Monday, February 11, 2013
While we did not get the forty inches recorded in Hamden, Connecticut, two snow systems dumped nearly fifteen inches on our mountains the past few days. That, combined with enormous snowmaking over the past week, made for some great skiing and riding over the weekend. The natural snow that fell was light and dry and really not the base-building type that will make areas like Castlerock and Slide Brook excellent again. But that will change. In fact, as I write this on Monday morning we are getting some heavier snow. Six to eight inches of this will be just what the doctor ordered.
As I watched the headlights streaming down East Warren Road on Thursday evening, it was apparent that people from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York were anticipating the impact of "Nemo" (I can't believe The Weather Channel is doing this!) and getting here early. Friday turned out to be the busiest non-holiday Friday ever, and both Saturday and Sunday were even busier. Fortunately, the anticipated winds on Saturday did not show up and for most of the day only the Valley House lift was on windhold (the wind was hitting the top bullwheel in a way that was causing the chairs to sway as they came around, so our lift mechanics did not feel it safe to run). Late in the day, Northridge and Summit went on windhold, too, but overall the wind was not a problem. Skiers and riders were spread out all over the mountain and kept the lift lines flowing.
The morning powder on Saturday was terrific. I hosted twelve people for our Cabin Cat First Tracks in the Lincoln Limo and took five runs with them on the North Lynx trails beginning at 7:00 AM. We opened Castlerock for hiking mid-morning and those who hiked it early told me it was worth the adventure. We decided to allow hiking only because the cover was thin and increased skier traffic from the lift would have scraped the trails bare. Sure enough, we were not able to open Castlerock the next day because of exposed areas.
Sunday dawned a bluebird day. Bright sun, temperatures in the mid-twenties, and no wind. It is a day like this that reminds you why it is worth skiing all winter in order to be out on the mountain in the spring.
We are feeling optimistic about the weather this week. Snow showers are predicted on several days and we should be seeing some decent accumulation. By the way, we have now had more snow than all of last year. There is also the possibility of a bigger Nor'easter forming that could arrive on Saturday or Sunday. We are excited about upcoming events, too. There is a Mardi Gras party on Tuesday evening in Castlerock Pub, and we are offering a special $14 Valentine's Day all-mountain ticket. Then the Presidents Week holiday begins on Friday and it is filled with fun events for all members of the family.
Sunday was my 70th day on skis this year. With nearly half the season left, I am hoping to break my record of 115 scanned days. Our snowmakers will be resurfacing a few more trails this week, like Birch at Lincoln Peak and Lower Elbow at Mt. Ellen. After the holiday week, we will be putting down some final snow on Stein's, Snowball and Spring Fling to ensure a long spring season.
See you on the mountain. Keep thinking snow for the next two months!