Saturday, October 29, 2011

Terrain Park

The Terrain Park is a very popular place these days. I think the picnic table on steroids is the favorite. DQ seems to have it under control.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ski Cutting

The Ski Patrol was busy ski cutting in Lenawee Parks today. They have enough snow to make some headway in there. The early stages of trail preparation in avalanche terrain may involve explosive use, ski cutting, boot packing, and ski packing. The guys are off to a good start. The intention is to improve the skiing quality and reduce the likelihood of avalanche through snow compaction.

Yesterday's Photos

Here are the photos I took yesterday. I think there was a problem with Blogger. They uploaded easily today. Anyway, more great news. The snowmakers were grinning from ear to ear this morning. That is not easy at 7 AM coming off an all night shift. Again, they had a great night. Snowmaking temps were near zero with light, ideal winds. I'll get up and take a look again today. We are in store for another brilliant, blue sky day. I need to learn to keep my camera's wrist strap out of the viewfinder.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mountain Update

Went to the Summit today with Mark, Patio, and Lizzie. I skied Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch. Very good. The snow is all connected and has been track packed. The cats have dozed out some of the piles. We do still have a little ways to go to open up there. I don't think we will see it this weekend. The opening is likely to be measured in a few days, maybe the number of days could be counted on one hand. Today was a perfect bluebird day with all the glistening new snow. I took some great photos, but can't seem to get them uploaded. I will keep trying.

Looks like a Foot

The ski patrollers are saying 4" new today making it 12" for the storm. Napolean just said the snowmaking conditions are ideal and they are having a "big night." He also said the snowcats have now connected all the snow between Black Mountain Lodge and the Summit. With favorable snowmaking conditions (-2 this AM) in the forecast and a lot of water in the reservoir, we will make a big impact the next 48-72 hours. We have not decided on a Lenawee Mountain Lift opening time yet, but that should come together soon. Keep your eyes on the website. The new snow is simply beautiful.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

8" and Still Snowing

Just had communications from the snowmakers and the ski patrollers. We have had a very productive night. We reported 8" new and it is still snowing. The snowcats are out and about doing some track packing. It was fairly windy which inhibited snowmaking a bit, but the forecast for snowmaking is outstanding. We will likely keep running until at least mid-day Thursday. For October, very good.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Storm Will Have Big Impact

First, check out this photo taken by Daniel Hill last season.

This storm will have a big impact on The Basin. Although initially warm and kind of wet, temperatures should drop to single digits and we may see a lot of snow. What does that mean? We will be making a lot of snow. The snowmaking resources are pointing towards Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch, our next targeted trails for opening. The snowfall will only make the opening easier and, hopefully, sooner. A few spots in Dercum's are very smooth and flat and can be covered with a good storm or two of natural snow.

I am not sure we will get enough snow to open any trails with only natural snow. Don't forget, it is still October. Hopefully, we will get enough to send the snowcats out and about packing snow. Maybe we will get enough for the patrollers to start footpacking some terrain. We should know in the next 24-48 hours. We will keep grooming High Noon and Ramrood. I know some of you want that to stay ungroomed. That would be fun for a little while in the morning, but would be kind of tough by mid-morning.

All and all this looks like a great storm and should be a HUGE BONUS.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Taking It All In

Leif Given AAA Award

Last week Leif Eric Borgeson posthumously received the American Avalanche Association John Bernie Kingery Award "For his significant contribution to the reduction of avalanche hazard, furthering research and mentoring others as a dedicated avalanche professional." Leif's son Ian accepted the award. Pictured from left to right are Halsted Morris of the AAA, Becs Hodgetts, and Ian Borgeson.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

You can take the kids out of Summit County, but you can't take Summit County out of the kids. We miss Jill and Joel and want them to move back.

15 Degrees

Clear and cold with very light winds. 15 degrees at the primary pumphouse when I arrived this morning. Even colder at mid-mountain. Perfect snowmaking conditions. Big, big night on Ramrod. The whales are surfacing. We have not determined a Ramrod opening day yet, but another night or two like this and..........well you know the story. Enjoy the crisp fall day and think cold tonight.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On To Ramrod

The cold air arrived a little later than we expected, but when it did arrive, it was great for snowmaking. The bulk of our snowmaking energy and resources are pointed at Ramrod. We will still put a little bit of "frosting" on High Noon. In terms of planning and timing, we are very dependant on weather and streamflows. This year there is quite a bit of water in the North Fork of the Snake River which is good for snowmaking. We need consistent, cold weather. Last night was cold and tonight looks like more of the same.

In terms of the order of snowmaking, we open High Noon first. Ramrod is opened second and usually takes an additional 1-2 weeks. After Ramrod, we head for the Upper Mountain taking about 2 more weeks to open Lenawee Mountain Lift and Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch. We then like to open Molly Hogan the weekend before Thanksgiving so we can open the Snowsports School. We plan for Sundance for Thanksgiving to give a green trail off the mountain. Lastly, we shoot to open the Treeline Terrain Park for the Christmas holidays. Dates and times are highly dependant on water and weather. Of course, mingled in there somewhere are a few other special spots and projects.

The simple summary of order is High Noon - Ramrod - Lenawee Face/Dercum's Gulch - Molly Hogan - Sundance - Treeline Terrain Park.

A few weeks ago I was asked why we didn't open Lenawee Face/Dercum's Gulch first since it tends to be colder up there. The simple reason is that we think we can open High Noon/Ramrod faster. Although it tends to be colder up high, the linear length of the upper trails is about twice as long as High Noon and a fair bit longer than High Noon and Ramrod combined. Also, I am not sure the difference in temperaturebetween high and low is big enough to make a significant difference in snowmaking output. By the time we are opening Dercum's Gulch, we usually get some help from Mother Nature in terms of natural snowfall. If we started with the Upper Mountain, I think we would open 1-2 weeks later. Making snow that high is a bit more difficult and time consuming.

Monday, October 17, 2011


This storm really materialized. It has been snowing heavily and the temperatures are dropping. Just what we needed to keep the October skiing lots of fun.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Good Change Coming

Wow. The last few days have been spectacular. I am one of those guys, however, that gets excited when he sees a cold, snowy forecast. Looks like between now and Tuesday we are going to get a few inches of snow and have some great, cold snowmaking weather. Now that is beautiful.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Seriously Cool Video

You have got to check this video by Mike Hagadorn. It was shot opening day with a camera mounted on a "Remote Control Quadcopter." This is a perspective we don't normally see. I love it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We Are Open

We have had a very nice opening day. The first two chairs went up the with ribbons and in remembrance of Marnie Jump and Max Dercum . Overnight we made some more great snow putting a velvety layer on High Noon. The grooming was soft corduroy. It was a perfect bluebird day. Smiling faces were the day's standard. Thanks to everyone that came and for those that didn't, I look forward to seeing you soon.

Not sure, but I think Tim Tebow was snowboarding.