EASTER AT ARAPAHOE BASIN
by Paul Maraschiello

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This was my first visit to Arapahoe Basin but after skiing there for a weekend, I can guarantee it won't be my last. They are usually the first ski area in Colorado to open and the last to close (scheduled closing date June 7). I knew that it had some great terrain and I was looking forward to my visit.



Accommodations:
I was staying at a nice one-bedroom condo at Summit Cove called the Springs, just a few miles down the road from A-Basin, near Keystone. My condo had everything and was very comfortable. The kitchen/living room was very pleasant and there was a TV in both the livingroom and bedroom. One of the best features of staying at the Springs was the heated, underground parking. Nothing like having a warm car that is not covered with snow when you are heading to the slopes. This condo was convenient to Keystone as well as A-Basin and an easy drive to Breckenridge. They had an outdoor heated pool and hot tubs. There is a pool table and big screen tv lounge right in the lobby and other amenities, as well.Winter rates run from $189 - $239 per night ($379 Holiday) and it is great place to stay. Summer rates are only $119 per night. To book a reservation call: (970) 368-7023 and tell them the Ski Bum News sent you.



A-Basin
It was Easter weekend and there were festivities galore. Local ski bums and ski house members showed up in costume and partied at the base of the mountain. A couple lounged in their hot tub while others demonstrated their prowess with the hula hoop. Fun outfits were evident as well as vendors demonstrating their wares. I tested a pair of Blizzard skis and had fun on them.



A-Basin isn't the biggest ski area in Colorado, but it has a lot of very challenging slopes. It has something to offer skiers of all abilities. There are slopes and bowls above the tree line, not to mention plenty of moguls and skiing among the trees.



Everything was open when I was there and they had plenty of powder. I rode the Exhibition Lift and did a lot of cruising down Ramrod and High-Noon, including some bump skiing on these runs. I skied in the trees on TB Glade in the morning. I had lunch at the Black Mountain Lodge on the top of the mountain. Beware, the portions are HUGE at this restaurant. After lunch, I continued to explore the mountain. I rode the Pallavicini Lift and checked out some of their expert trails. I skied trails like Powder Keg and Grizzly Road. I even got into the trees and bumps on Scudder. I took the Norway Lift to the top of the mountain and checked out the powder on Norway Face and Norway Mountain Run. I rode the Lenawee Lift and skied Lenawee Face. I also dis West Gully to the TB Glade before I called it a day and headed back to my car.



After I took off my boots (happiness IS taking off your ski boots!), I headed to the bar for a cold beer. I met a few friendly locals and enjoyed that great tired feeling you get after a full day of skiing. They had an interesting Raw Bar between the restaurant and the bar manned by a local ski bum.



I was back on the slopes the next day and continued to explore trails that I had skied the day before. They had an Easter Egg Hunt for the little kids and there were more that a few skiers dressed in bunny costumes and other fun costumes. I sampled the pizza at Legends Café and it was really tasty. While having lunch, I ran into some really nice people including a competitive Freestyle who knew one of my old friends from Steamboat Springs. The ski world is indeed a small world.

Statistics:
Vertical: 2,270 feet, Base elevation: 10,780 feet , Summit elevation: 13,050 feet
Average annual snowfall: 350 inches , Number of trails: 105 , Longest run: 1.5 miles, Skiable acres: 900, and Snowmaking acres: 125 .

Lifts:
One quad chairlift, Two triple chairlifts, Three double chairlifts and One conveyor lift.
Lift capacity of 10,500 people per hour.

Terrain:
Beginner: 10%, Intermediate: 30%, Advanced: 37%, Expert: 23%



Lift Ticket Prices:
Adult full-day $49
Adult half-day $44
Youth full-day (15-19) $44
Child full-day (6 - 14) $25
Child full-day (5 & under) FREE

After my first visit to A-Basin, I was impressed. I know why all of my friends in the Denver/Summit County area have A-Basin on their short list. It's an "old school" ski area that get tons of powder with challenging terrain that will bring you back to earth (no pun intended) if you get too full of yourself.



If you haven't gotten on the slope as much as you intended this year, hop on a plane or get in your car and head out to A-Basin. They'll be skiing for another month! They just got another inch of new snow, so what are you waiting for?

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