Can you think of anyone you know who intentionally sabotages their own workplace half of the year? Well, I can. Take my Trail Crew Supervisor Pat Labrosse for instance. Pat works six months of the year as a Snowmaking Supervisor, diligently turning millions of gallons of reservoir water into a thick blanket of snow for the skiing masses to enjoy. In the world of ski area operations, the white line rules all. No one buys a lift ticket with the intent of downloading on the chair at the end of the day (even in May). Even if everyone did intend to ride the lift back down, the capacity for downloading couldn’t possibly meet the demand, hence the painful lineup to go home at the top of the commuter lifts in early/late season. This is where the Guns and Hoses gang come to save the day, zipping around the mountain powering up and down the fleet of snowmaking machines as they chase the freezing level up and down the hills, birthing the white whales the groomers will connect together to lock in our ski outs.
In order to ensure we have this highway from the alpine until the ski crowds dissipate sometime after Easter, Pat and his band produce ample product. The problem, I’m sure you can now see, is snow guns don’t discriminate on what they cover and will happily belch out snow-road building schmoo all over everything if given the chance. Add Mother Nature’s flakes and a long cold winter and we have ourselves some chest deep, compacted snowcrete to remove if we want to see the bike trails that went into hibernation last October. Pat is one of the first guys to start up the Bike Park for the season and he literally hangs up his snowmaking toque and replaces it with his Trail Crew hat the next week. Pat goes from building the white line to removing it a week later. Fortunately for all of us, Pat (who is a big intimidating guy) has a great sense of humor and appreciates the irony of his careers.
Pat and the boys have been in for a couple of weeks now and the report is that despite a large volume of snow, the uncapping of trails is moving along nicely. We are throwing all of our resources at the task with an unprecedented four excavators digging out the freeride trails and a team working its way around the single track labyrinth assessing which ones will yield to the shovel and which ones need a few more days/weeks to turn isothermal. It is early to say which trails will be ready for the opening but I am confident we will have more open on May 19th than we do right now. There will likely be some snow walls on the sides of some trails, (especially where they are near snowmaking pipelines) but that just adds to the opening week vibe. Photo by: Pat Labrosse
We will be hosting a public dig day on Saturday, May 13th for anyone who wants to come out and pitch in to get the trails cleared for the opening. We have not done this since 2011, the last time Spring lost its passport and got stuck at the border. If that is something you might like to participate in please see more on the Facebook event page
. Only fourteen more sleeps (at the time of writing) and we will be back at it. Thanks again to Pat and his teams for always being one step ahead of us so we have a smooth ride, no matter what season it is.
See you in fourteen… – Brian Finestone, Bike Park Manager Planning on Riding More Than Five Days This Season?
Now is the best time to buy your ticket to a sleepless summer, with Early Bird rates and bonus offers on until May 21. A 5 Day Pass is $269, which works out to just $54 a day. If you want to ride more than that, we have 10 Day, Unlimited and other passes that will keep you rolling.Get Your Pass Here