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Mountain Update

The inside scoop from Mountain Operations Director, Steve Crowley.

Stay tuned for a weekly message about the snow, the base, snowmaking and upcoming events, straight from the source, Holiday Valley Mountain Ops.

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops Dec.26

Steve Crowley - Friday, December 27, 2013

December, 26 2013
  “ Take my hand and hold on tight, we’ll go running, running from the light, We may stand, We may fall, take a chance to lose it all, While we’re still young, While we’re still young, While we’re still young,… “ (RY p ’80)  

Winter is still young and we had a good run of snowmaking this week. We are adding lifts daily now and will have all 11 chairlifts and 2 surface lifts operational by Saturday morning with the Spruce lift being the last to open. Skiing and riding conditions are improving each day as we get more grooming time on the new man made snow. Chute slope will see some moguls develop over the next few days as the Freestyle Team builds a course for training. Edelweiss slope is groomed flat and Yodeler slope contains some snowmaking mounds for varied terrain options. We will operate holiday hours 8:30 AM to 10 PM each day through New Years Day. We have seen some lake effect snow showers and will pack the lower Cross country course on Friday. We still need more natural snow to get the Upper Cross country trails open. Check the Holiday Valley web page for the most up to date slope conditions or give Pete a call at 716-699-2644 for the daily on snow report.

The Tubing Park is open daily noon to 9 PM and the Mountain Coaster up above the Tannenbaum Lodge is operating 1 to 8 PM as well. Shuttles are operating to move you around the resort, HV lodging, Tubing Park, and Mountain Coaster. You can request shuttle service at a Lodging desk, Resort Service Center, or ask any of our parking attendants or Hosts for assistance.

New Years Eve is always a good time at Holiday Valley with our grooming crew leading off with a parade of snow cats in a grooming formation down Cindy’s slope followed by a torchlight parade and a giant fireworks display culminating with a grand finale at the stroke of midnight. Great viewing of these events can be had at The Holiday Valley Lodge. So come out and get your skiing and riding in “While we’re still young”, or young at heart anyway!!! Happy New Year!

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops Dec.19

Steve Crowley - Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 19, 2013
“Is this the real life?  Is it just fantasy? Caught in a land slide, No escape from reality, Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see, I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy, Because I’m “easy come, easy go” Little high, Little low, Any way the wind blows….”  (FM “75) 

Little high little low that’s how the weather goes, we have had several nights of very low temperatures, even seeing negative 12 f on Monday night and Tuesday morning this week. We had another great run of snowmaking through Thursday morning and have several lifts and trails to add this weekend. The Chute will open on Friday along with Shadows and Firecracker. On Saturday morning we’ll open SnowPine Lift with all trails there except the Wall-headwall. We'll need another run of snowmaking there and hope to get it open a week from now. This will bring us to 9 chairlifts and two surface lifts. Eagle lift will open next week with Falcon, Hoot Owl, Raven, Woodpecker and Woodstock. We had planned to open Eagle this Saturday but with the warm temps and wet weather, it is best to postpone the grooming out of the snowmaking piles. Spruce lift should be up and running right after Christmas. The snowmakers have produced over 700 acre feet of snow so far this year on  about 225 acres of snowmaking trails. Quick math will tell you that you have about 3 feet of manmade snow AND 60+ inches of natural (which compacted down to about 12 inches), so say that's an average of 4 feet under skis or board. This is great early season insurance to ward off any warm up or liquid precip event we may see in the next couple of days. So it is no escape from reality, but be assured the slope conditions will hold up well, any way the wind blows!
Time to add the other fun activities...Our Mountain Coaster, located at the Tannenbaum Lodge will open for the season Friday, as will the Tubing Park. The boys had a grand time shoveling snow off the uphill coaster track today and riding the “plow car” on the down track to clear off the snow. Our vehicle and grooming Manager, ED has built a new grooming implement to carve tubing lanes at the Tubing Park. We currently have 12 lanes ready to slide and the Tubing Park will open Friday at 4 pm. These new lanes are much narrower than what we built previously and when the park is complete, 20+ lanes will be available.  The park also now has a huge roller in the run out area, along with tighter lanes and it will be more fun than ever before. SO open your eyes, look up to skies and see, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy all Holiday Valley has to offer you this weekend. With colder days ahead as we head into the Holiday week, come join us for some fun and we’ll enjoy the real life! Laurie and I will see you on the slopes we’ll be hiking up in the morning and I’ll need no sympathy for sure!     

Inside Scoop from Mt. Ops 12/12/13

Steve Crowley - Thursday, December 12, 2013

 “I went across to Switzerland, Where all the Yodelers be, To try to learn to yodel, With my yodel-oh-ee-dee, I climbed a big high mountain, On a clear and sunny day, And met a yodelin’ gal, up in a little Swiss chalet…”  (F I ’62).

Winter’s here, so its a good time to learn to yodel. We’ve seen some lake effect snows this week and our snowmaking system has been running at 100% capacity all week as well. We’ll have 7 chairlifts and 2 surface lifts operating Friday thru Sunday while making snow in the other 4 lift pods. Our goal is to have the whole resort open by December 21st and we are well within that target. Earlier this week we tested out our new tubing lane cutter and saw good results, the implement was designed and built in-house by Ed, our head of grooming operations and vehicle maintenance. This lane cutter makes narrower lanes and will double the downhill capacity at the Tubing Park, shortening the wait time up top considerably...more runs, more fun!

Our lift maintenance crew has been very busy bringing more lifts online and prepping the remaining 4 to get operating a week from now. The lift maintenance team works very hard year 'round preparing each lift, greasing, testing, rebuilding and double checking each operating system to keep all lifts running with exceptional reliability. It is a feather in their caps that Holiday Valley has been voted number one in lifts in the East for 2 years in a row. Now there’s something to yodel about! 

The Mountain coaster will open for the winter season Friday Dec 20th. We’ve installed a ticket kiosk on the entrance walk over to the coaster from Tannenbaum Lodge to make purchasing tickets more convenient. Coaster ride tickets can also be purchased at any ticket sales point and you can save 25% on a coaster ticket when purchased with your lift ticket as an add on. The Tubing Park is scheduled to open on Friday Dec 20th and snowmaking has been operating all week up there building a big sliding base.

Grooming crews have been moving snow and tilling up fine surfaces each morning. Our new active boom Pisten Bully winch cat is performing well and we can now move more snow UP hill than ever before. Most of the terrain we have scheduled to open this weekend has already been winched or pushed earlier in the week so getting a second or third night of tilling the surface after being pushed provides a more uniform corduroy finish. We'll be listening for the yodelers out there and I’ll see you on the slopes.

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops 12-4-13

Steve Crowley - Wednesday, December 04, 2013

“If you share the road with me, I’ll walk along with you, We can go anywhere we want, Do whatever we want to do, We can run and laugh or hide and seek… it’s all up to you “ ( JD-NRPS ’68).

You will want to ski and ride this weekend as we are opening 7 chairlifts and two surface lifts. The snowmaking crews have produced a massive amount of snow and grooming has been working hard all week tilling up a great packed power surface. We experienced a very unusual cold snap right before Thanksgiving and put the snowmaking system in operation earlier than we have in a long time. Our automated snow guns are located on Mardi Gras, Yodeler, Punch bowl, Morning Star, Edelweiss, Sunrise, and Foxfire slopes. We’ve also installed the newest generation of high efficiency snow towers and Cindy’s run as well.

Our base is being reported at 10 to 25 inches and we have several areas with over 50” of man made snow. This gives the ability to move snow around to keep a good surface depth even after these upcoming warm ups and liquid precipitation events. Our snowmaking crews are at the ready to fire up the system in every opportunity coming later this week and another shot of arctic air due in here next Monday. We will be making snow in the lift pods that have not opened yet, as we strive to get the whole resort open by mid month. The Mountain Coaster is scheduled to open Thursday December 12th and the Tubing Park on the 20th. Skiing and Riding has been outstanding this week and will only get better as we open more terrain. Check the snow report on our web site for the latest, or better yet give Pete a call on the snow phone 716-699-2644. Everyone in Mountain Operations has been working hard to provide the best to you our guests, so come on out and share the slopes with us. I’ll see you out there!!