Winter Strategy :: Update from Jeff Temple, Director of Mountain Operations
Posted January 23, 2014
Forecast calls for 12 more feet of snow…
With our winter season well underway, I want to update you all on where we are with terrain and snowmaking strategies going forward. I have to admit it has been challenging to plan around spring and arctic conditions happening within days of each other more than once this season, but with that said, I have a great grooming and snowmaking team and we have it well under control.
Our snowmaking crews have done an excellent job to get all our signature trails, steeps and cruisers open this season, and we know our snowmakers are good but they can’t blanket the natural trails and woods, too. With six feet of natural snow so far this year, the really cool news is that based on our yearly averages we can expect another twelve feet of snow to fall before the season ends!
Guns and Hoses…
With Outer Limits, Ovation, Upper Pike and Double Dipper all open, our snowmaking strategy continues to focus on three objectives between Killington and Pico:
- Complete our expansion goals on Conclusion at Killington and Upper KA at Pico.
- Continue re-surfacing operations where needed.
- Begin spring depth building for all the late April and May skiers and riders.
Shed the boosters…
To be open so early in the fall and have plenty of snow for the Christmas holiday period, we bring in lots of rental air compressors to quickly accelerate our snowmaking production. Just like jettisoning boosters off the space shuttle, from here on in we “hum” along making snow with our in-house air compressors. Our plant has produced 527 acre feet, ,27% more snow than last year season to date and 23% more than the five year average!
Parks and Pipe
Although Mother Nature has thrown us some real ups and downs this season, we stay committed to our terrain parks. The snowmakers are pounding Dream Maker terrain park and Rosey promises me a weekend debut with the K-town Showdown rail jam. Our full slate of progression parks from Easy Street and Timberline in the Ramshead area to The Stash and Dream Maker will all be open as of this weekend.
For the pipe riders, the crew will be building the popular 13’ wall pipe in Timberline next week. With the late start of the Superpipe this year, the feedback loop has been busy with ideas for something different for the rest of the season. I’m hearing hips on the natural wall, jump and jib garden all in sight of the Bear Lodge. I’ll let Rosey and the crew figure that one out…
Although the 50 degree swings make man-made bump farming challenging, our bump seeders will have Mousetrap, Fools Gold, Lower Outer Limits and Superstar in place soon. We heard a lot of great feedback on the Superstar and Outer Limits bumps last year and will have them in place well before the “spring” bump season to get the bumpers in shape for Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge.
Flurries or the Big One…
Yes, I would like a big storm once in a while, but the constant daily flurries that are finally falling are what our resort is known for. The one inchers are what build the depth in the woods, keep the natural trails fresh and help the groomers turn the surface night after night. I’m really excited with our snow plan, terrain plan and the great skiing. I’ll update you all again soon but I have to keep up with all you 100 Day Clubbers, so I’ll see you on the hill.
Director of Mountain Operations