Thursday, March 8, 2012

Arapahoe Basin: The Legend

We woke up to another bluebird day in Colorado today! Our sites were set on A-Basin. Out of all the resorts that we wanted to ski this week, I was most anxious to ski this one because I have heard so much about it from my brother and other friends. We got to the mountain at around 8:30, parked in the very accessible lot by the slopes for free and bought our lift tickets (not much of a discount for NSP members) then headed up the Black Mountain Express lift then to the Lenawee Mountian Lift. This put us to the top of the mountain in under 15 minutes. At 13,000+ feet the views were the most picturesque of all the resorts we skied this week. All the surrounding mountains are above tree line and it gives this place a truly rugged feel. The top of the mountain is mostly a wide open bowl, mid-way down there are a few slopes you can take down to the bottom. The Humbug slope, Lenawee Face and Power line Slope got the first 5 runs out of us. They were groomed and had a Roley feel to them from the top then a nice pitch down to the bottom. We bounced over to the Montezuma Bowl for a few runs around mid-morning. There is 1 lift that access's all the terrain over there. There are some blue's you can cruise one and also a GIANT bowl with some very challenging terrain. Rock's were very present in this area so you had to be quick on your feet to avoid them. There snow pack is down from normal and some of the terrain wasn't open over there. We took a break for lunch and headed to the famous Pallavicini Lift. This 2-man chair lift accesses some of the most challenging terrain I have ever skied. I skied Pali Main Street and was amazed at the steep pitch all the way to the bottom of the chairlift, a misstep hear could be a bad one. After a run here we took the Grizzly Run Slope for a few laps before the legs gave out and we had to quit. The vibe hear was what I think of when I think Coloardo Ski Resort. Extremely laid back, no amenities, just skiing at it's finest. It was also very easy to get around, the mountain only has 7 lifts which was a nice change from the bigger resorts in the area. Crowds were non-existent, I think the challenging terrain weeds the weak skiers out. Grabbing lunch was also easy, the car was right next to the lift. Overall this was my second favorite place behind Vail that we have skied this week. They call it "The Legend" for a reason and I am glad I got to be apart of it for a day.

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