After receiving our first dusting of snow, it really has begun to feel like winter is getting closer all around the resort. Staff is on the move around the resort, preparing the slopes, lifts, buildings and other areas for our opening day.
Snowmaking began on Saturday morning, 11/1, around 3am. The guns began pumping out snow on Upper World Cup and then moved to Nor’easter and Sapphire. By the time the temperatures had warmed up on Monday morning, we had been making snow for about 50 hours and made it all the way down to the middle of the mountain. When you make snow early season, there are always problems which are found. This year was not any different, with some water and air leaks discovered and repaired, as well as some pump station issues. All in all, it was a good first time making snow. The weather is looking like we will be right back at it over the weekend and into next week. The plan is to work our way down towards the Green Ridge and Black Ridge, with skiing on Sapphire, Upper Arrow to Lower Arrow into the base area. As work on the Sunburst Six proceeds along, a decision will be made to begin making snow on Buckhorn, to be able to access Upper World Cup and use the Sachem and Glades Peak quad lifts. At this point there continues to be a need to get equipment and personnel down to the top of the Sunburst Six.
If you have been following the Okemo Facebook page, then you have seen the photos showing how the construction is moving along well. The Okemo and POMA Leitner staff has been hard at work, 7 days a week, preparing the Sunburst Six for the winter. Almost all of the 6-passenger chairs have arrived; they were shipped by boat and have been in the Port of Newark waiting for delivery to Okemo. The wire cable in in place, ready to be put on the towers, and both the drive and return terminals are in place. One key component, the drive mechanisms including the Bullwheel, motor and gearbox, arrived this week and were put into place on Monday. This will now allow the drive terminal on the summit to have the roof and windows put together and the electricity energized on the lift. At the return terminal at the base of the Sunburst Six, the new chair storage building is nearing completion as well as the lift itself. With all the hard work that has been going into this project it is great to be able to say we are on schedule for an early December opening.
Keep checking on Facebook for updates and we all are excited to begin winter and skiing and riding for the 2014-15 season.