Philpug

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I get winded sometimes walking from the parking lot to the lodge at A-Basin...I could not image mountain biking there. I am sure for the folks that live at 10K it isn't as much of an issue, but coming even comimg from 5K...I get heavily winded.

Moving to Mountain Biking forum.
 

Ken_R

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I get winded sometimes walking from the parking lot to the lodge at A-Basin...I could not image mountain biking there. I am sure for the folks that live at 10K it isn't as much of an issue, but coming even comimg from 5K...I get heavily winded.

Moving to Mountain Biking forum.
Maybe they plan on using BMX for Bike Hauling up to mid mtn. :huh: The first climb is punishing right out of the lot.

hummm.... got me thinking of the Pivot Shuttle :drool::drool::drool:
 

skix

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I don't mountain bike but the other half of the announcement was the plan to install 2 via ferrata routes on the East Wall and Steep Gullies. Where do I sign up?

The official request for comment doc is at https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/110176_FSPLT3_4460466.pdf . From the doc:
  • Via Ferrata

    A via ferrata (Italian for "iron path") is a protected climbing and hiking route found throughout the mountains of Europe and in several locations in the United States such as Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The essence of a modem via ferrata is a steel cable periodically attached to the rock that is used as a safety line for climbers and hikers as they traverse and/or ascend steep terrain. It is common to also install aids such as iron rungs, pegs, ladders or bridges to assist guests in traversing these routes. In some cases, aerial walkways can be used to span gaps in steep terrain. Guests would wear harnesses and helmets and navigate the via ferratas under supervision of a guide, allowing them to experience high alpine, exposed areas in a unique and safe fashion. A temporary awning and/or toilet may be installed during the summer at both via ferrata zones.

    The lower via ferrata zone would contain routes traversing an approximately 200 foot cliff band in the Steep Gullies area, near the Gauthier and Janitors Only chutes. Via ferrata routes in this zone would be targeted for entry-level guests. Between 20 and 50 guests would be expected to navigate the via ferratas in this zone each day, with each tour taking three to four hours to complete. Guests would access the lower zone via a 0.7 mile hiking frail from the base area that would be open to hiking only.

    The upper via ferrata zone would contain more difficult routes than the lower zone along an approximately 700 foot cliff band on the East Wall in the vicinity of the North Pole Couloir. Via ferrata options in this zone would be entirely above treeline, providing a unique, high-alpine experience with opportunities to summit the East Wall ridge. Between 10 and 25 of A-Basin' s more adventurous guests would be expected to navigate the via ferrata each day, with each 5 person tour taking four to five hours to complete. Guests would access the upper zone by riding the Black Mountain Express chairlift, at which point they would be transported by vehicle up the existing mountain access road to a 0.4 mile hiking trail. completed the via ferrata, guests would return along the same route.

    The installation of the via ferrata would require drilling and anchoring hardware (iron rungs, safety cable, aerial walkway anchors, etc.) into the rock face of the chosen route and removing loose or hazardous rock within an approximately 4-foot corridor. Once routes are constructed, guests would be connected to the safety line and will be required to stay on the established routes at all times.
 

jmeb

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100% Abasin will be using at least one, and probably 2 chairs to shuttle people up the mountain. Else hard to justify fiscally.

Denverites will be pretty stoked on this for day tripping I expect.
 
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coskigirl

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100% Abasin will be using at least one, and probably 2 chairs to shuttle people up the mountain. Else hard to justify fiscally.

Denverites will be pretty stoked on this for day tripping I expect.
Not just for the mountain biking but the via ferrata on the East Wall. While there will be some that are willing to hike up then do the via ferrata, I think to make the cost make sense on both sides they'll need lift service so they customer hikes down to the access.
 

headybrew

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Next step's are gold panning in the creek, laser light night skiing, and Chipotle at mid mountain! Don't know about y'all but I am super pumped they are reducing access to our public lands more. I wonder if the USFS raised their lease rates after VR successfully lobbied them for summer activities back in 2014 or whenever it was?
 

jmeb

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Besides not being able to climb the two via ferratas willy-nilly (neither routes are particularly interesting to any climbers or mountaineers I've met in CO) I don't see how this reduces public access. You'll surely still be allowed to ride uphill, just like you are at the designated trail at Trestle, Keystone, Vail and Breck. And then you get the added benefit of professionally designed and maintained downhills if you wish.

Like all kinds of mountain development -- that development makes lands more accessible to more people. For those that have the skills, fitness, and equipment to access them otherwise that can be a downside. But it is an upside for all those people who would have difficulty accessing public lands otherwise. A Basin is a measly 1000 acres of national forest that already has extensive development. We're not talking about untouched, tens or hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness.
 
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coskigirl

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Next step's are gold panning in the creek, laser light night skiing, and Chipotle at mid mountain! Don't know about y'all but I am super pumped they are reducing access to our public lands more. I wonder if the USFS raised their lease rates after VR successfully lobbied them for summer activities back in 2014 or whenever it was?
Please explain how this reduces access to public lands?

As I see it, Abasin is one of the best in our area as far as allowing unpaid access to public lands even while they operate a business. For example, many mountains in the area allow uphill access only before/after operating hours and/or for a fee. Abasin allows it any time except for when there is a particular danger as in during snow making. LL and Copper both do not allow it during opening hours. Eldora charges for access and restricts it to opening hours on non-weekends and non-holiday days. I don't know the policies of the Vail Resorts properties.
 

Rod9301

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If you look at wireEu, almost every mountain village has a via ferata, and it's always free.

You can always thanks a guide if you want to
The problem in squaw and a basin is that you cannot use it without a guide.

If anyone could use the via ferata, the ski areas would get a lot more people using it, and they would make money because these people would eat, drink, etc.

It's really short sighted to require a guide

Equivalent to"you need to hire a guide if you want to ski".
 

jmeb

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I doubt that requiring a guide is Abasin's preference. I imagine it is a reality of American legal and insurance systems.
 

cantunamunch

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. I imagine it is a reality of American legal and insurance systems.
... and quite frankly I doubt requiring a guide is going to be a stumbling block to anyone genuinely interested.

As you already pointed out, no real climbers or mountaineers, i.e. no one with experience to make an informed judgment on gear and safety, are remotely interested in these routes. Adventure tourists find guided tours comforting and the proof is punters pay through the nose for guided raft trips and tandem skydives, and just about every excursion off a cruise boat ever.

Given the combination (people who know what they're doing provably not interested and demonstrable existence of tourists who like the oxymoron of a safe adventure) they'd be nuts to not require guides.
 

Rod9301

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... and quite frankly I doubt requiring a guide is going to be a stumbling block to anyone genuinely interested.

As you already pointed out, no real climbers or mountaineers, i.e. no one with experience to make an informed judgment on gear and safety, are remotely interested in these routes. Adventure tourists find guided tours comforting and the proof is punters pay through the nose for guided raft trips and tandem skydives, and just about every excursion off a cruise boat ever.

Given the combination (people who know what they're doing provably not interested and demonstrable existence of tourists who like the oxymoron of a safe adventure) they'd be nuts to not require guides.
Not true at all. In Europe, you have all kinds of people going, including serious climbers, it's just fun.
 

BTaylor

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I doubt that the two via ferrata at Abasin will be as ambitious (and as exposed) as the Telluride via ferrata. That one is open to unguided traverses, but the large majority of people wisely hire one of the local mountain guiding companies for a guided experience.

The Telluride via ferrata was put up by Chuck Kroger, modeled after the via ferrata he had seen in the Dolomites. Kroger was a local Telluride adventurer, a mountain trail builder and a John Muir-like advocate for getting people of various skill levels into the high alpine.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/deb-dion/via-ferrata-taking-the-hi_b_702418.html
 

tball

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Here's the USFS project page with links to the proposal and high-res map:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=54841

I love seeing A-basin continue to invest their Epic Pass windfalls back into the business. I'm hopefully optimistic this is all in an effort to free themselves from a mega pass relationship and become truly independent. We'll see soon enough.

The via ferrata route sounds awesome. I do wonder about how many of their visitors will have the fitness to do it at that altitude. It will be a .4 mile hike from the van drop off to the East Wall route, then up from there, say 12,400-13,000, similar to the hikes when skiing the East Wall. Lots of folks will want to do it and think they can do it won't be able to because of the altitude. Seems like they will need a guide just to stay back with the stragglers and those in physical distress.

Super happy they are adding mountain biking trails, and great to see there will be separated hiking trails, as there should be for the enjoyment of everyone. I also hope they maintain an uphill bike route, even if it's just a fire road. There should be an option for those that don't want to haul their bike up on the lift.
 

nay

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I’m not particularly stoked to see the low capability tourist addition to A-Basin, which we noticed increasing this year while hiking Little Lenawee now that BMX is running more on lift pass sales.

People were throwing trash in Lake Reveal hiking up the road from BML, which we waded in to fish out, and there was the usual other Ugly American stuff of taking in super loud voices and making everybody else experience you.

I fully support that all ski operators should be leveraging on mountain assets for a summer season, especially with climate change risks, and they need to do it sooner than later. Selling lift passes and guide passes to take an obese nation on InstaTours isn’t money you can pass up, but I can’t say I’m stoked to see Disneyland added on top of the EpicBroBrah at A-Basin. Little Lenawee as a summit from the base was like a 14’er without the crowds and that’s going to be gone.

I’ll be interested to see what they do with MTB - today that’s mostly a route to drop over the back side into Montezuma since as a climb it’s a grinder for a descent that isn’t all that much singletrack.

Oh - there’s a zipline in the plans, too. It all sounds more like Epic than less.
 

nay

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Maybe they plan on using BMX for Bike Hauling up to mid mtn. :huh: The first climb is punishing right out of the lot.

hummm.... got me thinking of the Pivot Shuttle :drool::drool::drool:
I bet they will use BMX or a shuttle up the service road - question is are all the trails below BMX since that’s not much vert?

As with all resort MTB - now much do you have to ride up if at all?
 

tball

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@nay the MTB trails are all over the upper mountain and look pretty awesome from the scoping map.

Arapahoe_Basin_Mountain_Bike.jpg

https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/110176_FSPLT3_4460467.pdf

The expense of running two lifts for MTB seems like it will be a big disadvantage. The other front range resorts only run one lift last I checked. I'd be surprised if A-basin runs both lifts very often, maybe just weekends in July and August? Summer busy season is short.

You don't have to ride the lift up for resort MTB around here (unless the rules have changed somewhere). Lifts typically run 10-5 and it's great to climb the ski areas mostly by yourself before or after the lifts open and during the off-season. Resorts build some amazing trails.
 
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