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Arapahoe Basin Ski Area


Epic Pass

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area


Epic Pass
Overall
Overall PAF Score

Overall
Rank

32

Rank in
Region

24

Rank in
State

14

Best time for snow at
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
Snow quality compared w/
rest of North American resorts
Last 10 Days of Snowfall at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Powder
Forecast

Powder Forecast
Thursday
Day
0"
Night
0-1"
Friday
Day
0-1"
Night
0-1"
Saturday
Day
0"
Night
0"
Sunday
Day
0"
Night
0"
Monday
Day
0"
Night
0"
True Snow: 315" per year
Snow Quality Rank

14

Accounts for resorts' snow quantity, moisture content, latitude, elevation, and slope aspects.

Dump Potential Rank

74

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is ranked No. 74 in North America for its total snowfall during an average season.

Historical Powder Odds
Daily Lottery

% of days with more than 6" of snow

10.4%

Extended Stay

% of months with more than 90" of snow

6.2%

Drought Threat

% of months with less than 30" of snow

23.0%

*Special thanks to Tony Crocker and Bestsnow.net.

Dump Potential Rank

74

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is ranked No. 74 in North America for its total snowfall during an average season.

Snow
Quality
Rank

14

Accounts for resorts' snow quantity, moisture content, latitude, elevation, and slope aspects.

Total Snow Score

This score accounts for total snow quantity, its moisture content, the resort's latitude, elevation, and its slope aspects, which affect total snow preservation.

Explore Your Trip

Core Strengths of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Core Strengths
Snow Quality
rank
14
score
78.5
Travel Ease
rank
22
score
89.6
Expert
rank
25
score
49.5

Trail Breakdown

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Vertical Drop

1692 ft

12472 ft
Base Elevation: 10780 ft

Slope Aspects

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All the details
The Skiing

A Basin is the place to ski early or late in the season, or on days that aren’t super cold. Given its lofty perch – the lifts top out above 12,400 feet – windy days in mid-January are pretty intolerable. But when conditions are good, the mountain can rip.

Experienced skiers have two basic options: head far skier’s left to Pallavicini or far right to the East Wall and the gnarly terrain that lies above.

A powder day brings the skiing beneath Pallavicini to life. The fall lines iare clean and you get several hundred feet of sustained steep turns. Between snowfalls, it tends to get nicely bumped and is a good place to do your best Nelson Carmichael impression. Farther to skier’s left, there are steep glades that, while tight in spots, provide enough openings for a fun excursion.

Those looking for a workout head to Montezuma Bowl and pass through the North Pole Hiking Gate or traverse along the East Wall. This section of the mountain gets a lot of wind and is very hit or miss, but each year provides hero shots for those diligent or lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. The other big draw at A Basin is the impromptu party that springs to life on sunny weekends in April. The parking lot at the base fills with lawn chairs and locals alternate sunny runs with music and beers.

Town

The vibe at A Basin is decidedly anti-corporate. The lodge at the base, despite some recent updates, feels charmingly 1970s and still serves an honest breakfast at non-resort prices. Most visitors from out of town stay down the road in Keystone, Silverthorne or Frisco.


A few words on the Snow at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Arapahoe Basin’s snow record is average for Colorado but with some unique nuances. 10.8% of winter days with 6 inches or more of snow and 23% of winter months with 30 inches or less are middle of the pack for western destinations, while 6% of months with 90 inches or more is on the low side. Snow density as in most of Colorado is as light as it gets. March and April are the highest snow months in A-Basin’s Continental Divide microclimate.

Accumulation and Preservation

While A-Basin is often the first area in the country to open on snowmaking, coverage of its steep terrain with natural snow can be agonizingly slow. A-Basin averages 57% open at Christmas and is half open or less at Christmas in fully half of seasons. Full operation is often not attained until February. By contrast A-Basin’s snow preservation is the best in North America with base elevation of 10,800 feet and over half north facing terrain, much of it steep and shaded. Consequently winter packed powder conditions usually prevail through April, and that microclimate also averages 29 inches of May snowfall. A-Basin’s average closing day is early June and an occasional big season can last until July.