Saturday, January 26, 2013

What goes on when you are not skiing.....


Have you ever wondered how the mountain gets going every morning? It is a process that flows like clockwork, although every so often there are a few wrinkles that need to be worked out but for the most part, the team work of the different department’s means guests are ready to ski and ride on time. There are many players on the team which make things happen. The team leaders who are out there every day & night include Barry Tucker – VP Mountain Ops, Eb Kinney - Mountain Manager, Brian Boudro - Night Manager, Greg Carter - Lift Maintenance Manager, Dave Thompson -Lift Operations manager, Jim Seiberling-Patrol Director, John Conway – Skier Services Manager, Ray Kennedy-Snowmaking Manager and then the grooming supervisors who include Art, John & Bill. On any given day, the work for the next day begins actually in the afternoon when around 4pm the groomers head out to prepare the slopes and snowmaking is on the trails.
Art coordinates with Eb to discuss where snowmaking is happening, special requests, trails to not groom etc. At around 8pm of so, Brian will arrive for work and speak with Eb at home to discuss anything special. Brian will be the go to person during the night and coordinate the dance between snowmaking, grooming, snowplowing when needed, and anything else. At midnight the new grooming crew will arrive and John and his crew will head out. Around 5am, the day mountain ops staff will begin arriving. There will be meetings with Eb, Barry, Ray & John who will then communicate with lift operations, lift maintenance, & ski patrol.

From then on things happen in sequence, get the grooming done, check the trails, ride the lift lines, run the auxiliary engines of the lifts, check the detachable lift tires (those are what keep the chair going through the terminal at the top and bottom when off the cable), mark the trails for hazards and then begin loading guests when the time comes (Ultra and Gold pass holders can get on 15 minutes early). After opening Lift maintenance will ride every chairlift and check every carpet lift for any issues. The groomers will finish up and then head into the maintenance shop where they will be brought into the garage, sprayed off with a power washer to remove the ice and snow and looked over for wear and tear and then the process begins all over for the next day.

It is because of these behind the scene guys and gals in all the mountain operations departments that there is an Okemo Difference and while you are asleep at night or catching a few extra winks, all these Okemo Team members are getting things ready for a great skiing and riding day. Snowmaking will be continuing as we head into February.

This past week saw Okemo snowmaking being done on most of our trails and we added several new trails. Thanks for Skiing and riding with us and think snow

Bruce Schmidt
Okemo GM

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