Friday, November 22, 2013

What is the plan once the fog clears?


We are experiencing some Vermont November weather when it isn’t quite cold enough for snow and it stays overcast, foggy and a little dreary.  The good news is that this is only temporary and colder weather is right around the corner.  Okemo is experiencing one of the better starts to the ski season we have had in a long time. Research has shown me that this is the first year, A.R.S (After real snowmaking), that we have skied top to bottom on opening day.  Before snowmaking the resort did not open until there was skiing top to bottom! I have not spoken to one person who has missed the shuttle bus ride, except our shuttle drivers.   Okemo staff worked hard to have a great opening day, there were a few bumps, but my goal was to not be skewered by the SF and we almost met our goal, but not quite.

So where are we headed once the fog clears?  Snowmaking temps look to return early this coming weekend.  The plan is to head towards the Solitude area.  Work will begin on the Lower half of Sapphire, Village Run, Heaven’s Gate, Screamin Demon & Sunburst.  The snowmakers will also work at doing sections of Mountain Road. This is being done so as we head towards Jackson Gore in 10 days or so, we have a way out of the Gore.  If the temperatures hold, the plan will be to work on Southern Crossing and into the Jackson Gore Base area.  We can make snow in the JG base area, but cannot begin making snow above the upper railroad bridge as that property is owned by the State of VT and there is no snowmaking allowed until 12/1 due to bear migration.

In talking to Eb, our Director of Mountain Operations, we will be working on moving the rails and features off of Sapphire and onto Nor’easter trail during the next few days. It may take some time, but should be done before Thanksgiving.  I would anticipate having 30 or more trails and 7 lifts for the Thanksgiving holiday.

This coming weekend we will be skiing 18 trails and 4 lifts. Instead of operating the Green Ridge Triple, we will be operating the Glades Peak Quad to give skier and riders an opportunity to round trip Defiance and Upper World Cup if they would like.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the snow either on your skis or board!

Bruce Schmidt

Okemo GM

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