Phew— We did it! Another season snowed, partied, retired. This past Sunday’s Pond Skim, we may have made our pond a teensy bit too long (about 85 feet!). The skim fails and killer wipe outs count was high, making the handful of determined and well-experienced skimmer successes all the more celebratory and entertaining. We enjoyed the sidelines with beers in hand, as the gorilla, Santa Claus, retro suits, sparkling mullets, and more prayed for speed on mashed potato slopes to clear the skim warm and dry.
Most notably, we pay final tribute this season to a man that helped build Little Gap to Blue Mountain Ski Area to, what we know today as, Blue Mountain Resort.
Meet, Allan Pettit.
Better known as: Al
Work: Full-time, Maintenance Manager, Mountain Ops
Favorite trail: Vista because it’s “easy going.”
Al is officially retired!
Al has redefined the title ‘Jack-of-all-Trades’ during his forty years of work at the mountain. Since the mid-1980s, he earned the title of Maintenance Manager. Al learned most of what he knows by doing it— a hands on mix of construction, snowmaking, grooming, welding, and now a master of mechanics.
The mountain has been home to his good working relationships and to his family. Al and his wife, Laun, who he met in Vietnam during his 1970-72 years of service in the US Army, shared time working and enjoying mountain life. Their son, Matt, and daughter, Marie, grew up skiing the trails, as Al repaired groomer cats and Laun worked housekeeping and food services in the Summit Lodge.
Al has witnessed the growth from three to thirty-nine ski trails, and the advances of manual to hydraulic-powered groomers. He has played a significant role behind-the-scenes, and he’s leaving big shoes to fill.
A quick look at numbers shared from Brian, a fellow mechanic of Al’s crew, help to show the impact of Al’s knowledge and expertise.
Total, we have ten groomers: one with a basket lift, two smaller specialty cats, and seven that work the trails nightly. Of those seven, the hours run equal:
- 1 almost 15,000 hr
- 2 over 13,000 hr
- 1 – 10,850 hr
- 1 – 9,700 hr
- 1 – 7,300 hr
- 1 – 6,200 hr
Next season marks the 40th anniversary for the mountain, but this season’s end calls for Al to retire. He plans to return to Blue part-time next winter, but to spend most his retirement traveling, working to check-off the ‘Honey-do List,’ and creating more memories with his wife and family.
A word from Papa Miser: “Al is one of the greatest guys I ever had the pleasure of working with. A really funny guy. He is a very passionate man for his trade. As good of a mechanic as he is, he is a more compassionate man and cares about every one he works with. He will be sorely missed.”
From the Blue Mountain Resort Family, we extend our
gratitude and appreciation to Allan Pettit.
For his service. For his passion. For his time and commitment—
forty years and counting.
Thank you, skiers & riders, for another season and, as always, a real good time!
See you next year,
ps. Stay tuned in to snowmiser summer fun on greener slopes with our monthly blog updates!