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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 12-4-13

Steve Crowley - Wednesday, December 04, 2013

“If you share the road with me, I’ll walk along with you, We can go anywhere we want, Do whatever we want to do, We can run and laugh or hide and seek… it’s all up to you “ ( JD-NRPS ’68).

You will want to ski and ride this weekend as we are opening 7 chairlifts and two surface lifts. The snowmaking crews have produced a massive amount of snow and grooming has been working hard all week tilling up a great packed power surface. We experienced a very unusual cold snap right before Thanksgiving and put the snowmaking system in operation earlier than we have in a long time. Our automated snow guns are located on Mardi Gras, Yodeler, Punch bowl, Morning Star, Edelweiss, Sunrise, and Foxfire slopes. We’ve also installed the newest generation of high efficiency snow towers and Cindy’s run as well.

Our base is being reported at 10 to 25 inches and we have several areas with over 50” of man made snow. This gives the ability to move snow around to keep a good surface depth even after these upcoming warm ups and liquid precipitation events. Our snowmaking crews are at the ready to fire up the system in every opportunity coming later this week and another shot of arctic air due in here next Monday. We will be making snow in the lift pods that have not opened yet, as we strive to get the whole resort open by mid month. The Mountain Coaster is scheduled to open Thursday December 12th and the Tubing Park on the 20th. Skiing and Riding has been outstanding this week and will only get better as we open more terrain. Check the snow report on our web site for the latest, or better yet give Pete a call on the snow phone 716-699-2644. Everyone in Mountain Operations has been working hard to provide the best to you our guests, so come on out and share the slopes with us. I’ll see you out there!!   

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops 11-18-2013

Steve Crowley - Monday, November 18, 2013

Looking at the weather we have favorable snowmaking temps coming in on Tuesday night, November 19. Jeff is calling in the snowmaking crews on Tuesday and we will have the snowmaking system operating overnight. It looks like just a one night run, but it is a good opportunity to shake down the system and crews.

The next snowmaking night looks to be Sunday or Monday next week (November 24-25) and we're predicted to have favorable weather through the week. Snowmaking will start on Yodeler then the Candy Cane loop, Mardi Gras, School Haus as resources permit. Once those slopes get a good coating, next up would be Cindy’s, Sunrise, and Morning Star. It's exciting to be able to use our snowmaking automation on all of these slopes, as the system can be activated all at once, while making the best of temperature and humidity variations.

But, the crews have not just been sitting around all summer and fall waiting for cold weather! We've been busy installing the new auto-hydrants and HKD Impulse guns on Sunrise, Cindy's and Foxfire and installing more guns on Bear Cub, Hoot Owl and Spruce Lake. We spruced up a few of the glades and other popular woods skiing areas, painted several lifts, installed new water lines and a whole host of yearly maintenance projects. Our seasonal lift operators, lift maintenance, snowmaking and grooming crews have been hired and trained.

While we can't say for sure yet when we'll be opening for the 2013-14 season,  with this "good old fashioned fall weather" our target date of November 29 is a real possibility. Get ready for another great snow season!!

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops July 2013

Jane Eshbaugh - Thursday, July 18, 2013

Talk about tropical living! So far this summer has been plenty warm and humid...but we're not complaining! It is likely to lead to a colder and snowier winter, and that's great news.

No easy living for the Mountain Crew this summer, we've been hard at work with tons of projects to improve the resort, plus our yearly summer maintenance of the 13 lifts and 58 slopes.

Installation of additional automated snowmaking is going well on Foxfire, Sunrise, Cindy's and Edelweiss. We're also replacing the pipeline on Lower Woodstock and installing new hydrants. This makes a total of 11 of our major slopes with automated snowmaking. End result is the ability to make more and better quality snow in short windows of cold temps so we can get more slopes open quicker while using less energy.

Several glades and woodlots have been getting attention with clearing of downed trees and general cleaning out - Devil's Glen on both sides of the Morning Star chair, Ego Glades and the trees between Morning Star and Moonshadow. Just remember, skiing/riding in the trees is for experts and there may be stumps, logs and roots under the snow so always use caution and ride with a friend.

We're purchasing a new "Active Boom Winch" Pisten Bully 600 Groomer. What that means to you is when grooming our steeper headwalls the boom allows the groomer to travel straighter up the hill with more even pressure on both tracks, resulting in a more consistent surface. Good stuff!

We've built a storage area for the rails at the top of Foxfire which cleans up the top of the hill and makes the rails more accessible for the 42/78 Park. We've painted the terminals of several lifts plus added lettering on the top terminals of Tannenbaum, Mardi Gras and Moonshadow...easier to know where you are when you get to the top. The chairlifts have a rotating schedule of maintenance and with 11 chairs that's a lot of work! All in all, the crew's had a good summer so far, but we're anxious for the temps to drop and the snow to start falling. See you on the slopes in just a few months!

Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops April 11, 2013

Steve Crowley - Thursday, April 11, 2013

       “Well I told you once and I told you twice, That someone will have to pay the price, But here’s a chance to change your mind, Cuz we’ll be gone a long long time, Well this could be the last time, This could be the last time, Maybe the last time, I don’t know, oh no…” (RS ’65)

The snow cover is holding well after the deluge yesterday (April 10) and we have plenty of grooming work to do. The plan is to move snow Friday during the day time, then groom Friday night. We will open Chute and Yodeler lifts Saturday morning at 8:30 am to 4:30 pm with 12 trails and operate the same on Sunday. This may be the last time, so get on out there! For just 25 bucks it will be the most fun you'll have in all of April.

The Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops March 28

Steve Crowley - Thursday, March 28, 2013

“Grandmas sit in chairs and reminisce, Boys keep chasing girls to get a kiss, The cars keep going faster all the time, Bums still cry Hey buddy can you spare a dime, And the beat goes on, Drums keep pounding a rhythm ti the brain, La de da de de  La de da de da……..(S&C ’67) 

The skiing and riding are great, and the beat goes on. We’ll be adding Tannenbaum lift and trails Friday, Eagle and Chute are on tap for Saturday. The snow depth is above average and surface is still very much a packed power. We saw a little hardening of the surface on Wednesday mostly from moisture collecting through evaporation and freezing in overnight. Thursday morning saw a couple inches of fresh dry snow and the groomed underneath has softened some because of warmer temps overnight.

We’ll keep Cindy’s and Sunrise spinning until 9 PM Friday and Saturday nights for one last ski and ride under the lights! Terrain parks are looking good and the park crews are working hard every day to keep them in good shape. Check for the spring session to be held on Foxfire on April 13...Looking ahead to next week we will have 5 lifts operating and we plan to extend the season to April 14th. The beat goes on… get your shades and sunscreen on I’ll see you on the slopes!

Mountain Ops Update March 26

Jane Eshbaugh - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You asked for it, you got it! We're operating 6 lifts this week, March 25-28, including Sunrise, Cindy's, Creekside, Mardi Gras, Yodeler and Morning Star with 39 slopes. The coverage is amazing with wall to wall snow and mid-winter packed powder conditions. And the good news is there's more!

More Lifts this Weekend...Tannenbaum will operate Friday through Sunday, March 29-31. We're adding Eagle and SnowPine or Chute for Saturday and Sunday.

Twilight Hours are Back...Cindy's and Sunrise will operate until 9PM on Friday and Saturday, March 29-30.

5 Lifts April 1 through 7... Cindy's, Sunrise, Mardi Gras, Yodeler and Morning Star.

Season is Extended!!! April 8-12 with Yodeler quad and up to 12 slopes, most likely additional lifts for the final weekend of April 13-14.

But remember, all of these plans are weather dependent so check the snow report for daily operations. Happy skiing and riding!

Inside Scoop March 22

Steve Crowley - Friday, March 22, 2013

“In a white room with black curtains near the station, Black roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings, Silver horses ran down Moonbeams in your dark eyes, Dawn light smiles on you leaving, my contentment… (C ’68)

We continue to be in a white room. The Eagle area skied well Saturday morning and we’ll get all but Falcon groomed in tonight. This will be the first groom in that area since all the new fresh power so it will be exquisite Sunday morning, no over processing of the snow there!.Our Coaster and Tubing park are closed for the season, but the Coaster will reopen with Sky High  for summer operations in May. The slopes are in excellent condition. Come on out to ski and ride as we finish up March in mid-winter conditions. See you at the pond skim!!

Wow, oh Wow, you won't believe the incredible conditions this week. Since the beginning of the week it's just been snowing and snowing and SNOWING! Over 20 inches since Sunday night has given us the most wonderful skiing and snowboarding, so soft that your turns are silent. We have not had this much snow in March for years... It's like the old days! This weekend we'll be running 11 lifts including Eagle, with 52 slopes. The glades are covered and cross country trails are primo! 

Saturday brings the annual Pond Skimming and Box Race competitions and SUNSHINE! See you at Yodeler, with registration at 11, Box Race at 12:30 and Pond Skimming at 1:00. There will also be great music from DJ John Barry and a cookout and margarita bar! Sunday is the Spring Open slalom race on Edelweiss and you just might catch a few future stars out there, starting at 9:30AM.

We bid farewell to Twilight hours on Saturday and we will be closing at 4:30PM starting Sunday. Starting Monday, March 25 we will operate 6 lifts (Sunrise, Cindy's, Creekside, Mardi Gras, Yodeler and Morning Star) from 9AM to 4:30PM with over 30 slopes. Our target closing date is April 7 and by the look of the slopes right now and the weather forecast, we'll be skiing and riding on mighty fine conditions right up to the last day. This is a reminder that night passes are good during the day now that night skiing is over for the season. I’ll see you out there.

The Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops, March 15

Steve Crowley - Friday, March 15, 2013

     “Bet you didn’t think I knew how to rock n’ roll , Oh I got the boogie – woogie right down to my very soul, There ain’t no need for me to be a wallflower, ‘cause now I’m living on blues power, I knew all the time but now I’m gonna let you know, I’m gonna keep on rocking, no matter if it’s fast or slow, ain’t gonna stop until the twenty fifth hour, cause now we’re living on blues power… “(EC ’70).

Update for of Tuesday, March 19 we've received another 6 or so inches of snow, with more in the forecast and MIDWINTER conditions! It's like the old days! Right now we're running 10 lifts during the week, about 45 slopes. Keep your fingers crossed and we could open Eagle again for the weekend! Saturday brings the annual Pond Skimming and Box Race competitions and SUNSHINE! See you at Yodeler, with registration at 11, Box Race at 12:30 and Pond Skimming at 1:00. Great music from DJ John Barry and a cookout and margarita bar!

Everyone, including Jane, are boogying down the moguls now. Morning Star, Chute and Falcon have some mighty fine bumps. We have received 8++ inches of new snow this week on top of superbly groomed slopes creating some great packed power conditions.

The snowmakers are racing on Edelweiss Saturday morning to raise money for Mercy Flight. Crews from several different areas will be competing in a tandem hose slalom. It's a a great way for these hardworking fellows to to swap stories and tall tales, and close out the year. The Northwind Super-G will be held on Sunday as we wind down the racing season for the year. Quarter pipe action is on for Saturday at the base of Yodeler. Jim and the park crew are shaping it up now out of the snow bar pile from last week. It’s a great event to watch so be sure to stop by. 

The Tubing Park is open this weekend and the sliding is fine. Our Mountain Coaster is operating up above the Tannenbaum Lodge. Both Tubing and the Mountain Coaster will wrap up their seasons on Sunday.

This weekend we’ll be skiing and riding 52 slopes, well set up terrain parks, and 12 lifts are operating. We bid farewell to our night skiing/riding on Saturday night and Twilight hours start Sunday. Here’s how Twilight  works: we operate all open lifts to 4:30 pm then continue to operate Cindy’s and Sunrise until 7PM all next week. This gives access to the terrain parks and good late day skiing/riding on the slopes off these two lifts. Special Twilight rates are available and we close the trails just as the sun is setting. It is good fun so give it a try! We'll be experiencing good temperature ranges for snow, grooming, and maple syrup production this next week that will provide great late season conditions. Get your sunscreen and shades I’ll see you on the slopes.

The Inside Scoop from Mountain Ops, March 1, 2013

Steve Crowley - Friday, March 01, 2013

“And you can sing in the sunshine, You’ll laugh every day, You’ll sing in the sunshine, Then be on your way, And when the year  has ended, And we’ve gone away, You’ll often speak about, And this is what you’ll say: We sang in the sunshine you know we laughed everyday, we sang in the sunshine, And then went on the way” (GG’64) 

Sunshine has been in short supply this week with a low pressure cell to our east and circulating north east winds and clouds over us. This causes flat light on the slopes and makes it tricky to see undulations on the snow surface and can even cause vertigo in certain people. A good pair of goggles will help but for me, it’s best to slow down some especially on the first run of any given trail.

Speaking of first runs I just got back on my skis today after a knee injury on December 26th. I’ve been out on foot but the perspective of being on skis is completely different, and WOW what a difference in slope conditions! Snowmakers have done their work and groomers have the snow pushed out and tilled “wall to wall” on every trail today.

We are experiencing difficulties in getting repair parts here for the SnowPine chair lift. Today the Wall headwall and Bear Cub are closed as the lift is not operational. The parts are in route and the lift technicians will get the lift up and running some time on Saturday. We have a very talented and dedicated group in Lift Maintenance and they will work hard and whatever hours it takes to get the lift running for Saturday. Be sure to check the morning slope report for up to date information.

This weekend we welcome the Kandahar Festival to Holiday Valley and the young racers will be competing on Edelweiss slope both Saturday and Sunday. Yodeler is flat “wall to wall” this week as the moguls on the east side have been cut and tilled. We have moguls on Chute, Morning Star, and Falcon for those lookin' to bump. Donna in Customer Service will put on the Passholders' cookout on Sunday. The lunch has been moved from the Edelweiss lean-to  to the Champagne Sun Deck adjacent to the Yodeler Lodge.

The Tubing Park is still going strong with 12 lanes open and the Mountain Coaster at Tannenbaum is open through the weekend for a ride through the snow covered trees. As always shuttles and busses are here to get you there just ask a lot or lodge attendant for assistance. I’m going skiing, see you on the slopes!!  

The Inside Scoop from Mt Ops Feb 22, 2013

Steve Crowley - Friday, February 22, 2013

“Charlie Jones was the engineer, he had twenty years on the line, He kissed his wife at the station gate, This morning at six thirty five, Now everything went fine ‘till half past nine, Then Charlie looked up and he saw, There were men on horses, men with guns, and no sign of the law ……” (NRPS ’71).

Poor old Charlie he should have come to Holiday Valley! We have all our trails groomed and open today. The Wall was winched and groomed out this morning (Friday) as well. Glades are open and Cross Country trails are packed. Snowmaking ran during nighttime hours through the week and the crew is off for the next three days. Grooming is operating each night and Jim has been working on Moonshadow prepping a boarder cross course for a USASA Saturday event. Moonshadow will open after that event. The park crew is also prepping the Snoozer terrain park for a USASA Slopestyle event on Sunday. Our children’s Ranger group will be competing on the moguls at Morning Star, Sunday at 10 AM. We have moguls on Chute and Yodeler East as well, are we're allowing the east side of Falcon to bump up as well. We have some great conditions! Our shuttle service is operating around the resort and we'll give you a ride to the Tubing Park on the hour. The Mountain Coaster at Tannenbaum is open afternoons and evenings through the weekend. Check the web site or daily slope report for more information on all of these great activities. And don’t forget Saturday is the Penguin Paddle at the base of Yodeler to support our adaptive skiing program.  I’ll see you on the slopes!!