2/16/12: Arapahoe Basin

A quick view from A-Basin, from our family ski day. Some of you may recognize the sunlit peak (Grizzly!) from previous pictures shown on this site, and others may recognize the shadowed flank of Lenawee in the foreground (Black Mtn., actually), better known as the East Wall at Arapahoe Basin, which still has not opened this season due to lack of snow.


Grizzly and Lenawee

Grizzly Peak (sunlit), and Black Mtn. (in shadow)


We left Montezuma Bowl about 20 minutes before Saturday’s avalanche occurred, and though it didn’t impact any open terrain, it did occur in-bounds, affecting a party of 14 participating in directed skiing with an A-Basin patroller. It’s pretty unusual for 14 people to be entrained in an avalanche with virtually no injuries, and they were all very lucky. The second image below shows the east-facing side of Montezuma Bowl; note the extensive avalanche mitigation work that had been completed prior to the slide (numerous ski-cuts and bomb craters). The actual path of the avalanche that would occur two hours after the image was taken is just outside the right margin of this image.


Montezuma Bowl two hours before the avalanche

Montezuma Bowl two hours before the avalanche