The mecca of spring skiing- Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

 

Rather tired from hiking and broke from my addiction to heliskiing, I traveled back through Colorado in search of some late season resort, spring-time skiing. Arapahoe Basin boasts one of the longest seasons in North America (Oct- June) and I was pleasantly surprised by what it had to offer. ‘The Legend’, as it is called, is quite the mountain playground. With a minimalist park and a maximum terrain access, the resort boasts 960 acres of skiing with 109 trails, serviced by six lifts. Whether cruising on groomers, sessioning the mini terrain park, or hammering steeps, A Basin offers plenty for anyone looking to do some late season skiing.

 

Arapahoe Basin

Waiting for it to soften up… until then, hard-pack sprays are on the menu!

 

terrain park at Arapahoe Basin

Take a lap through the terrain park on your way down

 

The resort is essentially composed of two back to back bowls oriented north and south respectively. That means lots of terrain across all aspects. This means plenty of opportunity to find snow of all qualities, from power to slush, at all hours of the day. It’s also high. Literally. A Basins’ top lifts get you higher than 13,000 feet/ 3,962 meters, and you can hike even higher than that (great fitness training!). The surrounding backcountry options are impressive. I had my eye on ‘Shit for Brains’,  a couloir to lookers left of the resort (you have to bootpack the whole line and note that it is out of the resort so you’re on your own on this one). In resort, check out the East Wall, Montezuma bowl on the backside and the Pallavicini lift that will give access to amazing glade runs and the waterfalls (it is steep over here). There are plenty of challenging chutes available in-bounds on the East Wall.

 

steep skiing at Arapahoe Basin

There are plenty of steeps on offer to challenge your skiing

 

The east wall Arapahoe Basin

When the East Wall is open, it’s on!

 

The east wall Arapahoe Basin

The lines on the east wall and beyond.

 

Backcountry terrain Arapahoe Basin

These lines, like Shit for Brains, are out of the ski resort. If you are going to get after them, start early!

 

When you aren’t skiing, there’s a solid bar to hit up, where award winning Bloody Mary’s are served with bacon infused vodka (at $10 a pop- eek!). If you don’t like happiness…I mean bacon, there’s plenty of delicious Colorado beer on tap there too. Or, if you’re in the Tailgate Alaska mindset (awesome event that happens every year on Thompson Pass, AK), you can BYOB and have fun at the infamous A Basin Beach. Available by reservation only and known for its spring parties, the beach is made up of the parking spaces along the base of the resort. It fills up through May and June with fully American setups for grilling and enjoying the spring weather. It’s a full-on parking lot party, just like Tailgate Alaska but with more sunshine!

 

The beach Arapahoe Basin

Book a space down at ‘The Beach’, bring your own BBQ and join the springtime party that is unique to this awesome resort.

 

Arapahoe Basin hosts a plethora of events through the spring, and keeps the fun going until closing day, projected for early June this year. They host live concerts every Sunday starting at 1300, and have a slew of other events including the infamously debaucherous A Basin Brewery Day. With discounted tickets for the spring coming in at $74usd, you should get there sooner than later. Or, if you’re thinking about a pass via Vail Resorts, keep in mind you will get to ski through early June with A Basin as an option. It’s where I will be next spring!

 

For more info on Arapahoe Basin, check out their website arapahoebasin.com. A Basin is also part of the Vail Epic pass  ($809 US early bird), a season pass giving you access to 12 resorts in the US including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, and Arapahoe Basin. It also includes Niseko in Japan and Perisher in Australia!

 

 

For more info on amazing places to ski in Colorado check out my write up of a road trip through Colorado’s ski resorts.

 

Thanks for A-Basin for having us!

 

Editor’s note: If you are after ski travel insurance for your next snow adventure, Still Stoked recommends World Nomads. Prices are really reasonable and they insure actions sports (including heliskiing!) without charging a mega premium. You can also purchase the insurance after you have left home for your trip and extend the trip online during your trip; something that is quite unique to World Nomads and really helpful if your plans change as you travel.

 

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