Bridger Bowl Vs. Arapahoe Basin

Bridger Bowl Vs. Arapahoe Basin

Krueger, Ryan
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Arapahoe Basin, otherwise known as “The Legend,” is a small resort hidden among giants in the Colorado Rockies, just outside Denver. Unlike its money-grubbing neighbors, A-Basin has remained humble. But how does it really stack up to our Northern Rockies favorite, the awesome and equally unassuming Bridger Bowl? In a twist on our “Bozeman Vs.” section, we decided to investigate this little locale and find out.

Season

Arapahoe Basin oftentimes opens in October and runs into July. With a season pass that costs about $200 less than ours—and a season nearly twice as long—these guys get in so much skiing it makes our stunted season seem like highway robbery.

Edge: Arapahoe


Approach

Bozeman skiers embark on a laughable 16-mile cruise up Bridger Canyon to get to the goods, whereas heading to Arapahoe will likely put you at the epicenter of powder-day gridlock on I-70—and banging your head on the steering wheel won’t take the tracks out of Montezuma Bowl. This one’s a no-brainer.

Edge: Bridger


Terrain

Although A-Basin does boast the highest skiable terrain on the North American continent, we’re not sure why that matters. We have more acreage, bigger vertical, and just plain better skiing. Not to mention one lap on the Schlasman’s lift will leave Arapahomies wondering why they ever thought the East Wall hike was a worthy endeavor.   

Edge: Bridger


Crowds

Tucked away in our little corner of Montana, our community resort has been able to steer clear of most of the nonsense that infects so many other great ski areas. Although Arapahoe has resisted plaguing development and debilitating crowds to some degree, at the end of the day, this Colorado resort is a product of its own environment.   

Edge: Bridger


Snowfall

With an average annual snowfall of 350 inches at both resorts, this one is a tough call. After inhaling cold smoke on the ridge, it would be easy to make the argument for Bridger’s exceptional accumulation, but the numbers are just too close this time.

Edge: Tie


Après

Though we find ourselves rather content lounging on the deck of the Griz after a day of skiing, the scene at “the beach” looks like way too much fun. I mean really: skiing AND tailgating? That’s après innovation. Party on, Colorado.

Edge: Arapahoe


Score: 3 to 2. Winner: Bridger Bowl. You put up a good fight, Arapahoe Basin… and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t a little jealous at times. But in the end, the Legend has fallen.

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