Ski Season Officially Begins, Arapahoe Basin Opens Today

It may be hard to believe, but the North American ski season officially begins today. Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin fires up the chairlifts this morning at 9 a.m. local time and soon there after, skiers and snowboarders will be making their first runs of the year. The resort has announced that its Black Mountain Express lift will be the first in operation, taking guests to the start of the High Noon trail at mid-mountain.

Although the calendar may say that it is only the middle of October, colder weather and snow showers have already begun across parts of Colorado. A-Basin, which is traditionally amongst the first resorts to open each year, receives an average of 350 inches of powder on an annual basis. They’re not even close to that much just yet of course, but they still have a solid base to get things started.

New for 2013, A-Basin will open Pika Place Learning Area in November, giving young skiers and riders a place to hone their skills. Older and more experienced skiers will want to test their abilities at the Rossignol Experience Center, which will give them the chance to build more advanced techniques.

For those planning to ski Arapahoe Basin this year, the resort has a host of different passes available, including their Double Down option. For just $499, that pass gives unlimited and unrestricted access to the mountain for not just this season but all of next season too. If you’re someone who loves to ski or snowboard, that is an incredibly great deal.

Over the course of the next few weeks, more ski resorts across the western United States will start to open their doors for the 2012-2013 season. If you’re getting antsy to hit the slopes, chances are you’ll get the opportunity very soon.

[Photo credit: Casey Day]

Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin Offers Two-Season Double Down Ski Pass

It may be hard to believe but a new ski season is closer than you think. The mountaintops of Colorado have already started to receive light snow and ski resorts across the Western states are already busy preparing for opening day. One of those resorts is the legendary Arapahoe Basin, which is generally amongst the first hills to open each year and the last to close as well. That long season makes A-Basin an extremely popular destination for avid skiers and snowboarders who have become accustomed to getting their moneys worth out of their season pass.

This year, the folks at the resort have actually made it even easier for us to cash in on the savings. Until the end of the year, they’re offering their new Double Down 2-Season Pass for just $499. The pass grants unlimited and unrestricted access to Arapahoe Basin for the entire 2012/2013 season as well as all of the 2013/2014 season. Yep, just as the name implies, the pass will take care of all your skiing needs for the next two years.

But that’s not all. The pass also entitles the holder to 10 percent discounts on food and beverages, with the same discount applying to any retail items bought in the ski shop. It also allows for reduced ticket prices for any friends and family members who happen to tag along, not to mention special pricing on lessons and performance tuning of skis or snowboards too.

Last year wasn’t a particularly good one for snow at most of the Colorado resorts. But A-Basin averages 350 inches of fresh powder each winter, which means even on a down year it’s still a pretty good place to hit the slopes. The mountain features 900 skiable acres with 108 total trails, the longest of which is more than 1.5 miles in length. With that much room to roam, there are enough runs for everyone to explore no matter if they’re a beginner or an expert.

Arapahoe Basin is expected to open in mid-October and typically doesn’t close until May, giving it one of the longest ski seasons of any place in North America.