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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.

News from Mountain Ops Feb. 15, 2013

Steve Crowley - Friday, February 15, 2013

“ Now if I let you see this place, Where stories all ring true, Will you let me past your face, To see what’s really you, It’s not for me to ask this question, As though I were a king, For you have to love, believe, and feel, Before the burst of tambourines take you there…” (JB&O‘75)

Oh the place is in great shape! We’ve seen a little natural snow and have the upper cross country trails packed, and we'll be down at the lower cross country today to pack and try to set track there. More natural snow is in the forecast over the weekend. Snowmaking will run after operating hours going into the weekend to build up cover in selected areas.

There are moguls on the east side of Yodeler and Chute slopes and seeded bumps have been set on Morning Star south side (skiers right). Seeding a mogul field is accomplished with a grooming machine pushing up small piles of snow in a set pattern. The snow is allowed to set up then it is groomed over again with very light tiller down pressure. This establishes the pattern and provides some soft snow in the troughs for skiers to work it up onto a mogul field. Establishing a mogul field takes time, the right weather conditions, and a lot of skier participation to get a good result.

All lifts are open and the snow conditions are great on all trails. The glades will open just as soon as we get a few more inches of snow, which may be very soon! All the terrain parks are open and shaped up, the Boarding for Breast Cancer event is on the Rail Park at the base of Mardi Gras Saturday afternoon. NASTAR is operating on Cindy’s and is open to the public. To register just pull up to  the start shack at the bottom of the headwall. The Tubing Park is operating Noon to 9 Saturday, Sunday and Monday and will be open 4-9 pm every night next week. The Mountain coaster is operating this weekend from 1-8pm and all next week from 2-8pm. Get right up to Tannenbaum Lodge and take a ride in the woods! Mountain Coaster tickets are available upstairs in the Tannenbaum lodge.

As always we have complimentary shuttle and bus service around the resort servicing all parking areas, lodging guests, and lodges. Just ask a lot or lodge attendant for assistance in getting a ride. Saturday morning we will be operating Yodeler lift one hour early (7:30 am) for our season pass holders to get some first tracks, then all lifts will open at 8:30 am for day and multi day ticket holders. I’ll see you at Yodeler for first tracks, coffee, and Timbits Saturday morning. It’s high tide in the Skiing and Riding season so come on out and enjoy the winter sports !!

Mountain Updates Feb. 8, 2013

Steve Crowley - Friday, February 08, 2013

“Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind, had to get away to see what we could find, Hope the days that lie ahead, bring us back to where they’ve led, listen not to what’s been said to you, Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh express?” (GN ’68) 

Fresh crisp air, sunny slopes, and great snow will sweep the cobwebs, a solid bet. Our base has been building to mid winter conditions with some big nights of making snow this past week. Moguls are available on Chute and Yodeler and the terrain parks have had extensive rebuilds this week. Foxfire saw two good days of snowmaking and Jim has been out shaping and setting features there and will finish up Friday morning. Moon Shadow park consists of all snow features that were built for a Boardercross contest and have been modified and now are open daily for all riders and skiers. Check it out!

Grooming crews are busy each night moving snow, leveling snow mounds, and tilling up a fresh corduroy surface each morning. We are still light on natural snow so our glades remain closed, With the hype around the big storm this weekend we might get enough snow to get the glades...stay tuned. 

All lifts are operating on the regular schedule along with the Mountain Coaster and our Tubing Park open Thursdays through Sundays. The Tubing Park has the little tubers hill for guests too small to ride the tows. Little Tubers are free, we just ask that an adult be with the little ones out there. Birthday party bookings at the Tubing Park are available for $20 per person including tubing, pizza or a hot dog and use of the party room. Cleveland Metro will be racing with us on Saturday on Cindy’s slope and USASA and NFSC will be racing on Edelweiss Saturday and Sunday. It is a great time to hit the slopes, we’ll see you out there.  

Mountain Updates Feb. 1, 2013

Steve Crowley - Friday, February 01, 2013


  “ bye bye, you better keep in touch, I think your ears hear a whole lot of music, And like me you’ve heard a bit too much,  Too much of anything, is too much for me, Too much of everything gets too much for me, I think these hands have felt a lot, I don’t know what have I touched?  I think these eyes have seen a lot, I don’t know, maybe they’ve seen too much” (TW ’71) 

We’ve seen it all, is the saying this week with warm weather and thunder earlier in the week and now ohhh yea lake effect snow!! We have a good foot of new snow and good snowmaking temperatures going into the weekend. Some of the eastern edges of the slopes are thin now but will improve as we get more natural snow. Snowmaking will operate Friday into Saturday morning then stop during skiing/riding hours both Saturday and Sunday. All lifts will be open and the cross country trails are packed up top and the lower (golf course) trail. We’ll plan to winch the Wall headwall Saturday morning and hope to have it open for the weekend.  The Tubing Park and Mountain Coaster are open as well and conditions are improving daily. Moon Shadow is groomed up as a terrain park with several berms and rollers Snoozer park has features buillt and rails set for a competition there on Saturday morning. After the competition Snoozer will be open to the public. Foxfire park is open and has been rebuilt along with the Rail Park at the bottom of Mardi Gras. There's a competition mogul event on the Chute on Sunday but we also have moguls on Yodeler east side. Great weather ahead so come on out and enjoy.

Mountain Updates January 25

Steve Crowley - Friday, January 25, 2013

  “ I said Juanita, my sweet Juanita, what are you up to?, My Juanita. I said Juanita, my sweet Chiquita, What are you up to?, My Juanita, Put my money in the meter so it won’t run down, But you caught me on the cheesy side of town, Throw me a dime, throw me a line, “cause there’s a fat man in the bathtub with the blues.. “  (LF ’73) 

What are we up to? Snow piles galore and grooming is working hard leveling them down and tilling them out. We had an incredibly cold week with single digit days and below zero nights. The snow base is in excellent condition and as of Friday afternoon snowmaking is shut down for the weekend. The Wall headwall is open and was groomed out Thursday evening. Jim built a great boarder cross course on Moonshadow. We have USASA competitions there both Saturday and Sunday then plan to open the slope after the events finish.

The Cross Country trails are packed and open but the natural snow depth is still low so no track is set. Miguel, head of our racing program just called and said “the conditions are awesome..awsome” Moguls are available on Yodeler East side and there will be some snowmaking mounds around the slopes this weekend for some technical skiing and riding, so get out there and enjoy! 

The Terrain parks are open and features are being added as time permits. All the lifts are spinning daily and the lift technicians are out there early each morning getting all that cold steel up and rolling. A highly skilled and dedicated crew they are. As always the shuttle service is available daily to get you around the resort. Our Tubing Park is open Friday 4-9pm Saturday and Sunday noon to 9pm with 12 lanes for sliding and the little tubers hill for the those too small to use the lift serviced lanes. The Mountain Coaster is operating for a brisk ride through the snow covered woods Friday thru Sunday 1 to 8 pm . It is great skiing and riding so come on out, I’ll see you on the slopes.

Mountain Updates, January 18, 2013

Steve Crowley - Friday, January 18, 2013

“There are winds of changes blowing, Gathering leaves up in it’s path, And the people who are the leaves, Will remain in our hearts, With love till eternity “ (EB ’67)

After a wild weather cycle last weekend our grooming crews have improved conditions daily. We will have all lifts operating this weekend. Snowmaking had limited operating conditions earlier this week but a full out run Thursday night into Friday. Snowmaking operations will stop Saturday morning as we have rising temperatures going into Sunday. The crew will be back in operation Sunday night, with a good run setting up into next week, and then We'll get more terrain parks open along with the Wall headwall.

Skiing and riding conditions are very good now and we will welcome our pass holders for an early opening Saturday morning on Yodeler lift. Racing events this weekend have the USSA snowboard SL on Cindy’s run Sunday and NFSC racing on Edelweiss Sunday as well. The moguls on Yodeler and Morning Star are improving with 4” of natural snow today and more in the forecast. Our Tubing Park has 12 lanes and the little tubers area open all weekend, noon to 9:00 Saturday through Monday. The Mountain coaster will be operating from 1PM to 8PM Saturday through Monday as well.

As always we offer complementary shuttle service around the resort, just ask a lodge or lot attendant for assistance. Shuttles run to the Tubing Park at the top of the hour on request during operating hours. I’ll see you at the Passholders early opening at Yodeler lift Saturday morning. First tracks plus coffee hot cocoa and Timbits, see all you Passholders there!

Pisten Bully Active Boom Winch

Steve Crowley - Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We've been testing a Pisten Bully 600 active boom winch groomer on site for the past week and it has performed very well. We currently have a PB 600 winch machine without the active boom feature. This new advance in winch technology supports steering of the tractor under the winch by applying hydraulic pressure to the turret of the winch thus applying down force proportionally to each drive track from the operator steering controls. This allows the machine to push and groom snow uphill effectively off the center line of the winch cable anchor point getting better cover in “hard to reach" spots. The Boom was put through its paces on Tuesday night, Jan 15th on Falcon and wow, what a job it did on the steep headwall pushing out the mounds and spreading nice, soft snow over the slope.

Mountain Updates January 11, 2013

Steve Crowley - Friday, January 11, 2013

“All lies and jest, still a man hears what he want to hear and disregards the rest…..and he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down, or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame; I am leaving, I am leaving,… but the fighter still remains” ( PS ’68) 

The current weather here is not what we want to hear but clearing is ahead. Some rain today has some of the secondary trails closed although most major trails have significant snow cover to weather the storm well. We have all lifts open today (Friday) and through the weekend along with the Mountain Coaster and our Tubing Park. The Chute headwall has thin cover but Shadows and Firecracker are skiing and riding great so it’s worth a visit to the Chute lift this weekend. Moguls on Yodeler and the mid section of Morning Star are well formed and will soften with some warm weekend temperatures. As of today the cross country trails have thin cover and may hold up through the weekend be sure to check the daily slope report for up to date information. 

The snow making team members are getting a few days of well deserved rest with the next available window of snow making temps beginning on Monday night. The grooming team will be busy each night moving stock piled snow and tilling out a fresh surface each morning. A Pisten Bully 600 active boom winch groomer is on site for the weekend and it performed very well last night in a demonstration run. We currently have a PB 600 winch machine without the active boom feature. This new advance in winch technology supports steering of the tractor under the winch by applying hydraulic pressure to the turret of the winch thus applying down force proportionally to each drive track from the operator steering controls. This allows the machine to push and groom snow uphill effectively off the center line of the winch cable anchor point getting better cover in “hard to reach" spots.

The OutpostDown to the east of Creekside lift is our newest and most imaginative terrain park training area called the Terrain Garden. The Mountain Crew installed the Outpost log structure with three off ramps for park beginners to gain skills in riding rails and features. The Outpost is a very impressive hand made structure built with the assistance of our area BOCES high school students under the direction of a very talented craftsman. The Terrain Garden is a great learning environment to visit before heading into our more advanced parks.

We welcome Cleveland Metro Ski club this weekend. They will be racing on Cindy’s on Saturday and Cindy’s and Edelweiss on Sunday, along with a U16 cup race on Edelweiss on Saturday. Our Safety patrol will host the mountain top cookout at the top of Mardi Gras both Saturday and Sunday. Stop and say hi and grab a bite to eat. It is good skiing and riding this weekend and snowmaking weather returns next week. Come on out and enjoy the area, I’ll see you on the slopes.

Mountain Update January 4, 2013

Steve Crowley - Friday, January 04, 2013

“Look out kid, don’t matter what you did, But walk on your tip toes don’t tie no bows, Better stay away from those that carry a fire hose, Keep a clean nose, watch the plain clothes, You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows” (BD’65)

We have made huge progress in building our base depth. What a difference a year can make! The snowmaking crew has passed the half way mark in average snow production for a season, well ahead of the pace from last year. This week the sights were turned to the Terrain parks. The first round of snowmaking was completed on Foxfire. Jim and Pat worked the snow all day today setting rails and building tables with the opening of the 42/78 park at Foxfire set for Saturday morning. The Rail Park is open daily. In freestyle terrain we have a mogul training lane open on Yodeler this week, also some bumps building on the Chute. In grooming we are running 60+ cat hours each night working the snow and tilling up a fine corduroy surface each morning. The Morning Star area has had some of the best skiing/riding at the resort this year.  With slightly warmer temperatures for the weekend the snow surface will soften some and the conditions will keep improving each day.

The Tubing Park has twelve lanes set for sliding this weekend and our Mountain Coaster, located just off the Upper level of Tannenbaum Lodge will be open this weekend as well. Tubing operates from noon to nine and the Coaster operates 1 to 8 pm so fit in a couple of runs during your visit.  We have shuttle busses and a van in service daily to move you and your group around the resort, just ask a lot or Lodge attendant for assistance.

All lifts and slopes will be open this weekend and with the natural snow glade skiing is available. Cross country trails are packed. The lower course starts just behind the Inn at Holiday Valley and the ridge trail will be open during daylight hours. We will set a track on the lower course by midday Saturday so get some wax and head on out. See you on the slopes….soon.

Mountain Update Dec 29, 2012

Steve Crowley - Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tell all the people that you see, Follow me, Follow me down, Tell all the people that you see, Set them Free, Follow me down, You tell them they don’t have to run, We’re gonna pick up everyone, Come out and take me by the hand, Gonna bury all our troubles in the sand….. (RK ’69) 

And pick you up we will, currently have all 13 lifts operating with the addition of Eagle lift this Sunday. Snowmaking continues around the clock and Grooming crews are out each night to gain more terrain by compacting the natural snow, (we’ve received over 2 feet in the past week) along with moving and processing the man made snow. We experienced 14+ hours of east wind on Wednesday that allowed snow makers to get some great base gains on the eastern edges (skiers/riders right) of Yodeler, Chute, Edelweiss, Champagne, and Cindy’s. Crews made snow on Foxfire and Jim farmed it up into a 14 foot kicker for the US Air Bag event going on now at lower Foxfire more information available under current events web page.

The Tubing Park is now open with 5 groomed lanes and the Mountain Coaster is operating 1 to 8 PM every day throughout the holiday week as well. Coaster tickets can be purchased at any ticket sales point, they are not available at the coaster loading platform. Complimentary shuttles are operating and will pick you up to get you around the resort, just ask any lodge or lot attendant for assistance in getting a ride.

Cold nights and snow in the forecast right through the New Year will keep the skiing and riding great. With a focus on terrain parks the snow makers will be adding inventory for the features to be installed and shaped. The New Years Eve celebration this year will be one of the best ever with the brand new Holiday Valley Lodge THE place to be to view the parades and fireworks. I’ll see you on the slopes….soon.

Mountain Update from Steve Crowley, Director of Mt Ops

Steve Crowley - Friday, December 21, 2012


 “Said woman take it slow, It’ll work itself out fine. All we need is just a little patience, Said sugar make it slow, And we’ll come together fine, All we need is just a little patience, Patience,,patience,,,patience, ooh, oh, yeah” GnR ’89

  Winter is on the way, really, as the front passes through tonight (Thursday) we have wet and windy conditions. The snow we have been able to make earlier this season is grooming up well each morning and we plan to get 2 more lifts open for Saturday morning. The forecast is for up to 10 inches of natural snow and decent snowmaking temperatures (below 24f). All of the Mountain team members are itching to get this season rolling. Looks like a busy week ahead as snowmaking and grooming will work around the clock to get more and more slopes and terrain open as we go into the Holiday week. It has been a slow start this year and patience is the word of the day as we all remember to be grateful for all that we have and think of those less fortunate in the nation and world around us.

    Our Mountain Coaster will open for the winter season this Friday and will operate daily right into the new year you can check our operating schedule posted on this site. Snowmaking will resume at the Tubing Park and the plan is to get a minimum of 5 lanes open for next week. Be safe in your travels and I’ll see you on the slopes!