Forest Service accepts Arapahoe Basin expansion plans for lift skiing in Beavers backcountry area

The U.S. Forest Service has accepted Arapahoe Basin Ski Area's master plan upgrades, including lift skiing in The Beavers backcountry area.

The long-term development plan accepted Wednesday includes skiing in the dangerous steeps beyond the resort's operating boundary. The plan would add more than 400 backcountry acres served by lifts.

According to the Summit Daily, the acceptance kicks off the permitting process, requiring ski area officials to complete an environmental impact study.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area was the first ski area to open in Colorado this year. New for the 2012-2013 season is the Pika Place Learning Area, scheduled to open in November. Situated in the base area next to the Black Mountain Express lift, Pika Place is geared toward younger guests and first-time skiers and riders, the resort said.

Pika Place features a new trail, a new conveyor lift and Ace's Kids Park, a beginner-level terrain park with smaller versions of popular features found in A-Basin's other two terrain parks.