Kelly's Blog: White Gold
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Exhibition is now open from the summit with a section of Lodge open too.
The conditions today reminded me that all of this white gold did not come without remarkable efforts. The most obvious obstacle we’ve had to beat is the temperature. One of our season pass holders posted this map and I thought it summed up the above average temps perfectly.
The Mount Snow region is shaded in the 8-9 range, 10 being the greatest departure from the normal temperature. Despite the above average temps we have already produced over 900 acre/ft of snow compared to our total last year of 1,300 acre/ft. When the cold temps have graced us it is our 250 fan guns that have helped us to work wonders. One of our secret weapons is our fan guns because they produce better quality snow, faster. It's not really a secret and I often wonder why more ski areas don't use more fan gun technology. I am a believer.
Jack, our snow reporter, snapped this shot on Jan 4 during our very productive week of snowmaking.
Another hurdle this season has been rain. Since we opened we’ve been treated to a weekly rain event, which is measured below.
Rainfall in inches
The silver lining to this ridiculous weather pattern is that as soon as the rain subsides, the temperature drops dramatically. These cold temps have allowed our snowmakers to resurface everything for the weekend and then start expansion. We could have skipped the resurface step and focused on expansion, to bump our trail count higher, but that's not even in our playbook. If we don’t have fun skiing it we know you won’t. So as painful as it was, Randy and his snowmakers have resurfaced at least 5 times, more in some areas.
Despite the unfavorable temps we have made a lot of snow so far this season. A few days ago I looked at the stats and compared them to last year’s total snowmaking hours. So far we have already hit 55% of last year’s total. Water pumped to date is 69% of the total we pumped last year. The numbers say it all and back up my belief that this is the year of WHITE GOLD.
At the beginning of the year I was a bit perturbed with the weather but recently I have settled into some sort of pathetic acceptance. It is what it is and Mother Nature will bless us with a snowstorm when she Is ready (BTW, I think she is getting ready and the weather geeks agree.) The only thing we can do is work with it and despite some crazy challenges, I am super-impressed with the snow surfaces that our snowmakers and groomers have been able to offer up.
If you are at home with grass in your back yard and think there is no snow in Vermont, let these photos be proof that there is plenty of skiing, riding and tubing at Mount Snow. C’mon, when else will you have the opportunity to be whisked to the summit in a blue bubble and slalom down on white gold!?
Below - Yard sale is open!
Red Bull Buttercup at Carinthia 1/7
6 lanes of tubing when you need a "rest"
p.s. excuse my photography - something I need to work on.