Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Endorsement: A-Basin Ski Resort

Each year thousands of people avoid the frat party beaches that are Spring Break and make their way west to Summit or Eagle County for a week on the slopes. For Coloradans, that typically means long lift lines and dodging the "Texan Wide Turn" on nearly every run. The hard part is, March is one of the best months to be on the hill, but also the busiest. For those of us who are constantly debating the shortest-lift-line-best-time-to-leave-to-avoid-traffic-don't-want-to-run-over-a-kid-or-get-mauled-by-a-gaper strategy, its easy to forget about a Colorado Classic: Arapahoe Basin.

The Basin is small (105 runs, 7 lifts), but it was one of the original Rocky Mountain ski resorts (opened in the 1940's) and its history and anything-but-pretentious nature is what makes it worth the trip. People go to The Basin to ski. Period. Don't be surprised if you run into some 65-year-old dude named "Eddie" (or similar) who could ski (and drink) you and your crew under the table. And the fact that it stays open until June and has a tailgating section of the parking lot called "The Beach" makes it that much better.

My hat's off to A-Basin for skipping the outdoor fire pits, kiddie snow castles, and any places that sell furry boots - and sticking with short lift lines, crazy amazing mountain views, some steep terrain, and for taking the "resort" out of "ski resort." If you go, don't forget to bring a PBR or two to make friends with Eddie at The Beach for apres...

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