Winter is coming! In this year’s installment of the Edge, Westword’s annual guide to winter activities, we’ve got the what’s what, the what’s new, and the what to do at ski areas and mountain towns across the state. From skiing and snowboarding to new mountain roller coasters, fat-bike tours, snowmobile adventures, hot-springs soaks and more, the Edge — inserted in the November 16 edition of Westword — will help you plan your vacation days, personal days, powder days and sick days from now until spring. Here's the scoop on Arapahoe Basin, where the season started last month.
ARAPAHOE BASIN SKI & SNOWBOARD AREA
The lifts have been turning since October 13 at A-Basin, winner — as usual — of the #racetoopen battle for first Colorado ski area to bring action to its slopes for the season.
Here are five things you need to know about Arapahoe Basin:
1. The long-awaited expansion into the Beavers and the Steep Gullies terrain brings 468 acres of bowl skiing, gladed tree runs and extreme steeps in-bounds. The popular sidecountry terrain still requires a hike back to the base of the Pallavicini lift, but will now be patrolled and avalanche-controlled. And a new chairlift and two new groomed runs will open in time for the 2018-2019 season.
2. New to the game? A-Basin is reaching out to the never-ever crowd with a new Adult Beginner Lesson
Package that includes a full-day, all-mountain lift ticket, a single-day rental, and a half-day lesson for $125. Pick up the gear — helmet included — at the newly renovated Winter Sports Center rental and demo shop.
3. The parking lot is a scene. No, really. Seven days a week (and especially around lunchtime after some of the morning lappers have cleared out), you’ll find a giant tailgate party at the Beach, where skiers and riders party all day. “It’s the perfect time to hang out slopeside,” says A-Basin spokeswoman Adrienne Saia Isaac. “Spring is the best, because our terrain is often 100 percent open, and it’s sunny during the day. The Beach is a beautiful place to take in all aspects of the ski experience — little kids learning on Molly Hogan, watching experts rip the Pali, grilling and hanging out with good friends.” If the lots are full, park in Keystone’s River Run lot and take the Swan Mountain Flyer shuttle.
4. Buy lift tickets in advance to save on the window price, or bring any season pass valid in North America for the 2017-2018 season to get the A-Basin Club discount and save $20 off the window price of a single-day lift ticket.
5. Not ready to leave once the lifts are closed? Check out the new menu at the 6th Alley Bar & Grill, which also has twenty beers on tap, mostly from Colorado breweries. Look for specially themed-menu events from the 6th Alley Supper Club dinner series; advance tickets will be on sale at arapahoebasin.com for January 19 (Thai Night), February 9 (Mardi Gras Night), February 16 (Sierra Nevada Beer Maker’s Dinner), March 23 (Fish Fry Night), April 13 (Italian Night), and May 4 (Elevation Brewing Co. Beer Maker’s Dinner).