Okemo uses a weather service, called Northwinds Weather. This weather service is used by many resorts in New England and does a really good job of forecasting hourly temperatures as well as elevation weather. Tony, the meteorologist, even visits Okemo to get to know the terrain so he can predict with more precision. Of course that means we blame him when we don’t have good, cold weather! His forecast for the next week? "Partly Cloudy with Flurries" and temps good for snowmaking.
At our morning snowmaking meeting, Barry Tucker VP of Mountain Ops, Eb Kinney, Mountain Manager, and Ray Kennedy, Snowmaking Manager, were all talking about how good things looked out on the mountain. Ray spoke of the fact that he has been able to max the system. That means we are pumping any where between 8000 – 9000 gallons a minute!
Eb spoke of how good the snowmaking was on Upper and Lower World Cup, but he was not happy with how firm things were on Saturday. Barry went out on a limb and said Solitude lifts and trails will be open by this coming midweek, with Jackson Gore by the weekend. Somewhat different than last week and for that matter last year. (If you don't recall, we opened for the season on this day, Dec 5th of 2009.)
Our plan continues to head towards Jackson Gore and add new terrain. We fired up guns on Lower Chief, and Heaven’s Gate and Screamin Demon are almost done so Solitude can open. Over in Jackson Gore, snow has been made to the base of the Jackson Gore Express and we are now headed down towards Fast Track and Inn Bound. Our plan is to work on Quantum Leap and Vortex and open them right along with the Jackson Gore lift and trail pod -- it is just so much efficient to make snow under a lift when its not operating.
These temperatures will also allow us to work in the Clock Tower base area. We expect to have the Basin Carpet and teaching area ready for the weekend as well as expand terrain around the bottom of the lifts, Open Slope and Bull Run. That will go a long way into making this place look more like a ski resort! Work will also began on the mid-mountain trails such as Wardance & Sel’s choice.
At the same time, we are going to keep some guns on existing terrain to make sure surfaces stay in top shape. Lifts operating this week will include Quad B, The Northstar, F-10 Carpet and the Glades Peak. On the weekend, we will add the lifts in Jackson Gore, Solitude and Green Ridge. For those wondering about the slopeside trails, we will be heading to them as we get closer to Christmas... we never forget them. :)
Grooming continues every night. In fact, it's time to take some of the guys off the Mountain Coaster project and get them started on their "winter" job of grooming. Lets all hope Winter is here to stay.
VP & GM
Okemo Mountain Resort