This has got to be one of hardest parts of my position, when do you start to reduce terrain due to the surface conditions, hazards/safety and way finding all the while balancing the economics of the situation.
Now in our 3rd day in a row of moisture, warm daytime temps & night time cloud cover (trapping the “heat”) all of which has done the lower mtn absolutely no favors. Baring the 3 footer at the 6000’ level, I am sorry to say that the lower mtn is done for the season. We’ll give it another few days to see if anything significant changes, but the patrol is now charged with trying to do tear down in less than optimal conditions.
While actual records are sketchy, typically the lower mtn will always last as long as the upper mtn does, but this is the 3rd time in 8 years it’s had to close early.
As to the Village Side it has now been designated as a “soft boundary”, which means it is accessible, not patrolled, not maintained and not really recommended, so travel with a partner and at your own risk. Be forewarned though, there will be large open expanses of limited or no snow cover, as time goes on, some walking may be required also there has been some over zealous and illegal snowmobile high lining activity so watch out for the deeply rutted sled tracks. To that end, I hear rumor to the effect that the village roads are scheduled to be plowed sometime after Easter.
Once again Mother Nature has been dealing us difficult cards for the groomers. The team has done a stellar job throughout the season and lately it just doesn’t seem fair to judge them by what they are up against these days (nights). Its kind of a waiting game, can’t go too early or too late and we can’t really get a good surface due to the frictional coefficients between old snow and new saturated snow. We need the snow pack to fully morph into a real melt/freeze cycle to get some crystallization or the pack becomes more isothermal. In the meantime we are working on the timing and surface prep so a little patience would be appreciated.
We are getting lots of questions on pond skimming. We will start building the platform shortly after Easter as it takes a couple of hundred man hours to prep, line, fill and finalize. Last season we went all the way thru the process and then it snowed, got cold & froze the pond with razor sharp shards of ice that we were unable to remove. Let’s hope for a better outcome this year. Remember to bring extra clothes on the 13th!!
On closing day – it’s still projected for the 21st weather and conditions permitting. But as I have previously stated, as a precautionary measure, we have moved our events off that weekend and up to the 13th & 14th just in case we don’t have favorable conditions to make all the way to 21st. – gm