You know it’s winter in the Taylor household when the phone rings night after night just shy of 2 am. Tonight, a high vault fuse blew out. Yesterday, the wires went down. Tomorrow, a compressor stops running. This is how the fun begins, the firsts of the season. The work shifts get longer, the days get colder, and the kids start pressing, “Dad, when’s the mountain opening?”
Meet, Bob Taylor— Mountain Manager and skier— the papa of the misers.
It all started in 1987. Bob worked part-time at Blue as a union electrician. His main gig was wiring the mountain from compressors to pumps to lights from the summit of Challenge to the valley. About ten years ago or so, Bob came on full-time as the Mountain Manager of, what is now, Blue Mountain Resort.
He’ll tell you, the best dynamics of working are certainly in the diversity: construction, snowmaking, grooming, maintenance, teaching, etc. Although management calls for more office work (did you know his office doubles as a control room for turning on and off guns?), his favorite job is still getting outside to make snow and walking the trails with the boys. He’s the old man keeping up with the kids. And, what’s admirable, is that he’s held his core crew with the same guys for a very long time.
Since our crew is mostly seasonal, there’s a reason why we keep coming back…
it’s a lifestyle.
We put in long hours because we like what we do. We don’t mind the cold. We like to work hard. We take pride in our work. And, it’s a win-win when we get instant feedback (after a twelve-plus hour shift) that skiers and riders are stoked about conditions. And, it’s an added bonus when we get baked goods from girlfriends, wives, sisters, and daughters for getting another trail open (cookies for Switchback!).
Of course, a blizzard bomb from Mother Nature takes the edge off of snowmaking, but there’s never a shortage of work to do. With 24-30″ of fresh powder this past weekend, we kept busy plowing and shoveling parking lots, sidewalks, and courtyards, fixing equipment, and grooming, grooming, grooming.
Even with a long stretch of lousy weather, Bob’s goals were set this season, “To get all trails open, and for everyone to enjoy what we put out there.” With a little more help from our sidekick (eh em… Mother Nature), we’d like it to stay that way.
“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, where is it to be found?”
-J.B. Priestley, English author
See you on the slopes,