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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 Feb 27

Steve Crowley - Thursday, February 27, 2014

2.27.2014
    “ 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

2.20.2014
  “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

                                                                                                                            2.13.2014
“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

 1-30-2014

“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

1/23/2014
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!

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!