A-Basin gets going for season | VailDaily.com

A-Basin gets going for season

Janice Kurbjun
Vail, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado – During a moment of silence in which the only sound was the Black Mountain Express whirring to life and a bit of shuffling from the crowd gathered for Arapahoe Basin’s opening day, the first two chairs sported ribbons to symbolize sending the deceased Max Dercum and Marnie Jump “on their next run,” COO Alan Henceroth said.

“This is in memory of the people who create this great place for us to have so much fun,” he said, later adding, “It’s a way to show our appreciation.”

He said Jump was a “wonderful, sweet, kind woman” whose photos hang on the walls of the A-frame. Her husband, Larry Jump, was among the men who paved the way in the skiing industry.

“World War II had just ended, and skiing as a business didn’t really exist,” he said, adding that both Jumps were tenacious and determined to start the ski area and keep it running. “The concept was so far out there. No model existed.”

Dercum, another founder, died just last month at age 98.

After Max and Marnie’s chairs were on their way, the silence was interrupted by Henceroth yelling into the microphone, “Let’s do this thing!” That was followed by the countdown to when A-Basin employee Leigh Hierholzer dropped the gate and let the first crew onto the chair.

For the 16th year, Nate Dogggg and his posse were at the front of the line, after arriving at the ski area’s parking lot at 11 a.m. Wednesday, almost 24 hours prior to the lifts starting to turn.

“You gotta create a legacy doing something,” Dogggg said, adding that he’s taking on the task of being the first Coloradan on the first chair of any of Colorado’s resort’s opening day.

“We actually got Wolf Creek’s first chair because we thought they’d be staying open,” he said. They arrived at the ski area at 6 p.m. the day before the southern Colorado ski area opened about a week ago.

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