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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 Mt Ops 3-12-15

Steve Crowley - Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 12, 2015
“Some say love, it’s like a river, That drowns the tender reed, Some say love, it’s a razor, That leaves your soul to bleed, Some say love, it is a hunger, An endless, aching need, I say Love, it is a flower, And you, it’s only seed…Just remember, in the winter, Far beneath the bitter snows, Lies a seed, that with the sun’s love, In the spring becomes the rose.”  (BM’79)

Not quite time for spring flowers, however we have had some warmth and sunshine this week. The Snow pack is holding well and those peaky tables in the Chute mogul field have been removed to let all those moguls grow. Our park crew and grooming crew have been hard at work this week setting up for the Eastern Freestyle B champs for next week and weekend. Foxfire has seen some major transformation as the large aerial site has been formed and the slopestyle line is being added. Yodeler slope is being prepped for the mogul competition as well. The eastern half (skier/riders right) is set aside for this, and the west side is groomed out and in great shape for everyone. This weekend is our annual Winter Carnival. The snow making crew has shaped up a good looking snow bar at the base of Yodeler. The venue raises funds for local youth groups, so stop by and say hi to the crew. Check the schedule on our web site for all the fun events at Carnival.  The Maple sap has started it’s run and sugaring season is upon us. This means the glade and tree skiing will be ending soon. We do have all lifts operating this weekend and 55+ trails, the Tubing Park, and Sky Flyer Coaster open as well. Come on out, meet your friends on the slopes and enjoy the start of spring skiing and riding, I’ll see you on the slopes.

Inside Scoop from Mt Ops 3-5-15

Steve Crowley - Thursday, March 05, 2015

“I lost at love before, Got mad and closed the door, But you said “try just once more”, I chose you for the one, Now were having so much fun, You treated me so kind, I’m about to lose my mind, You made me so very happy, I’m so glad you came into my life,”  (BS&T ’69) 

The winter rolls on into metrological spring now that March is here we are rising out of the deep freeze and had a little precip the other night so there were some hard snow conditions on Wednesday. This morning with a good session of grooming the surface has softened back up and the skiing/riding was great today.

We are building tables on Yodeler for the upcoming Eastern Freestyle B championships here the end of the month. The mogul field has been narrowed up on Chute so there's more groomed width there. Today (Thursday) marked the 101st day of the season and a picnic lunch was provided to all our fine employees to honor all their hard work. Saturday morning we’ll host our final early ski day for pass holders on Yodeler with that lift opening at 7:30. Sunday the clocks roll ahead 1 hour and all lifts will open at 8:30 so set your clocks forward.

The Terrain parks are all open and several have been rebuilt. We are hosting a Boarder Cross at Moon Shadow on Sunday.

Today was single digits but the sun is growing stronger each day so it was a great day to be out. All the lifts, all the trails, all the parks are open so let’s try just once more,  great skiing and riding this weekend I’ll see you on the slopes!

Inside Scoop from Mt Ops 2-27-15

Steve Crowley - Friday, February 27, 2015

February 26, 2015
“If I had a day that I could give you, I’d give to you a day just like today, If I had a song that I could sing for you, I’d sing a song to make you feel this way, Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy, Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry, Sunshine on the water (snow) looks so lovely, Sunshine almost always makes me high” (JD ’71)

But you knew that,  we are coming out of the cold, cold  weather pattern with weekend temps forecasted to be up near the 30’s. The days continue to grow longer with sun and snow expected over the next few days. Skiing and riding surfaces remain excellent. We’ll be grooming the Wall tonight, Falcon has been groomed several times this week and we let the west side bump up over the weekend. Eagle, Hoot Owl and Raven are wall to wall corduroy. Good moguls can be had on Chute, Morning Star, skier/rider’s right side on top of Champagne, Ego Alley and Sunrise top under the lift.  Cross Country trails are groomed up as well as around Spruce Lake.

The snow bar mound has appeared this week at the bottom of Yodeler and that marks the conclusion of the snowmaking season. The crew will be shaping it up the second week of March to be ready for Winter Carnival on March 14-15. Our snow inventory is huge and will be utilized by the grooming department to keep the slopes in great shape for the balance of the season. Our Sky Flyer coaster and Tubing park will be operating Thursday through Sunday this week and with the somewhat warmer weather it’s a good time to coast and slide. Check the website or daily slope reports for operating hours. This Saturday we roll out a new fundraiser “Pay it Forward” where you record all your vertical on the slopes for the day, see details on the web site. The annual Telestock event is this Friday and we have a new ski manufacturer on site both Sunday and Monday if you’d like to try out some new gear. The ski company is based in Portland Oregon and hand builds their skis. The brand is ON3P and looking at their web site it’s pretty sweet looking gear! All the terrain parks are riding great the skiing is primo, get on out here and be part of the scene, I’ll see you on the slopes!

Inside Scoop from Mt. Ops 2-20-15

Steve Crowley - Friday, February 20, 2015

February 19, 2015
“Feed the babies, Who don’t enough to eat, Shoe the children, With no shoes on their feet, house the people, Livin’ on the street, Oh, oh there’s a solution, I want to fly like an eagle, To the sea, Fly like an eagle, Let my spirit carry me…” (SMB ’76).

It may not be an eagle, but we do have a birds of prey show this Sunday at the Tubing Park starting 10AM with hawks and peregrine falcons. Our friend and bird trainer Jonathan Clarkson will be providing a free demonstration of the talents of his flock out at the Tubing park. It is an amazing spectacle so come on out and take it in.

We are in the deepest cold since the polar vortex last year, so no real record here, but we do have rising temperatures for the weekend on the way.  Snow has been in the air most days this past week. Jane and I spotted 3 inches on the Woodpecker snow platform (so that’s what that is?!)  on our hike to the top Thursday morning. Grooming has been leaving some power runs around the mountain each day so look for the UG designation on the daily ski patrol report to find those stashes. These reports are available at all points of ticket sales as well as in Resort Service Center and lodging front desks. These are the most up to date reports and are distributed at 8AM and again at 4PM. Pete’s daily report on the snow phone 716-699-2644 is another great source of up to the minute conditions and is posted daily around 6:30AM. As always there is an abundance of information on the Holiday Valley web site and you’re here now.

This weekend we are hosting an All Snow Terrain Park at the Mardi Gras Rail Park(sans rails). Mike, Chris, and Eric have been hard at work this week developing this very unique park that will host a Red Bull event on Saturday. You can see some of this from the ride up Mardi Gras lift but be sure to stop by and check it out. Hey this may sound like a broken record so I’ll say it again the snow surfaces cannot be better and we’ll do all the shoveling so come on out and enjoy winters best, we’ll see you on the slopes!

Inside Scoop from Mt. Ops 2-13-15

Steve Crowley - Friday, February 13, 2015

February 13, 2015

“It was a beautiful day, the sun beat down, I had the radio on, I was drivin, Trees went by, me and Del were singin , Little Runaway, I was flying, Yeah runnin down a dream, That would never come to me, Workin on a mystery, goin wherever it leads, runnin down a dream” (TP ’89)
We did see some sun earlier today along with intermittent snow flurries giving us a total snowfall of 6 inches in the past 2 days and it’s still snowing with falling temps this evening. Our terrain parks are well stocked with rails, boxes, jibs, tubes and tables. Mike and Chris have been working hard at the parks and the result is very obvious. This fresh snow is softening the moguls on Chute and Morning Star, we planed Shadows the other night and that will remain a groomer for the next week. Cross Country trails are all groomed as well as the access road and around Spruce Lake area. We have a Passholder early opening this Saturday at 7:30 on the Yodeler so we’ll be up there serving coffee, hot chocolate, and Timbits.  All lifts will operate through the President's Day holiday this Monday. The day lifts open at 8:30 and night lifts
remain open till 10 pm. Be aware the Tannenbaum and Morning Star lifts do close earlier so that all guests move out to the front slopes and then back to the correct Lodge for last lift ride 10 PM. We’ll remain on Holiday schedule all next week with an 8:30 AM opening. 
With the snow flurries and cold temps going into the weekend, your best chances of catching a powder run would be Sunrise, Bear Cub, and the Eagle area as these trails are groomed first in the overnight grooming schedule. Even Reindeer can be a good stash on certain days. Now that's the real inside scoop. The Sky flyer coaster and Tubing Park will operate every day next week, check the website snow report for daily hours.

I’m off to finish my rendition of Little Runaway, it’s gonna be cold out there so layer up well, the skiing and riding are great, and don’t you Run Away! See you on the slopes!

Inside Scoop from Mt. Ops Feb. 5

Steve Crowley - Thursday, February 05, 2015

                                                                                         February 5, 2015
All your life you've never seen
woman, taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
Will you ever win?
She is like a cat in the dark
and then she is the darkness
she rules her life like a fine skylark
and when the sky is starless
All your life you've never seen
woman taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
will you ever win?
(FM ’76)

 Win ? Oh yes we have won some major powder this week- over 20 inches and still more on the way. All slopes and trails are open. We winched the Wall Wednesday night and will give it another go Friday night for some sweet conditions come Saturday morning. We’re still sporting bumps on Falcon, Champagne, and Shadows, Chute and Morning Star have moguls. The glades are skiing great and the riding on Moonshadow is outstanding with the all snow features: banked S turns, rollers and a table toward the finish. It's a must do for all this weekend, give it a try. Foxfire, Rail Park, and the Elbow have all been touched up this week and are cruising like a fine skylark! With all this fresh snow our cross country terrain is expanding. Ed is grooming the XC trails tonight from Cindy’s in the East to Spruce Lake in the West, making a loop around Spruce and then down the access road and back out onto Tannenbaum down by The Fort giving us over 5 miles of XC trails . After a week of challenging conditions the Sky Flyer coaster is back in operation Thursday through Sunday. You can add a discounted coaster ride to your lift ticket purchase then hop on up by the Tannenbaum lodge. Our Tubing Park is open as well with single and group lanes along with the Li'l Tubers area and the Ice Rink. If you’re up for a trip out to Bryant Hill, the Park is just 3 miles east of the Village on Rt 242. The moon has been big and full this week and the sky has not been starless, sunrises up top are astounding SO Would you stay if she promised you heaven?  The skiing and riding couldn’t be better, I’ll see you on the slopes!

Inside Scoop from Mt. Ops Jan. 29

Steve Crowley - Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 29, 2015
“…We are the world, we are the children, We are the ones who make a brighter day, So let’s start  giving, There’s a choice we’re making, We’re saving our own lives, It’s true we’ll make a better day, Just you and me..”  (MJ ’85) 

Snow is falling tonight at Holiday Valley and the slopes are skiing/riding fine. The cross country trails are open and we’ll be operating the Sky Flyer Coaster and Tubing Park tonight through Sunday. The Tubing Park has 20 single lanes and 3 new family lanes for those who would like to hook their tubes together and ride as a group. The Li'l Tuber’s area is groomed and open, along with the ice rink available for skating (go look in the attic for those skates! and give it a try). Back here on the slopes we have moguls on Chute and Morning Star, a "Whale Watch" on the east side of Yodeler and fresh snow on Shadows to ski in along with Falcon. The Wall has been groomed this week and it's in good shape. The Boarder cross course on Moon Shadow will open to all guests  after the events there Saturday and Sunday.  We’ll see a  freestyle mogul event on Chute Saturday and on Sunday we’ll host a slopestyle competition on Foxfire. Slide on by and watch the young athletes compete.More details are available on our website. The Outpost, Riglet Park, and Terrain Garden located on the east side of School Haus are excellent skill development areas for freestyle/slopestyle skiing and riding.  Snowmaking is off again this weekend but they will be running again mid-week next week to build up the spring reserves. Spring? Where did that come from? The days are starting to get longer and truth be known we are on day 66 of the 2014-15 season and right about the mid point of our winter. The morning sunrises have been spectacular this week and there is nothing better than hitting Morning Star or Crosscut at first tracks. The Grooming Crew continues to plane and till our slopes into great corduroy each morning and the snow depth is consistent and wall to wall on most all our trails.  With the cold temps and natural snow in the immediate forecast glade skiing will be in play soon. Remember “We are the one who make a brighter day” so come on out and enjoy all winter has to offer and for sure it will be a brighter day! See you on the slopes! .   

Inside Scoop from Mt Ops Jan 22

Steve Crowley - Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 22, 2015

“Anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down, Anyplace but those I know by heart, Anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down, I’ll follow you down, but not that far, … (GB ’96)

I can follow you down the Wall, we’ll be winching her up Friday night. Reports there today are it’s skiing well so it will only get better. The snowmakers got ahead of the groomers earlier this week as we had Jane and Pete out doing the morning slope inspections and coaching the crews. Great job guys and gal! Huge strides were made in getting all our trails open and with good snow surfaces. The grooming team was up for the challenge with all the new snow pushed out and tilled up. If you are looking for some natural skiing and riding, Shadows and Falcon will be your slope of the day or take a lap on our Cross Country trails .  Moguls on Morning Star skier/rider right are in great form and the Chute will see moguls develop this weekend as well. Terrain Parks are growing each week. A few more features were added to Fiddlers Elbow and a sweet set of tables are on Foxfire. Mardi Gras Rail Park continues to be among the best. The Outpost, Riglet Park and Terrain Garden in the School Haus base area are just the ticket to introduce our youngest skiers and riders to terrain park skills and what a great picture spot as well!

The Tubing Park is open Thursday through Sunday with 2 lifts operating and 25 lanes plus the Li'l Tuber’s area. The Sky Flyer Mountain coaster at the base of Tannenbaum is open Thursday through Sunday and you can add a coaster ride to your lift ticket purchase or just stop up and buy tickets there. Safety Patrol will be cooking sausages at the Champagne Mountain  Top Warming Hut both Saturday and Sunday so stop in for a sandwich, hot chocolate and a break. All kinds of biker action will take place at the Holiday Valley Lodge with Gowanda Harley Davidson bringing in the bikes for Harley Day Valley this Saturday.

It’s high time and mid-winter so get on out here. Just remember anywhere you go I may follow you down so “do not stop where you can’t be seen from above!” Know the skier/ riders responsibility code. (There will be a test!) I’ll see you on the slopes!!

Inside Scoop from Mt. Ops Jan 15

Steve Crowley - Thursday, January 15, 2015

“Silent sunlight, welcome in, There is work I must now begin, All my dreams have blown away, And the children want to play…” (CS ’72) 

We’ve enjoyed abundant sun this week and some mighty cold overnights early in the week. Large snow-made whales line several east sides of our trails, as the winds were perfect to build up the lee sides. Snow conditions are excellent and I’ve been on snow each day this week skiing great groomed runs and some ungroomed trails as well. Check the daily slope report for the wide variety of surfaces to ski and ride on. Falcon is ungroomed and bumping up. Chute is developing a mogul course and the existing moguls on Morning Star received a fresh coating of snow yesterday. We will have most all of our trails and parks open by Saturday. Snow is in the forecast for Friday with some sunshine to follow on Saturday. The conditions will be outstanding. The Wall will be winched and groomed Thursday night. Snow was made there earlier in the week and it’s  looking good.

Plenty of work this week with terrain parks. Jim and John have a great set up for the Riglet Park and Outpost. Mike, Chris, and the park crew have Foxfire close to opening with some final tweaking to be done there. Mardi Gras Rail Park is in excellent form and the Terrain Garden on School Haus East is coming soon. All the lifts are spinning and the Sky Flyer Coaster is open for the weekend, along with a much expanded Tubing Park out at Bryant Hill Road. Snow inventory is at mid-winter level so the snow making system will be shut down over the weekend, and then getting back to it Monday evening.

So remember the children want to play, come on out and enjoy all Holiday Valley has to offer, I’ll see you on the slopes and all you passholders at 7:30 AM, base of Yodeler for early ski day this Saturday!

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops Jan 8

Steve Crowley - Thursday, January 08, 2015

“Sleight of hand and twist of fate, On a bed of nails she makes me wait, and I wait without you, With or without you,.. Through the storm, we reach the shore”  (u2 '87)

We have weathered the storms and now reached the shore. Snowmaking has run full throttle this week and our base is nothing short of incredible! We’ll see Eagle lift and trails open on Saturday which means all of our lifts are open to skiers and riders for the first time this season. There are moguls on Morning Star and a “Whale watch” happening on Champagne this weekend to test your mettle - they're big skiable mounds of manmade snow on skiers left. The Chute reopened Wednesday and is groomed out, Shadows is skiing in well and Firecracker is groomed and good cruising. Northwind has small rolls and a run down the top, then onto Crosscut to Morning Star is a run on the must-do this week, check it out. 

The Terrain parks are being rebuilt this week. Mardi Gras Rail Park and "The Elbow” are open now. Foxfire, Outpost, and Riglet Park are coming real soon. Mike, Chris, and the park crew have been cranking along and they are putting out a great product.

Snowmaking will be limited this weekend and running mostly on the few closed connecting trails during operating hours. With the forecasted natural snow our Cross country trails will be open by the weekend. The Tubing Park is open and we have 12-14 lanes complete with two lifts operating Saturday and Sunday. The Tubing Park has new hours this year with a start on Sundays at 11AM and a special rate for teens on Thursdays and Fridays. The Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster,located just west of the Tannenbaum Lodge is open all weekend for a quick and exciting trip down through the forest. Ski or board boots are allowed on the Sky flyer, so slide on over and take a trip!

Be well, layer up, come out and enjoy the great snow,   I’ll see you on the slopes.