WANTED: Sustained cold temps

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Last night we made the TOUGH decision to shut down snowmaking, with the exception of Launch Pad.  It would have been an easier decision to continue snowmaking but sometimes you have to make the hard decision, knowing your decision will be extremely unpopular.  That's the kind of stuff that keeps me awake at night.

Good news first.

Launch Pad is getting a full dose of fan gun love while conditions exist in preparation for our annual early season rail garden set-up and fundraising event.  If you haven’t heard, we’ll be spinning the Discovery Shuttle this Friday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., our park crew will have a bunch of features set up for your jibbing enjoyment and lift tickets are going to be just $10 (free with your season pass, but donations are welcome) with ALL proceeds going towards Sandy relief.  Launch Pad is all about having some fun, keeping a great early season tradition alive and making some $$ for Sandy Relief.  It is our hopes that the the snow we are able to put down will last through the weekend so we’ll have as many as three days of early season fun on snow.

Forecast second.

Now to the long range forecast and how it plays into our snowmaking plan.  Despite good temps yesterday and today, the 10-14 day forecast shows a warm up, with few snowmaking windows.  We looked at the amount of snow we were able to produce on Monday and figured how much we could add to that in 2 more days and felt that the amounts would not hold during the milder temps.  Please keep in mind that the ground is not frozen and water temps have not dropped substantially yet.

As much as we were hoping this Nor’easter would bring us lots of snow, all the forecasts are predicting light snow, mixed and rain.  The best forecasts I saw showed 2-4”.  Most showed 1-2” of snow.  I have mentioned in these blogs before that we believe in making “smart snow.”  Blowing a bunch of snow that has a high probability of melting is not smart.

So the tough decision was made (groan) and now we will wait for that window of  cold, sustainable temps.  As I have said before, we are ready!  Chomping at the bit actually!

Before you post the question, let me take a stab at answering it.  Why are some ski areas opening but not Mount Snow?  Those ski areas have made a decision to go out as hard and as early as possible.  They may open and close, they may ski on ungroomed terrain, offer advanced only and require some hiking.  That is okay.  I applaud them – that is their game plan .

Mount Snow, however, has a different approach.  When we open we want to stay open.  We want to open top to bottom with no hiking or downloading.  We prefer to open with skiing and riding for all abilities and we want to open with a groomed surface.  In order to put a grooming machine on the hill, you have to have a solid base.  Do we ever open ungroomed terrain?  Absolutely, yes.  But the difference is that there is always groomed terrain available as an alternative.  The majority of Mount Snow’s skiers and riders are intermediate and we try to always have something available for them that is safe and fun for their level.

Back to the good news.  I am really excited about Launch Pad.  If you've never experienced it, it is a lot of fun...even to watch.  And I am equally excited to raise some funds to help with Sandy relief efforts.  I hope we can raise $10,000 but need your help.  And to our guests that are still without power, without your home or starting the rebuilding phase, our thoughts are with you.


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