Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. OK, so who cheated on Mother Nature? She was in such a good mood in December and during the early days of January. Well, that changed on the weekend of January 12th when she threw a mini-thaw at us for a couple of days. But her mood wasn't all that bad because we didn't get a lot of rain and the warm temps didn't last very long. She seemed to be getting cheerier when temperatures fell again and we were able to make a lot of snow and get those trails back into really nice shape by the weekend. Natural terrain like Castlerock and the woods were really not safe to ski though. And the several inches of new snow that we received during the week did not bond (in fact, it made the trails more hazardous because the little bit of snow covered up obstacles and patches of ice). We really need a good, heavy, six to eight inches of snow to get back to 100%, Mother Nature. Please.
Last Saturday was our third busiest day ever. All the lifts were running at Mt. Ellen, but Heaven's Gate was on windhold most of the day. As I mentioned, Castlerock was closed and the woods are not where you wanted to be. Consequently the lines at Bravo and Gate House were longer than usual for us, but then the mountain literally absorbs people. Over 1,000 people rode the Slide Brook Express to ME and that took pressure off of the lifts at Lincoln Peak. About 2:30 PM, Heaven's Gate came off windhold. I happened to be listening to the Mt. Ops chatter on the radio and just getting off Bravo, so Lili and I caught the first chair. We expected the trails to be wind-scorn, but to our surprise the westerly wind that caused windhold didn't seep down the trails and the freshly groomed Upper Organgrinder and Ripcord still had corduroy stripes. What a pleasant and fast three runs we had at the end of the day! Lili thought Organgrinder was better. I voted for Ripcord.
Mother Nature turned really sour Saturday night and all day Sunday. The winds were ferocious at times and once again affected LP more than ME. We never opened Heaven's Gate or North Lynx. We lost Bravo and GMX around noon. Needless to say, the lines at Valley and Gate House were long, but a lot of people stayed around and battled gusts of wind that at times nearly blew you over. Lili's goddaughter completed her third and final day of the First Timer to Life Timer Program on Sunday, and her excitement kept both her and Lili on the Gate House slopes well into the afternoon despite the wind and rapidly falling temperature.
This week we have picked up a few inches of natural snow and with consistently cold temps we are blowing a ton. Wednesday we are wrapping-up on Birch and Sunrise and then moving over to Snowball, Spring Fling, Racer's Edge, Coffee Run and Stein's to begin building terrain for spring. It is cold up there, but good clothing and equipment can still make it fun on the slopes. The forecasters tell us that we will be warming up slightly for the weekend. And we all have our fingers crossed that the snow down south might turn northward and not go out to sea.
MLK weekend didn't feature the best skiing and riding of the season but there is no doubt that a lot of people had a great time here at Sugarbush and we had some really fun events for all members of the family. I was once again delighted with our Torchlight Parade and the fireworks put on by North Star!
Bundle up and we will see you on the slopes.
PS. Where is the moose? We haven't seen our big bull moose friend for some time, but Murphy the Moose has been spotted quite often lately and he has ordered some t-shirts for our Adventure Gear shop.