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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 April 11

Steve Crowley - Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11, 2014

Here go with some fine spring skiing for one final weekend of the 13- 14 season. The sun will shine and the snow will be corned up and lots of fun. We will operate the Yodeler Quad Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. These slopes will be open: Candy Cane, Punch Bowl, Sugar Plum, Lower Crystal, Independence, Champagne, Yodeler, Edelweiss, Chute to Holiday Run, Shadows to Holiday Run, Firecracker to Holiday Run, Mardi Gras to Holiday Run and Northwind to Holiday Run.

We've had some bright sun, wind, rain and warmth over the past week so the grooming crew will be moving a good amount of snow to cover some thin spots. Chute, Firecracker and Shadows will be 1/2 groomed and the other 1/2 will be natural, so the bumps on Chute will be waiting for you, plus some very nice bump lines on Yodeler.

The Food and Beverage Crew will be cooking out again this weekend and offering beer specials, and Jay McDonald will be serenading everyone on the deck. So bring your shades, enjoy the spring skiing and end the 2014 season in style! Then head on over to the main Lodge for some awesome Bluegrass Music at the first annual Enchanted Mountain Music Festival. Saturday evening tickets are just $25.

Oh yeah...the Double Black Diamond golf course is opening on Saturday as well, with a modified front nine from 8AM. 9 holes is $24 to walk, $34 with cart. Welcome summer!

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!

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops Feb 27

Steve Crowley - Thursday, February 27, 2014

    “ I really can’t stay, But baby it’s cold outside, I’ve got to go away, But baby it’s cold outside, This evening has been, Been hoping that you’d drop in, So very nice, I’ll hold your hands, They’re just like ice, My mother will start to worry, Beautiful what’s your hurry? My father will be pacing the floor, listen to the fireplace roar, So really I’d better scurry, Beautiful please don’t hurry….” (FL ’49) 

Ah yeah it’s been a little chilly around here this week but we do have some moderating weather coming in for the weekend. Good news is the snow is outstanding and we have all trails, parks, mogul fields, cross country, tubing hill, and Mountain Coaster open this weekend. I may sound like an old broken record but the conditions can’t be beat. Snowmakers ran the system overnights this week to prepare sculpture piles for our Winter Carnival held March 8th  and 9th. They also were able to get a good run in on the Wall slope and it  is skiing and riding great au natural!

We are hosting NSSRA U14 State champs concluding the weekend with a Slalom race at Edelweiss on Sunday. Pat has put together a “Red Bull 1976 games” event to be held Saturday evening on Moonshadow with a big old Red Bull truck cranking out tunes at the bottom of the boardercross course. It will be a great competition to enter or just slide on by to check out the scene.

We have roaring fireplaces in the lodges to warm up those icy hands and also will be hosting our annual passholder cookout at Mistletoe slope Sunday 11 am. It does appear that March is going to roar in like a lion so winter will, keep on keeping on, come on out and enjoy, check our website for all the details and… I’ll see you on the slopes.

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops Feb 20

Steve Crowley - Thursday, February 20, 2014

  “Stayed up all night waiting, Thought that you might call, Half the night debating, seems like after all, you had made your mind up , Oh I guess you made your mind up, Darn these strained relations, makes me want to crawl, Top negotiations, feeling two foot small Guess you made your mind up, oh such a shame to wind up…”  (JW’81)  

We are up and waiting for Mother Nature to make her mind up! We saw some liquid precipitation today as the temperatures climbed from the teens this morning to 39F tonight. We have a little more unsettled weather coming in tonight and early Friday morning but by mid day we should see temps falling back down and a wintry weekend ahead.

The snow this morning was firm and fast and softened up by late afternoon. I saw Wiz from Ski Patrol after he swept Falcon this evening he reported it was skiing great even on Tele skis! We have no snowmaking scheduled this weekend but do plan to build stock pile snow next week in the overnights. Grooming crews will be busy the next couple nights working up a good surface. The snow pack is deep and can absorb the precipitation we have seen. We plan to have all slopes and trails open for the weekend. All the cross country trails have been packed down after the natural snows we saw here earlier in the week and they'll be open as well. Our annual Penguin Paddle fundraiser is being held at the base of Yodeler Saturday. Check the website for all the details. You can do a penguin style slide and benefit a great cause. As Wiz said, Falcon is softening up so the moguls there, on Morning Star and the Chute will be skiing and riding great. The Tubing Park is open all weekend with 24 lanes and the Mountain Coaster is operating as well. Check our web site, give Pete a call at 716-699-2644 for daily conditions updates and come on out for good times, great skiing and riding, and meet some new friends. I’ll see you on the slopes!

Inside Scoop from Mt Ops Feb. 13

Steve Crowley - Thursday, February 13, 2014

“What would you think if I sang out of tune, Would you stand up and walk out on me?, Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song, And I’ll try not to sing out of key, Oh I get by with a little help from my friends, Mm I get high with a little help from my friends, Mm going to try with a little help from my friends.. “ (JL &PM 67)

We all enjoy a little help from our friends and no better way to spend time with friends than on Holiday Valley's 58 trails all covered in pearly “White” snow with a few moguls on Chute, Morning Star, and Falcon. “Yesterday” and a couple days before were mighty cold here but the weather has moderated now. So you will need a “Ticket to Ride” this weekend and right through next week as we open the lifts each day at 8:30 for the Presidents day holiday and week. Ski School Snow Sports has lessons available every day and if you are a very beginner “Help” is available at the Creek side lodge so you won’t be “The fool on the Hill” and can link your turns on the way down! Grooming has been hard at work all week and providing an outstanding surface each morning it’s really “Something” to behold, and tonight (Thursday) they will string up the winch cat on the Wall to give her a good grooming for the days ahead it’s going to be a “Hard days night” for those men for sure. Snowmaking is off on a world tour so we won’t have man made snow in the air but do have a little natural snow coming over the weekend good fun in the glades!   Terrain Parks aren’t exactly “Strawberry fields forever” but there will be shades of red and pink out there as we host the Boarding for Breast Cancer fund raiser in the Mardi Gras Rail Park on Saturday check our web site for more details. Pat and his crew have been changing up features in the 42/78 Foxfire park as well slide on over and check it out,

The Tubing Park is open with 24 lanes the ice rink (bring your own skates) little tubers area with shaped lanes and a fun roller, bonfire, hot chocolate, food, and fun out there . The Mountain Coaster up past the Tannenbaum Lodge is open daily to 8pm through Monday and an evening ride in the woods can be your “Magical mystery Tour”.  Have fun, get high on life, “Let it Be”, hit the slopes, I’ll see you out there!  

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!