Winter has barely begun, yet Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s plans to expand its summer on-mountain recreational activities just took a giant leap forward, reports Summit Daily.
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The White River National Forest announced on Tuesday that its Dillon Ranger District is now accepting comments on A-Basin’s plans for approximately 10 miles of new trails for hiking and mountain biking and two Via Ferrata routes — one beneath tree line at lower mountain terrain and one above tree line on upper mountain terrain.
“The hiking and mountain biking trails and Via Ferrata would be designed to highlight A-Basin’s unique National Forest setting, which includes the East Wall,” USFS forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams wrote. “Currently, summer hiking and mountain biking opportunities at A-Basin are limited to the mountain access road and one summer trail,” he continued, “which runs between the base area and Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain. The proposed action would better meet the expectations of summer visitors by diversifying difficulty, variety and spatial extent of trails available for hiking and mountain biking.”
Fitzwilliams added that guests climbing A-Basin’s Via Ferrata would wear harnesses and helmets and navigate under the supervision of a guide. The ski area hopes this new offering will allow guests to experience high alpine, exposed areas in a safe fashion.
A-Basin’s proposed new hiking and mountain biking plan would include trails of varying difficulty levels. Fitzwilliams also added that the proposed trails would integrate well with A-Basin’s existing trail and road network by dispersing guests more effectively throughout the ski area’s special-use permit area.
If you wish to comment on A-Basin’s proposal, you can submit written or electronic comments to the forest service by a Nov. 4 deadline. If you do, Fitzwilliams asks you to reference “Arapahoe Basin Trails and Via Ferrata project.”
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The comments themselves must be submitted to: Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Sam Massman, Dillon Ranger District, P.O. Box 620, Silverthorne, CO 80498-0620.
Electronic comments can be sent to Cara.Ecosystem-Management.org/Public/CommentInput?Project=54841.
For more information, visit FS.USDA.Gov/project?project=54841.