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Ski Resort Life

Tip Sheet: Pali Face, Arapahoe Basin

Test yourself on Summit County, Colorado’s steepest slope.

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»Location: Arapahoe Basin, Colo.

»Getting There: The Pali double chair, looker’s right in the base area.

»Vertical feet: 1,329

»Acres: 205

»Scare Factor: Pali is steep and sustained, but it’s open. The tree skiing can be tight and technical.

The Terrain » Pallavicini is technically the whole wide-open run to skier’s left of the famous double chair. It’s made up of three aspects: Main Street, the gully closest to the lift; The Spine, the double-fall-line ridge in the middle; and the steeply pitched Pali Face. You can also find tree skiing and mini cliff drops in The Alleys, on the far side of the Face, and in North Glade, which borders the Pali lift to the right.

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How to Ski It » Stay high on the traverse across the ridge and drop skier’s left into Pali Face—the steepest, widest part of Pali, where the north-facing snow stays chalky. Once that’s tracked, hit the far northern boundary for the short but stout chutes of Gauthier and the Waterfall (Lower 4th Alley).

Aprés »There are five Alleys—narrow treed chutes—off the skier’s left side of Pali Face. The 6th Alley is the newly redesigned bar in the base area, which serves up famous bacon Bloody Marys, local brews, and baked mac ’n’ cheese. Take a lap there, and make sure to check out the upstairs nook, where you can sit in chairs from the old Exhibition lift.

Beta » Show up early to score a spot on the Beach, the Basin’s party-oriented parking lot, right near the base of the lift. That way, when your legs are beat, you can skate right back to your car.

(Photo: Liam Doran)