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There are certain places around us that seem to somehow be stuck back in time. Places where technology and renovations have been put on the back burner, to allow the soul of the area to permeate you. A-Basin is one of those places, and that’s why we love it. Growing up, it was known as the hippie resort. The place where people would live in the parking lot for the season and where you could always find someone grilling out of their trunk. Where families where more concerned about spending time together than spending money. Luckily, it’s still that way today!
If you were to drive up to A-Basin, you might be tempted to keep going and not stop. The old a-frame lodge and scraggly beards might be enough to scare you away. Don’t be deceived though. If you kept driving, you’d miss some of the best terrain and friendliest people around.
Photo courtesy of arapahoebasin.com
When Mason was born, skiing changed for our family. No longer could we just ski all day, eat lunch on the lift, and ignore the rest of the resort. We started to spend a lot of time in the lodge as we were taking turns watching him. We skied at all our usual I-70 resorts like we always had, but were somehow treated differently. Most of them didn’t care when we came in for 30 minutes to warm up, but staying all day was another issue. We wanted a place where we could feel comfortable staying with him without the stares and comments about us buying something else if we wanted to stay in their lodge. It was annoying and uncomfortable. Not only that, by the time we found a suitable place to hang for the day, we would have to take several lifts to get to the good skiing – much harder when you only have a few precious hours to ski. One by one, resorts started to slip from our radar of ‘family skiing’. Finally, we tried out the old hippie resort. It was like we were a match made in heaven. We went in the a-frame lodge and quickly found ourselves surrounded by other families like us. Families trying to still maintain their passion for skiing while they had kids. Not only that, but there were things set up by the resort for the kids to play with. LOVELY!
As soon as we started skiing there, we remembered how blissful the Pali lift can be. Steep, steep, steep, with a few cliffs thrown in there – just what we were looking for. And, to top it all off, it starts right out of the parking lot so we weren’t spending all our time on ‘connector’ lifts. We happily skied there for the rest of the season. The next year, when Mason started skiing, we loved A-Basin even more. The Pali lift is right next to the beginner lift and magic carpet. We had everything we wanted all right together. And of course, we could always just leave the massive amount of gear we brought, in the lodge while we played, knowing it would be right where we left it when we came in for hot chocolate. Yes, our family found the match we were looking for when we started to ski at A-Basin.
Photo courtesy of arapahoebasin.com
Here are a few other perks that we love about skiing there:
- A few new high-speed lifts in the last few years
- It’s not very crowded. Lift lines are more the exception than the rule.
- All the staff are friendly and just happy that we brought our kids up for the day!
- There’s a microwave in the lodge so we can enjoy a warm lunch.
- The hippies, that have been skiing here for years, will always lead you to a great powder stash.
- Awesome terrain for everyone from beginners to experts!
- We can get there in just over an hour from our house.
- The food prices won’t clean out your bank account.