Following nearly 10 years of planning, Arapahoe Basin gained approval from the National Forest Service for a 468-acre terrain expansion into an area located to the west of the existing ski area boundary called the Beavers and the Steep Gullies, eventually served by a new fixed-grip quad scheduled to be installed for the 2018-19 season. When complete, the new terrain will bring A-Basin’s total skiable area to 1,428 acres.
The Steep Gullies and a portion of the Beavers will open as part of the ski area next season. The final plan includes a pair of groomed runs, open bowl skiing above tree line, gladed tree skiing, and the Steep Gullies.
“This is a big piece for the Basin. It’s going to be completely different than what we have now,” A-Basin GM Alan Henceroth told The Denver Post. “The best part of my job is when someone comes up and tells me what a great day skiing they had. I think there’s a lot more of those to come, especially with this project.”
It is estimated that the new terrain and lift could accommodate an extra 360 skiers per day and will cater mostly to expert skiers and riders, which is a primary market for the resort.
In addition to the terrain expansion, the Forest Service also approved adding a new surface lift accessing Montezuma Bowl, replace both the Molly Hogan and Pallavicini chairlifts, remove the Norway lift, and build new multi-season activities including a zip line tour and an aerial adventure course. Also, the ridgeline above the top terminal of the Pallavicini chairlift will be graded to facilitate the establishment of a seasonal “snow road.”
“The decision will enhance both the winter and summer recreation opportunities at A-Basin,” White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said in a statement. “Lift replacements and grading will improve the quality of experience for skiers and snowboarders. Additionally, the summer aerial activity will reach a wide audience and provide experiences for an increasingly diverse recreating public.”