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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 January 30

Steve Crowley - Thursday, January 30, 2014


“I’m goin’ across the mountains, oh fare ye well, Goin’ across the mountains, you can hear my banjo tell, Got my rations on my back, my powder it is dry, Goin’ across the mountains, oh Chrissy don’t you cry”  (PS ‘66) .

You can go across our mountains anywhere you care to as we’ll have 57 trails, glades, and cross country routes open this weekend with good cover everywhere and snow in the forecast. The sun is getting higher in the sky and makes for some outstanding runs on Morning Star and Crosscut to start the day. Follow the sun to Mardi Gras and Cindy’s mid morning and Yodeler, Champagne, Edelweiss mid afternoon. The Tannenbaum area is great anytime along with Spruce and Sunrise. We groomed the Wall last night.

We are hosting a USSA Freestyle B meet here this weekend,(B’s are the younger competitors) they will be hitting the mogul course at Chute on Saturday and a slopestyle event on Snoozer Sunday. We also have USASA slopestyle on Snoozer Saturday as well along with our Ranger group racing in Racer X on Cindys. NASTAR will also be open on Cindys Wednesday through Sundays if you care to run some gates and see how you compare in the NASTAR series. More information on this web site under the” explore our mountain” tab.

Whether you ski or ride, race or cruise, snow shoe or cross country it really doesn’t matter as long as you get out and enjoy the winter weather ( it’s 30 degrees warmer here tonight than it was just yesterday at the abyss of our cold snap). Mighty frosty, but makes for outstanding snow surface conditions all around the resort. We have a neat field of moguls on Morning Star and some interesting terrain building on the left side of Falcon. Most all other trails are groomed up with fresh corduroy each morning keeping our grooming crew busy. The snowmakers are watching the super bowl this weekend but do plan to produce more snow next week in selected areas. Terrain parks are all open and just keep getting better with a completely rebuilt fun rail park and more shaping in the Foxfire 42-78 Park. 

The Tubing Park is running 24 lanes, the little tubers area and the ice rink. Bring you own skates and glide the evening away! Our Mountain coaster is open Thursday through Sunday till 8 pm. An evening ride down among the snow covered trees is a memorable experience. The coaster is located just above the Tannenbaum Lodge and we offer free shuttle service there and around the resort, just ask a lodge or lot attendant for assistance.

Happy Lunar New Year and enjoy the year of the horse. Let’s all get some skiing and riding in, and I’ll see you on the slopes.

Inside Scoop from Mt. Ops Jan 23

Steve Crowley - Thursday, January 23, 2014

Today was day number 56 of skiing and riding. We are not to the half way point yet with many more days to come as our seasons usually run 120 days or more. The snowmaking system is shutting down tonight and will remain down through the weekend as our base is at an incredible depth. The grooming crew is hard at it, moving and tilling snow each night and Mother Nature is forecasted to add snow over the next 3 days. The moguls on the Chute have been freshened up with a quick run of snowmaking there last night. We are leaving half of Falcon un-groomed with some nice mounds on the west side of the trail. The Wall headwall received a good run of snowmaking this week and was winched and tilled last night. It skied great this morning so be sure to get over there if your abilities match the 38 degree pitch! The mogul field on Skier/rider's right of Morning Star is shaped up fine if you're looking for a good place to practice the bumps.
   Terrain parks are at their very best this season. There's new build going on in the Mardi Gras Rail Park Friday morning where we'll be adding several new rails on some big snowmaking base. Moonshadow park has a fabulous boarder cross course set up. USASA boardercross training runs will take place on Friday and competitions will be both Saturday and Sunday, but the park will be open to all after the events each day. Snoozer and the 42-78 park on Foxfire are open as well with a great set up in each park. A Masters USSA race is on Edelweiss on Sunday. Be sure to visit the delicious Safety Patrol Cook Out at the top of Mardi Gras to keep you warm and fueled up. Our Tubing Park with 24 lanes and the ice rink is open as well as the Mountain Coaster if you are looking for something a little different. Operating hours for Thursday through Sunday at the Coaster and Tubing Park are listed on the daily slope report.  A cold, cold week  at Holiday Valley has the snow surface in great condition so come on out and make some turns. You will be glad you did.

“ I’ve got to stand tall, you know a man can’t crawl, For when he knows you’re telling lies, And he hears them passing by, He’s not a man at all, Don’t want your love anymore, Don’t want your kisses, that’s for sure, I die each Time I hear this sound. Here he comes, That’s Cathy’s clown.. “ (EB ’60)  
See you on the slopes! 

Inside Scoop from Mt Ops Jan 16

Steve Crowley - Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 16, 2014
 “I heat up, I can’t cool down, You got me spinning, ‘Round and ‘round, ‘Round and ‘round and ‘round it goes, Where it stops nobody knows,… Abra-abra-cadabra I want to reach out and grab ya…” (SMB ’82) 

We’ll be here to reach out to our season passholders for an early opening this Saturday at Yodeler lift starting at 7:30 am. All trails serviced by the Yodeler lift will be open for a one hour head start exclusively for our season passholders to enjoy first turns on the fresh corduroy. All other lifts and trails will open at 8:30 am. If you are not so into corduroy, head over to Falcon slope as we are leaving half of that trail un-groomed to allow moguls to form. We do have a few lines on the Chute and are creating machine made bumps on skiers' right of Morning Star on Friday morning. We have some excellent terrain parks up on Foxfire and Snoozer, and Jim has built a great all-snow course in the Moonshadow park that will host a boarder cross event next weekend. Yodeler is groomed flat and will be planed each night to keep it smooth for a Nor-Am parallel slalom snowboard race being held there in the middle of next week.

The Snowmaking crews have some snow in the air this week to freshen up selected areas, however the plan is to limit operating to the overnight hours for the weekend. The base is in good shape and the grooming crews are making improvements each night so it will be skiing and riding very well in the days ahead, thank you.

The Tubing Park is open with 24 lanes and two tows operating along with 8 lanes on the Little Tubers hill for those too small to ride the tow. The Little Tubers hill is available free of charge and we do require an adult to be with the little ones there. Bill says the ice rink is open, so bring your skates and check out the newest attraction at the park. The Mountain Coaster is open and is located at the Tannenbaum Lodge.  Shuttles are available in the lots and lodging and also to and from the Tubing Park and Mountain Coaster on request. There's great weather for skiing and riding as we enter a more seasonal pattern so I can cool down. Come on out we’ll go ‘round and ‘round, see you on the slopes!

Inside Scoop from Mt Ops 1-9-14

Steve Crowley - Thursday, January 09, 2014

 January 9, 2014
“They call it Stormy Monday, Well the Tuesday’s just as bad, They call it Stormy Monday, But Tuesday’s just as bad, Lord Wednesday’s worse, Thursday’s all so sad, Now the Eagle flies on Friday, Saturday I go out and play, Well the eagle flies on Friday. Lord on Saturday I go out and play, Sunday I go to church, Lord, I kneel down to pray”  (ABB ’71) 

This past week did bring out the blues with sub zero temperatures, strong winds, and most major north south roads closed. There were a few hearty souls on the slopes but it was a quiet week here at Holiday Valley. Now on Thursday night the crowd is picking up along with the temperatures. It was another big week for snowmaking and even bigger week for grooming as the crews are working hard leveling out trails and tilling up some good skiing and riding snow. It will be all grooming bringing back the surface this weekend as we have sent the snowmakers home 'til next week for some well deserved rest. Jim, Pat, and Ed are building up the Foxfire 42/78 Terrain Park with plenty of rails and tables set for the weekend. We will see racing on Edelweiss both Saturday and Sunday and NASTAR will be set up on Cindy’s. The Freestyle Team will be skiing up a mogul course on Chute Saturday morning. We have parks in waiting on Snoozer and Moon Shadow (huge piles of snow) so those trails will remain closed until into next week. There's great snow on Fiddlers Elbow, Morning Star, and all the Eagle area, so be sure to head back there first.
   The Tubing Park is open along with the Mountain Coaster. Operating hours are listed on the web page, and you can purchase discount coaster tickets if you add that to your lift ticket purchase. As always we have free shuttles operating to move you and yours around the resort. The shuttle pick up is at the Resort Services Center and on request from other locations, just ask a host or lot attendant. The snow is great and at mid-season depth all around the resort. Dress for the weather, come on out and join us for some great winter fun. See you on the slopes. 
   PS : I just heard Warren and Derek are leaving ABB at the end of 2014, now that is blue! 

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops 1-2-14

Steve Crowley - Thursday, January 02, 2014

January 2 2014
 “When you wake up in the morning and the light is hurt your head, The first thing you do when you get up out of bed, Is hit the street a-runnin’ and try to beat the masses, And go get yourself some cheap sunglasses….Now go out and get yourself some big black frames, With the glass so dark they won’t even know your name…” (ZZT ’79) 

The weatherman says we may need some shades on Saturday but time will tell.  It’s snowing hard tonight at the Valley and the temp is just around 10 degrees f. We are experiencing a good general snowfall and the cold temperatures are providing a great opportunity for snowmaking all around the resort. The prevailing winds are West/Northwest but they have been out of the East/Northeast the past 24 hours, which lets us make snow on the opposite side of the north facing trails (skiers/riders right). Snow guns and hydrants are generally placed on the western edge of these slopes, however over time we have added a lighter bank of guns on the eastern edges and the results are spectacular when the winds go east, achieving a uniform base depth all across the slope. Groomers have been busy this week leveling out trails and packing some yet to open terrain as we aim to have all our trails open by Saturday. The Wall has seen snowmaking and was groomed with the winch cat Tuesday night. Crews will make more snow there tonight and we’ll groom it out one more time Friday night. Depending on the result, The Wall may open Saturday for the first time this season. Moguls are on Shadows now and we'll start developing a field on Chute this weekend. Machine made bumps will get set on Morning Star, lower south side ( skier/rider right side) with the warmer weather coming this weekend this should start to ski in.
    Hey, the Tubing park will be sliding on 20+ lanes this weekend, a first for Holiday Valley. We now have the snow depth there to set lanes all the way across hill with our new lane setting implement. The park is open Thursdays and Fridays 4-9 PM and Noon to 9 PM on Saturday and Sunday. The Mountain Coaster is open Thursday through Sunday as well and is located just off the Tannenbaum lodge. Shuttle Busses and Vans are operating and you can get around the resort by requesting a ride from a Parking attendant or host at any lodge. There's a designated shuttle stop at the top of the stairs just west of the Resort Service Center.
      Now if you are confused on the east-west references and need help in following me here just go to the “plan a visit” tab on the Holiday Valley web page and open the trail map. This map is an artist’s rendering, actually quite a famous artist, James Niehues, as he has done over 75% of the ski resorts in North America.  The map is not to scale but looking at the map, West is to the right as the view is looking south because the majority of the trails face North. And when you ski or ride down a north face in January there is very little need for sunglasses because the sun angle is very low and it’s behind you. Look for it in the morning, though, on Morning Star slope as that slope faces east and the snow will soften quickly there on a sunny day, see you on the slopes!