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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.

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!


Season Opening from Mt. Ops Director Steve Crowley

Jane Eshbaugh - Thursday, December 13, 2012

  “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, Were so glad you could attend, Come inside! Come inside! There behind the glass is a real blade of grass, Be careful as you pass. Move along Move Along!” EL&P ’73. The temperature gods have finally come through for the Snowmaking crews. They made great gains this week in getting us ready to open this Saturday, December 15. Our snowmaking automation of 116 guns has operated very well getting a good base down on Mardi Gras,Yodeler, School House East and Punch Bowl. There is a good start on Morning Star, Cindy’s and Snowledge however they are not quite ready to open yet.

   Our grooming manager made the comment today that a feeling of a caged animal has come over the grooming crew and they are more than ready to spring into action! With 60+ hours of “cat time” scheduled over the next two nights with plenty of pushing to be done the slopes, we'll be open Saturday morning. As the weather begins to turn more winter like Snowmakers and Groomers will be hard at work getting more and more of the resort open in a short period of time.

  The Mountain crew has finished the summer long maintenance program on all the lifts they are ready to turn as soon as the slopes are covered and groomed. The new grading and widening of Moon shadow will be a great improvement to the terrain park system this year. The ongoing preparation of all the infrastructure of the resort is truly a show that never ends.

  Snow guns have started making snow at the Tubing Park and there's much more to be made there before opening later this month. Our mountain coaster will be opening soon as well. It’s located just above the Tannenbaum lodge and new access has been installed to make it easier to get to. Just go to the upper level of Tannenbaum lodge and off the west deck, where a new stairway has been added.

  Come inside! Come inside! Our new Holiday Valley Lodge will see its grand opening Saturday as well. The building is spectacular and you’ll want to be sure and check it out. With the lift system we have open it will be easy to get to all the lodges and shuttle service will be available as well. Just ask a lot or lodge attendant for assistance in getting a free shuttle ride if needed. So welcome back my friends and I’ll see you on the slopes!!

Snowmaking Automation

Jane Eshbaugh - Friday, November 30, 2012

The largest on-mountain improvement for winter 2012-13 will be the installation of three additional automated snowmaking systems on Yodeler, Morning Star, Candy Cane, Laurel and Punch Bowl. The automated systems include weather stations that monitor temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed and direct a computer to turn on or off the snowguns, or increase or decrease the air and water flow. The goal of automation is to increase efficiency and energy savings while providing the best possible manmade snow. The automated snowmaking that was installed last year on Mardi Gras proved to be a very wise investment, as it allowed the resort to make snow in the brief periods of cold during the winter of 2011-12. 

The photos to the right show some of the components of our new automated system on Mardi Gras. The top photo is the water-air control valve that's located in the hydrant underground. The middle photo is a complete snowgun with hose attached and the bottom photo is the gun controller that is at the base of each gun.

Opening Date and Past Season's Trivia

Jane Eshbaugh - Friday, November 30, 2012

Early seasons, late seasons, amount of snowfall and length of seasons - is there a pattern? The earliest opening date was October 16, 1976. Snowfall that year totaled 191 inches and there were 136 days of skiing. More recently in 1995 we opened on November 16 for 151 days of skiing and 260 inches of snow. The year 2001 had the latest opening date in recent times of December 22 (that was a nail biter!) with 107 days of skiing and just 120 inches of snow. But the latest opening date...our first season of operation was supposed to begin in December 1957 but was delayed until January 7, 1958 due to lack of snow! (No snowmaking back in the '50's) That year we had 184 inches of snow and 89 days of skiing. During the 2010-11 season we had an incredible 261 inches of snow that started December 7 and lasted 123 days. Last season was a crazy one for the entire country but we opened on December 13, received 107 inches of snow and made over 1,150 acre feet of snow for a 97 day season.