Win's Word

Reopening, Rail Jams and Retro Parties

Monday, December 5, 2011

Well, we did get to reopen Saturday and hopefully we will not have to close again until May.

Skiing on Saturday was not as good as opening day last week, but it was better than I expected. We were able to put down a lot of snow in a short period of time thanks to our new Snow Logic guns. And at least four inches of fresh snow Friday afternoon helped the cause. We pushed aggressively to get open on Saturday after the midweek thaw and some of our snow was a bit more moist than we would have wanted but now, after grooming last night, it will create a good base that should hold up to warm temps and potential rain showers over next two days. 

We usually do not run a lot of snow guns on trails that are being skied but we did on Saturday in order to get the maximum amount of base laid down on Downspout. We had a great People's Jam at the base of Spring Fling that day and our Parks crew created some fun features for the 70-80 participants. Saturday afternoon we moved our snowmaking to Upper Organgrinder and Sigi's Ripcord and had a night of snowmaking before temperatures rose early on Sunday morning. High winds, however, did not allow us to operate as efficiently as we would have liked.

Over at Mt. Ellen, we were cranking top-to-bottom on Inverness in order to get our GMVS racers on their race slope as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as I arrived at the mountain Sunday morning a fierce wind out of the southwest was blowing so hard that our lift mechanics did not feel it was safe to run the lift. We waited until 12:30 with a mechanic posted at the top of the lift and our patrollers and lift operators at their stations -- all of us hoping the wind would abate. It did not and we pulled the plug. It was disappointing to say the least as Mother Nature threw us another curve.

Our groomers had done an excellent job on Jester and Downspout and I was eager to get into my carving skis for a few early runs. Having watched their lights creep up Spring Fling early in the evening, I went off to sleep thinking about a first day on corduroy after five fun days in the moguls. I am looking forward to getting out early Monday morning when the corduroy should be soft and the cruising should be sweet.

Looking at the forecast this morning, it looks like colder weather is returning tomorrow night, which is a day earlier than we thought yesterday. Our plan at Lincoln Peak is to focus on getting to the bottom as soon as temperatures are sufficiently cold. In the meantime, we will continue to make snow on Organgrinder and Ripcord so that we have more terrain for everyone by the weekend. And speaking of the weekend, we have scheduled our annual SugarBash at the Castlerock Pub on Saturday at 8 PM. It is the first weekend for our seasonal programs. Also on Saturday night, Charlie Brown will be showing a short film that he made about Hurricane Irene and its impact on the Valley. The film starts at 7 PM in the Gate House. Admission is free and we will have a cash bar and pizza for sale. Charlie previewed the film for me the other day. It is a moving documentary about the storm and well worth stopping-by to see.

We are still learning how to best use our new Snow Logic guns. Many of you have commented on the amazing quality of the snow that they produce as well as how quiet they are. That lack of noise is due to the low amount of compressed air that each gun requires to make snow. And that low amount of compressed air allows us to have more snow guns running simultaneously.

See you on the hill.


About Win Smith
President & Owner

So what would you expect a former Executive Vice President of Merrill Lynch to do when he retires? Lay low in the islands? Nope. He moves north and works seven days a week right here at Sugarbush. Check out what he's been thinking.

Learn More about Win Smith >


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