Arapahoe Basin’s Full Moon Dinner Series: 2011 Dates Announced

Arapahoe Basin's Full Moon Snowshoe Dinner Series has expanded to include a New Year's Eve dinner and an uphill event.

Arapahoe Basin's Full Moon Snowshoe Dinner Series has expanded to include a New Year's Eve dinner and an uphill event.

With the first of Arapahoe Basin’s five dinner events behind us, I figured it was about time to post the dates of the remaining four. Really, I was just procrastinating on registering for the January event and wanted to secure our spots before I shared with the rest of the world. And with the March 19 Dolomites dinner already sold out, I had good reason to wait.

2011 Arapahoe Basin Full Moon Dinner Snowshoe Series

We're no strangers to skinning at the Basin. But usually there isn't meat, cheese and Riesling waiting at the top.

We're no strangers to skinning at the Basin. But usually there isn't meat, cheese and Riesling waiting at Black Mountain Lodge.

January 19, 2011: Dynafit Nachtspektakel, German Feast & Randonee
Nothing like meat, cheese and Riesling to top off a skin. The only non-lift serviced event in the series, the “earn your turns” dinner is new this season.

February 19, 2011: Evening in the Andes
February features food from Argentina and Chile, with influence from the Mediterranean.

March 19, 2011: Evening in the Dolomites (Already sold out!)
What are you missing? Italian-themed cuisine with accompanying wine.

April 16, 2011: Evening in the Pyrenees
Think Spain for the spring installment of the snowshoe dinner series.

Read last year’s post on the event or read on for more on the Arapahoe Basin Dinner Snowshoe Series, as published January 2010 at goColorado.com.

If you ask typical Coloradans what’s changed at Arapahoe Basin in the last few seasons, a mention of the Montezuma Bowl expansion is probably the first thing to leave their mouths. But for the locals who ski the Basin regularly, they might also give a nod to Black Mountain Lodge and some of the exciting new culinary additions.

Introduced in the 2008-2009 season to a sellout crowd, the Black Mountain Lodge Full Moon Snowshoe Dinner Series is one of those offerings. Equipped with snowshoes and headlamps, dinner guests ride the Exhibition Lift from the base to Black Mountain Lodge, Arapahoe Basin’s newest on-mountain restaurant.

Live music begins and, as dusk turns to night, diners settle in for a spread of gourmet cuisine prepared by A-Basin chef Christopher Rybak. When the food is gone and the music quiets, guests snowshoe or hike down the mountain under the light of the full (or nearly full) moon.

“Number one, I like doing nice food,” Rybak says “Number two, I really think that when you provide a special thing for the guest it makes a big difference. What a great experience if they get to ride a chairlift and go to dinner. It’s that wow factor.”

As the chef who opened the Alpenglow Stube, Keystone’s four-diamond, signature restaurant, Rybak knows a thing or two about wow factor.

He began upping the ante at A-Basin with super-yummy barbecue and bison stew at the Black Mountain Lodge, and now visitors can indulge in crepes on the weekends. You also can expect to find the burgers standing tall and the onion rings hot and crispy.

“With everything I try to incorporate value,” Rybak says. “You can walk away saying ‘Maybe I paid $8.95 for a burger, but it was well worth it.’”

Like the burgers, the Full Moon Snowshoe Dinner Series will be totally worth it. Themed dinners include Asian samplings such as dim sum and soba noodles as well as a night of French fare that incorporates fine cheeses and delicate sweets.

In the summer, look for the Alpenglow Dinner and Wildflower Hike, a similar affair that involves a chairlift ride, gourmet cuisine inspired by local ingredients and a post-dinner wildflower hike back to the base area.

Though the installation of a new, high-speed quad means the summer dinners will skip a season, it’s not too late for the spring snowshoe series. All previous dinners sold out, a sign that guests should plan to buy tickets well in advance.

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