Thursday, December 9, 2010
When are we opening Sachem, and other snowmaking objectives
People ask me if I get out skiing at all. The answer is somewhat. I try to get out on the slopes 2-3 times a week, but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen. Tim and Diane [Mueller] encourage managers to get out and experience the snow so we can better answer guest’s questions and concerns. Barry Tucker and Eb Kinney, our VP of Mountain Ops and Mountain Manager also try to get out the same each week so they know what is going on. I haven’t gotten out this year yet, but plan to this weekend.
Besides "when will Sachem open", the most frequently asked question I get right now is what is the snowmaking plan?. Our goal right now is to get as many different types of terrain open as we can before December 26th. That means beginner, intermediate and expert trails. How we make that happen is essentially based on the weather forecast.
The forecast for the next 48-72 hours is usually the most accurate forecast, and the one we look to constantly. If the forecast is showing winter temperatures in the teens or below, the tendency is to go after the larger trails with more acreage that require more snow. If the temps are not as cold, we may look towards the shorter trails. At any one time, we have trail objectives for the lower mountain, mid-mountain and upper mountain so when the temperature is right, we are ready to move.
By this weekend we are hopeful to have Upper and Lower Chief open as well as Sidewinder. Nor’easter will be very close behind (BTW don't forget to get your P.S.P Pass, now required for entry into Nor'easter). Being 16 days from Christmas, we are also making sure that some of our snowmaking fire power is directed toward maintenance of trails that have already opened. Maintaining the surface on those trails, while at times challenging, is very important.
Another important objective is to make sure we get snow made on the trails with slopeside homes. Sachem will definitely be the one we head to as our mid mountain objective with the Kettle Brook and Ledgwood areas being our lower mountain objective. We complete the loop by heading over to the trails in the Morningstar/Solitude area.
Bottom line is that every single trail is important to us as well as you. We do our best to prioritize and balance what we feel will make the best skiing and riding experience possible. Please continue to let us know about your skiing and riding experiences and Happy Holiday’s.
VP and GM
Okemo Mountain Resort