Thursday, December 2, 2010

Where we go from here

So we survived the "Noricane" of December 1st in pretty good shape... the trails held up pretty well, the skiing surface was firm, and on the plus side the snowmaking pond is now full!

The wet weather began to subside around 10pm on Wednesday night and the groomers went out around 3am - which is about the same time that snowmaking operations resumed. I am confident that the skiing, while firm on Thursday, will become better with each day of grooming.

The guns will continue to blow snow on existing terrain, but we are moving towards some new trails as well. Our #1 priority is to finish Lower Arrow so we can have two ways down from the summit. We know it has been tiresome to only have Upper and Lower World Cup to get back to the base.

Other priorities will be heading towards Jackson Gore and Solitude. We began this today by making snow on Sunburst. We will then head down Coleman Brook and Escape and onto Mountain Road and Limelight - eventually reaching the base of Jackson Gore. Both of these areas should be open by Saturday 12/11, weather permitting.

At the same time, when the temperatures allow, we will be heading down the Rimrock trail, heading towards the mid-mountain trails of Sel’s Choice and Wardance. The plan is to get spread out and some snow laid down as we head towards the Christmas Holidays.

By the way, do you know our sister resort Crested Butte has had almost 75 inches of snow this year already?

Have a good night, and thanks for choosing to ski and ride at Okemo Mountain Resort


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two Trails Diverged in a wood

If you’ve been following our blog you probably already read about how we tweaked our trail opening process on Defiance this past Saturday. In fact, we heard from a lot of guests about how nice that skiing surface was when we opened it. (Keep the comments coming!)

We took a different approach on Jolly Green Giant – and the result was very different. Guests encountered a much firmer surface.

The difference? On Defiance we made enough snow to cover the trail and let it sit for one full day so that the water could leach out, then groomed it out and opened it. On Jolly Green we made snow, immediately groomed it out and opened it the next day.

As I said, guests loved the opening surface on Defiance. It was essentially what you’d find a day after a nice snowstorm! However, because a hard-packed base had not been developed we found that ruts were forming on the trail by mid-afternoon. On Jolly Green, the immediate grooming and skiing of the snow had packed the base; so while it was not as smooth a ride on opening day, the base of that trail is now ready for a season of skiing and riding (and more snowmaking of course!).

The task at hand is to find a good balance. Here’s the current plan: make snow to cover a trail, groom it out and ski it. This sets the base. Then, take a second pass at snowmaking but this time let it sit overnight to leach (this means closing the trail for one day), then groom and ski it.

So… which trail did you take?