Sunday, October 27, 2013

High Noon vs. Lenawee

A few people have asked why we don't open the Upper Mountain first under the assumption that it is colder up there and we could make snow sooner and open sooner. I wrote a post about this a couple of years ago. I couldn't find the post after a very quick look so I will write it up again, hopefully being consistent with my first post.

To start, there are a lot of snowmaking strategies we could use. High Noon is the shortest and most direct trail we can make snow on that allows us to open a chairlift (Molly Hogan excluded).  Lenawee Face / Dercum's Gulch is quite a bit longer than High Noon.  While the Upper Mountain is colder than the Lower Mountain, I am not sure the difference in temperature would make a big swing in when we open.  In fact, because the Upper Mountain trail is longer and requires much more snowmaking (and has a little trickier snowmaking), we would likely open later if we started up there.

We have downloaded before. In fact, pre-snowmaking we downloaded regularly with old Exhibition Lift. I am sure we will download again, perhaps in a summer skiing scenario.  It works. It takes more time. BMX's downloading capacity is 25% of its uploading capacity. On even a regular day, you can expect lines waiting to download.  On a busy day, you can expect big lines.

When we open with BMX and High Noon, we have 1 lift and 1 trail.  When we add Ramrod, we have 1 lift and 2 trails. If we went to the Summit to start, we would have 2 lifts and 1 trail.  I think for early season High Noon makes better sense. In my mind it is less hassle, cheaper to operate, a better guest experience and probably has an earlier opening.