last 48 with 7 of those inches falling overnight. My original intention was to ski Loveland before heading up to Steamboat but with the pass closed, my next choice was clear.
A-Basin here I come.
Upon arrival, the parking lot had less than 40 cars at ‘The Beach’ and needless to say, stoke was high as I walked through a boot deep parking lot towards the base. After grabbing a cup of coffee, I hustled to jump on Black Mountain Express and skated up to the front of the line. Seeing as Loveland Pass was closed, most EPIC Pass holders seemed to stop and ski at Breck or Keystone instead of making it all the way up to The Basin, which resulted in minimal crowds.
No line, no problem.
Halfway down Ramrod, I was greeted with smooth and fast conditions on the flanks of the run, giving way to the first real faceshots of the year. After doing another Black Mountain lap, I moved over to the Lewanee lift, accessing the highest lift served point on the mountain. Originally Dercum’s Gulch was the gist of what was open up high but with Lewanee Parks looking good, rumors began to swirl about opening the pitch later in the day.
As the day progressed, winds would shut down Lewanee Lift in the late morning for almost an hour before reopening around noon. After which, ski patrol got to work on opening Lewanee Parks. What ensued was a game of cat and mouse with a group of 10 locals chasing ski patrol to the gate on each lap and subsequently bugging them for updates. Sorry guys.
However around 2, Ski Patrol opened Lewanee Parks and Upper Lewanee to the skiing public for what were the best turns of the day.
Patrol would then move to the lower mountain where they opened the upper section of Exhibition for a few powder turns before forcing a traverse back to High Noon.