Curbed Ski spends its fair share of time on the mountain, however, even we could benefit from a few technical lessons every now and again. This season we're bringing you a series of stories focused on ski lessons at Colorado's finest resorts. First up is local favorite Arapahoe Basin. Known as a no-frills ski area, A Basin is more community hill than high-end resort, but it boasts plenty of varied terrain and a well-priced ski-lesson program.
June skiing anyone? The Basin, as it's known to its fans, is famous for its party atmosphere: costumed skiers and boarders grace the slopes (we saw Tigger, a gigantic rabbit, and a panda) and après is beers with your crew at the Beach, not sabered champagne .
A Basin is a skier's mountain: most of the terrain is above tree line with 10% of the trails rated as beginner, 30% as intermediate, and the remaining 60% as Advanced and Expert. The mountain has a vertical drop over 2,000 feet and more than 105 trails to ride.
When Curbed Ski arrived at the Basin, Kim May, a ski pro with over 30 years of experience, greeted us and we got right to work. Within four turns, Kim already had on-point suggestions to improve our technique, from that nagging trailing arm to working on our center of balance. In our two hours with Kim, we made runs off the Black Mountain Express, Lenawee Mountain Lift, and the Pallavinci Lift, covering everything from steeps to bumps. We could already feel ourselves improving after the first run, and by the end of the lesson, Kim had helped us put it all together and we were ripping around the Basin.
Along the way, we chatted with Kim about the history of the Basin, her 30 years of skiing Colorado mountains, and the ski resort's great vibe. A Basin's local feel, its lack of huge crowds, its reasonable prices, and its proximity to Denver all make it an ideal place to perfect your technical skills. Group lessons start at $79 for a half day and while they don't include your lift ticket, you can grab a discounted ticket for $25. The Basin also offers private lessons starting $185 for half day afternoon lessons, group technique clinics, and plenty of packages to fit your individual needs. Kid's lessons start at $99 and with the construction of the new three-story 7,100 square foot Kid's Center , the Basin's youngest snow worshipers will soon have a place to call their own.
If you're looking to improve your technique, want easy access from Denver, and you're hoping to experience an authentic locals only mountain, we'd highly recommend you get yourself to the Basin this season.
-By Tara Tubb