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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 Mt. Ops March 27

Steve Crowley - Thursday, March 27, 2014

“I have climbed highest mountains, I have run through the fields, Only to be with you, Only to be with you, I have run, I have crawled, I have scaled these city walls, Only to be with you, But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…” (U2 ’87) 

What we are looking for is SPRING Skiing and riding, baby it’s been cold out there! But the weather is changing and looks like we’ll get a fix of spring runs and sun this weekend. We are currently operating 5 Chairlifts and the handle tow with plans to add the Morning Star express lift for the weekend. That gets us up to 35 slopes open for the weekend. Moguls are available on Yodeler, Morning Star and Chute, (you’ll need to cut out to Edelweiss to return to Yodeler lift if doing the Chute). Terrain parks are all open for the final weekend as we will be closing Cindy’s lift Monday. The Mardi Gras rail park will be available next week as we plan to operate Mardi Gras and Yodeler lifts starting  Monday for the week. The Tubing Park and Mountain Coaster are closed for the season but the Coaster will open for summer operations in late May. Our Ski season closing date is listed as April 6th, giving you two more weeks to get those last runs in and soak up the afternoon sun on one of our fabulous south facing decks. I’ll see you on the slopes, shades and sunscreen required!

Inside Scoop Mountain Ops March 13

Steve Crowley - Thursday, March 13, 2014

“Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling, From glen to glen, and down the mountain side, The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling, It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide. But come ye back when summer’s in  the meadow, or when the Valley’s hushed and white in snow, And I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow, Oh, Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy,  I love you so…” (FW 1910) 

We just experienced what could be our annual St Paddy’s day storm, folklore around here goes that a final winter storm usually falls right around St Paddy’s day and we just saw 9+ inches of snow and single digit temperatures this Thursday morning. This, on top of a well preserved base will keep us skiing and riding right into April this year.

Our freestyle team and coaches are hosting The Eastern Regional B Championships here this weekend with a Mogul course set on Yodeler slope, Aerial site set on Foxfire and a Slopestyle course on Snoozer with over 180 competitors. There will be plenty of action to see. Congratulations to Ed, Jim, Pat, and Mike for all their hard work in getting the venues built.

The crew is working on converting the Snowbar pile into a Quarter Pipe for an event there at the Yodeler Lodge Saturday at noon. Our last night skiing is this Saturday and on Sunday we will offer Twilight skiing on Cindy’s and Sunrise lifts from 4:30 to 7 pm. All other lifts will close at 4:30 on Sunday and for the balance of the season. The Twilight riding/skiing is available each evening next week with a $15 ticket. Check the website for all the details.

A warm up is heading our way for the weekend that will soften the snow and the moguls on Chute, Falcon, and Morning Star. Those bumps will provide a good workout. The Season Passholder early ski/ride is this Saturday. We will operate the Yodeler lift one hour early starting at 7:30 am for our passholders to get first tracks. We'll provide coffee, cocoa, and Timbits at the Yodeler corral for our passholder guests I’ll see you there!! 

And you can always check the morning slope conditions by calling Pete our slope reporter/resident Leprechaun at 716-699-2644. The message is updated every morning before the slopes open.

Inside Scoop Mountain Ops March 6

Steve Crowley - Thursday, March 06, 2014

“100 days,100 nights to know a mans heart, 100 days, 100 nights to know a mans heart, and a little more before he knows his own, You know, a man can’t play the part of a saint just so long, …he may be mellow, he may be kind, treat you girl, all the time”  (SJ & DKs “06)

Saturday will be our 100th day of the season, the conditions are outstanding, and we have emerged from the arctic cold  conditions that have held us hostage the last few weeks. Speaking of 100 days let’s acknowledge the hard work and long hours of our lift maintenance crew. They arrive each morning between 6:30 and 7 AM to make their rounds. They inspect each lift for opening along with going through weekly maintenance items and testing all the circuits that keep each lift operating safely and whisking our guests to the top in an efficient manner. This crew spends each day addressing ongoing maintenance items and is always at the ready to respond if a lift experiences a stoppage to get those wheels back turning. In the afternoon at shift change they do the rounds and night inspections along with getting all the lighting online. At the end of the night they close the lifts down, check and double check along with Ski Patrol to be sure everyone is safely off the lifts and slopes.

The next crew that has been out there for 100 days are our lift attendants and corral attendants. Now, with a chair crossing the load point every 6 seconds this crew can see up to 4,500 chairs pass by in a shift day at each lift! So  that’s a lot of human (Skier Rider) machine (Chairlift) interaction going on each day. Just think about the capacity with 4 riders per chair and 11 lifts at capacity, that’s about 198,000 possible interactions each day!

The other crew that has been out among the elements all 100 days would be our “vehicle placement engineers” as we refer to them. Some days those lot attendants are beyond busy! They are always out there and ready to assist our guests any way they can.

We have plenty of skiing and riding days left but I wanted to show some recognition to these guys and gals that are with us each day of the season to make your experience the best it can be. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you at Carnival!