Mother Nature hasn’t been in our favor much over the past few weeks, so today Assistant Snowmaking Manager Kevin Jennings will review the past few rain storms and share updates on Bear Creek's slope conditions and snowmaking plans.
Q: MLK weekend is always huge for ski resorts, but the 60⁰ rain storm had to make an impact, so how did you combat Mother Nature?
A: The rain definitely did some damage on the slopes which caused our delayed opening however, on Saturday night we were able to put down 2.2 million gallons of water which drastically helped improve the conditions for Sunday skiers and riders.
Q: How did the tube park hold up?
A: The tube park takes an incredible amount of snow, but after our successful overnight run, Brad was able to rebuild the tube park and keep it in decent shape.
Q: Did you continue any snowmaking after the weekend?
A: Yes, on Sunday night we had another 2.2 million-gallon run. The NE wind produced a challenge on the slopes at the top of the mountain however, the runs lower down benefited.
Q: Did this snowmaking run reopen any trails that were lost from the rain storm?
A: Yes, we reopened Sasquatch which brought us back to 100% open. Brad worked some more on the tube park and got in back into great shape with all 10 lanes open. Anthony also did some creative grooming in the upper section of Cascade Park as well as adding new features to the jump line (aka Lower Cascade Park).
Q: Rain was predicted in the long-term forecast, was there anything you could do to be proactive?
A: We had a plan during the week to make some piles of snow in specific sections just in case the rain would do some damage. Our opportunities for snowmaking were on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Q: How did production go at the end of the week?
A: It went well but the forecast did take a turn. On Wednesday, we ran all 129 guns and produced 2.6 million gallons on the hill, but on Thursday we were only able to pump out just shy of 1 million due to the humidity increase. Overall, all the efforts throughout the week created a solid base and Thursday night’s run allowed for a nice top layer for guests heading into the weekend.
Q: Will the guys be making any adjustments to the terrain parks?
A: The Terrain Park crew had a new build scheduled for Friday night to give the guests a fresh set-up for the weekend.
Q: With clear skies and freshly groomed slopes, the weekend was successful! However, the rain storm rolled in last night. How have the slopes been holding up?
A: We took the heavy rain forecast into consideration when making snow last week, so even if the slopes deteriorate, we have enough snow made to patch up any areas that we might lose.
Q: We made the decision to close the slopes until 4pm today due to the inclement weather; will you be assessing the slopes after the rain slows this afternoon?
A: Yes. Once the rain slows, our mountain ops team will be out checking the slopes as well as the lift ramps and making sure everything is safe for our 4pm opening.
Q: After the rain clears out, when in the next possible snowmaking run?
A: The forecast looks favorable on Wednesday and Thursday.
If you have any questions that you would like to ask our Snowmakers, please submit an email.