Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Snowmaking? You bet!

The end of January is upon us and that means we are heading into the exciting months of February and March. February, while the shortest month in number of days, has some of the most exciting times with normally more snow, some great weather, excellent skiing and good business. March has the weather, more sun and some excellent spring skiing.

Snowmaking is continuing here at Okemo. No doubt it is on an as-needed basis, but we have made snow every week through January and plan to continue making. Normally, snowmaking temperatures end in early March, but we have made snow in March before……

The decisions on where to make snow is made collectively with input from mountain operations, ski patrol and myself. There may be a need to make snow to freshen up the moguls, high traffic areas, or to just make the skiing better. The intent is to pick specific areas and work on them and not get spread out so much on the mountain. With the fresh powder, the need for snowmaking becomes somewhat diminished, but we are ready to make when needed.

Grooming this season has continued with an aggressive schedule. The groomers have kept some of our trails ungroomed, but the others are being done each night. Eb Kinney, Okemo's mountain manager, changes the routine of grooming during the month so the groomers don’t always begin in the same area. This helps change things up and allows different trails to set up in different ways. The mogul trails have been groomed and snow made as needed to try and keep them in top shape.

The latest addition to the groomers' responsibility is the Superpipe. This is groomed several times a week and done with the winch cat and with the laser guided Zaugg pipe cutter. From what I hear, the pipe is in great shape.

Here's hoping for some fresh powder and great weather as February is upon us ...

Bruce Schmidt

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