After opening the legendary Montezuma Bowl in 2007, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, located just outside of Keystone and Breckenridge, has not added any new terrain in the last ten years. Sure, they have done some great improvements to the lodge area, and brought in new opportunities for gear and rentals, but a decade later, with resorts all over Colorado and the West patch-working epic terrain together like grandma’s black diamond quilt, locals were starting to wonder if their beloved A-Basin was maybe falling a little bit behind. Until now.
Arapahoe Basin is adding major backcountry terrain. For the last two years ski area operators have been working with Forest Service officials to plan access to some of the most incredible ski runs in Colorado.
Lift access will now bring skiers up from the terrain affectionately known as the Beavers which was previously hike-to only. The new fixed quad will open up two groomed runs, but largely consists of expert terrain. Chutes, boulder fields, glades and bowl skiing make up part the 468-acre expansion previously accessible only to the hardy, and perhaps, the fool-hardy.
In fact, one of the motivations behind this expansion is to bring this area, previously responsible for several deadly avalanches over the last few years, under the caring wing of ski patrol and their effective avalanche mitigation techniques.
But don’t worry about losing the thrill. For those experts interested in investing a little more ‘sweat equity’ to find the sickest runs, A-Basin saved a little something for you as well. The area below the Beavers known as Steep Gullies will not be fully accessible by the lift. Skiers interested in ripping the tight chutes and stacks of powder hidden down there will also have to be willing to hike their way back up to a groomed track- a hike estimated to be about 15 or 20 minutes.
Once again, Arapahoe Basin knows skiers who love skiing (and snowboarders, too!). They bring amazing turns to the masses, but keep the most serious powder hounds happy with challenging terrain.