Monday, February 4, 2013
Last Wednesday, I was sitting in a National Ski Areas Association board meeting in Denver, Colorado, and all of us from the East were watching The Weather Channel on our iPads as a great big green blob worked its way north and east. Knowing that temperatures had reached into the high 50s, the winds were howling, and heavy rain was falling, our hearts sank faster than Lindsey Vonn going downhill. I also know that it always snows when I am out of the Valley, so I still had my hopes up. But let's be frank. We lost a lot of the 160 inches of snow that we had received since the start of the season. When I spoke to our on-mountain staff on Thursday, however, their words gave me a lot of reassurance. "Don't worry, boss. We've been through this before. By the weekend, the groomers and snowmakers will have us back in decent shape." They were right.
One email I received summed it up best of all: "We were expecting the worst on Friday, but your mountain team has done an incredible job and we had a wonderful five hours of skiing at Sugarbush. Please pass this along to them." As soon as cold temps returned, our groomers hit the slopes. Since Thursday, we have made snow on Snowball, Spring Fling, Stein's, Murphy's Glades, Lower Organgrinder, Lower Jester, Downspout, Cruiser, Mainstream, Northstar, and Inverness. We will be making more snow in the days ahead on Upper Organgrinder, Jester, Pushover, Hot Shot, Elbow, Rim Run, Sugar Run, Which Way, and Cliffs. Where snow is not needed, grooming will soon get everything into good shape again. And actually, it did snow while I was away and continues to snow lightly and those few new inches are mixing-in nicely with what is already on the trails. Given the cold temperatures, however, it is light and dry and not sufficient enough yet to get our natural terrain open and the Slide Brook Express running, but we are inching closer each day.
I returned to the Valley via Boston this morning and was impressed with the conditions when I arrived. Driving up Route 89, I saw no snow until almost Exit 3. Then each mile looked more and more like winter. When I came over the Roxbury Gap, it was a winter paradise. The valley floor was white, snow was falling, and our snowmaking on Ripcord was a very pleasant sight. So get the word out. WE HAVE SNOW! And it is good snow. It is definitely worth the drive to be here this week.
I will give you another update on Thursday.