Celebrating the Start of the 2017/18 Season at Arapahoe Basin

October has always been the month that really gets me into gear for the season ahead. Once October rolls around everyone has collectively said goodbye to summer, tent sales have popped up at local shops, and temperatures have dropped just low enough that you can actually begin to imagine the coming winter. And while growing up on the East Coast meant that I often wouldn’t have the chance to actually ride for at least another month, the buzz was in the air.

The funny thing about that buzz is that I know for a fact that it’s contagious. This past Tuesday when I found out that Arapahoe Basin, or A-Basin, would be opening on Friday the 13th, the buzz took off and infected everyone that I know. In what has been a long-standing race between A-Basin and Loveland for the first chairs to spin in the United States, (both mountains are a short ten-minute drive over Loveland Pass from each other) the 2017/18 season went to Arapahoe Basin for the second consecutive year after both resorts tied in 2015. Not only that, but October 13th falls just 4 days behind A-Basin’s all-time record opening on October 9th, 2009, and is the third earliest opening of all-time. It’s safe to say the buzz was in the air and the people were excited.

Nate Dogggg and gang mark the start of the 2017/18 season. Photo: Dave Camara/Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

However, while excitement was rampant, one true champion shined brighter than the rest. In what was his 22nd consecutive year, the first official chair of the Colorado season went to none other than snowboarding legend Nate Dogggg. Nate and his loyal band of friends at Sims Snowboards slept overnight to secure what will hopefully be the start to another bountiful winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

We were nowhere near as ambitious as Nate, but we did join the crowd at the base of the Black Mountain Express quad to start our 2017/18 season. We shared joyous high-fives, slurped down spicy bloodys, laughed at creative costumes, sprayed our fair share of skiers, and celebrated being able to stand sideways once again. The lifts are turning and the time has come. We’ll see you out there.

Nate Dogg and crew waiting for the start. Photo: Dave Camara/Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
The crowd gathers. Photo: Owen Ringwall
It was a dress up heavy affair. Photo: Dave Camara/Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
Photo: Dave Camara/Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
Solid start for October 13th. Photo: Owen Ringwall
Photo: Dave Camara/Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
The park is off to a solid start. Photo: Owen Ringwall
The only way to do opening day. Photo: Owen Ringwall

See also: We went snowboarding on opening day. This time, we remembered to bring beer


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