the farmers and their snowcats.

The last batch of homemade flakes have been made. Now, our dear brother Heat Miser is taking the reigns with 70 degree days and sweet rays of sunshine. Yes, it’s that time of season— you want to know how long we’ll stay open and all we can say is, “it’s weather dependent.”

The bad news: this week, the sun is taking a hiatus as spring showers plan to overstay their welcome. We are now closed Monday – Thursday to save conditions.

The good news: we are currently sitting on an 18-48″ snow base across the mountain. We plan to reopen Friday for more riding pleasure and weekend events!

IMG_1883
Clint’s son, the next groomer-in-training!

Like a farmer plowing fields in the sunshine, groomers are tilling trails in the moonlight. Most nights, a team of seven snowcats head out to farm the snow, each cat using between 40 to 50 gallons of diesel per shift. It takes approximately ten hours to groom the mountain. Having a full team allows us to move slower over trails and gives the tiller more time to churn, which makes for better snow conditions.

IMG_1895
The farmers and their snowcats.

What’s the toughest trail to groom? Well, it depends who you ask. Most notably, the more a trail is used, the more work is required. Every sunset-to-rise becomes routine— we farm snow from trails’ edges to center, and skiers and riders shred the snow back out.

 

groomer

If you aren’t familiar with skier lingo, those fun bumps seeded on sections of Challenge, Main Street, and Nightmare are called moguls. We build the pattern and frost the bumps with powder, while advanced skiers carve and mold the terrain. This past weekend, the surplus of snow on Razor’s Edge gave us the go-ahead to create more mogul madness.

IMG_1885
Brian welding the attachment bolts on our Piston Bully 300. 

Besides clean up of hoses and hydrants, we are transitioning with Mother Nature in anticipation of spring blooms and summer adventure. First up, is this weekend’s end-of-season annual pond skim on Sunday, March 20. We dig a 50-60′ long by 20′ wide hole that sits 4′ deep in the middle of Vista. The pond is lined with a tarp and filled with water, set and ready for skimming and (sometimes) swimming.

Next, we help the resort change face from ski lodge to wedding venue and boarding to mountain biking, along with a mix of upcoming events.

IMG_1887
Cats in the barn.

But, our season isn’t over yet. It’s our goal to stay open as long as possible.

So, rain rain go away. A farmer’s work is never done.

See you on the slopes,

the snowmisers

dump 'em out

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “the farmers and their snowcats.

  1. I totally agree with Doug’s comments.

    Let it be known to all the groomers and mountain management the appreciation that all of us mogul sliders have for the effort put into seeding the bumps on the various runs. The moguls give sliders an alternative to just skiing groomed slopes, which can become boring over time.

    I can tell you that when it became known that Razor’s was seeded with bumps last Sunday, text messages spread and many that were not planning on coming out that day due to lack of moguls actually changed their minds and came out to the mountain.

    On another occasion, I spoke with a skier that was at Blue for the first time ever who was down from Hunter. He asked if Blue always has seeded moguls. When I told him that they do, he told me that he was going to buy a season pass and also bring other mogul fanatics down to Blue.

    I can only hope that mountain management recognizes the appeal of the moguls and keeps providing them, resetting them when they get too icy and/or just blow more snow in them to keep the conditions great. The moguls should be seen as an added feature to the mountain.

    Like

  2. Can’t say enough about the seeded moguls. As good as I’ve seen and as fun as any mogul skiing I’ve done in Vermont and Colorado. Please keep it up. There is an extensive bump community in the tri state area and pa who don’t want to drive five hours to Vermont. Planning on buying a pass for next winter so I hope you continue seeding.

    Like

    1. I totally agree with Doug’s comments.

      Let it be known to all the groomers and mountain management the appreciation that all of us mogul sliders have for the effort put into seeding the bumps on the various runs. The moguls give sliders an alternative to just skiing groomed slopes, which can become boring over time.

      I can tell you that when it became known that Razor’s was seeded with bumps last Sunday, text messages spread and many that were not planning on coming out that day due to lack of moguls actually changed their minds and came out to the mountain.

      On another occasion, I spoke with a skier that was at Blue for the first time ever who was down from Hunter. He asked if Blue always has seeded moguls. When I told him that they do, he told me that he was going to buy a season pass and also bring other mogul fanatics down to Blue.

      I can only hope that mountain management recognizes the appeal of the moguls and keeps providing them, resetting them when they get too icy and/or just blow more snow in them to keep the conditions great. The moguls should be seen as an added feature to the mountain.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s