Start Fun, Start Free – Intro to Ski & Ride FREE at Bromley

Last Sunday December 21st was the first learn to ski free day at Bromley mountain this season. If you are thinking of trying to ski or snowboard and you would like to try it? You can with no strings attached. Just join the Bromley Ski & Snowboard School in their newly sculpted Terrain Based Learning Zone for FREE on the two remaining dates this winter season!  This is open for anyone from age 6 and up.  This is a great opportunity to get the entire family out to try skiing.  The remaining dates are Monday, January 19, 2015 and Sunday, March 15, 2015.

Erica red tries out skiing Photo by Mike Roth
Erica red tries out skiing
Photo by Mike Roth
Kyle give the snowboard a try! Photo by Mike Roth
Kyle give the snowboard a try!
Photo by Mike Roth

Friends of mine took the lessons at total of 4 people, 2 tried skiing and 2 tried snowboards.  Of the 4 who tried it 3 were successful, the fourth was still unsteady on the snowboard. He admitted that maybe skiing would have been a better choice.  They received   a Learning Zone lift ticket (for the super fun and easy to ride covered magic carpet) Rental equipment package (your choice, skis or snowboard, boots & helmet) and Instruction from 10:30am until noon.

Brandon, just before he fell on his butt! photo by Mike Roth
Brandon, just before he fell on his butt!
photo by Mike Roth

The lift ticket and equipment rental were  good all day which allowed you to continue practicing what you learned from the lesson earlier in the day. The 2 who tried skiing were actually anxious to get up on the beginner hill lift (so they bought a Sunday afternoon pass for $32) and both were able to make it down that slope with flying color and both are planning to go out and ski  another day. The 2 who boarded we are not too sure? One probably should have skied instead of boarded ( he said that!) the other liked the boarding and practice all day and on the last run fell on his tail bone and it still hurts a week later., but he says he wants to try it again ( probably due to his snowboarding son who is egging him on).

The covered magic carpet Photo by Mike Roth
The covered magic carpet
Photo by Mike Roth

It was snow flurrying most of the day so the conditions were perfect for learning to ski, the only thing better aside from snow flurries would have been some sunshine.

If you are interested in trying out skiing or boarding, call the Bromley Ski & Snowboard School at 802.824.5522 x301 by 4pm the day before the event. To provide each participant with the best possible experience, each event is limited to the first 75 guests to register! Once you have signed up take a look at Bromley’s helpful hints page for suggestions on the best clothing choices for the day.

Also get a good night’s sleep the night before because you are going to need it. It may be one of the most strenuous days you have spent in the winter (aside from shoveling) but you will have a great time and crave for more, more, more.

mike and Erica on top of Bromley, it's winter Photo by mike Roth
mike and Erica on top of Bromley, it’s winter
Photo by mike Roth

Of course while the group was in their lessons there were 4 others of us that just skied the mountain. The conditions that we found the weekend before Christmas were spectacular. The snow and rain we had in the Albany area around Thanksgiving produce 16” of fresh powder at Bromley.  I only hope for their sake that the warm weather this Christmas holiday  week did not degrade the conditions much. Almost the entire mountain was open with machined groomed packed. Surprisingly there were not too many people on the slope due to the weekend before the holiday.

Bromley is one of my favorite mountains because of its south facing slopes and good choice of trails from top to bottom and great management of their trails surfaces.  I have never had a bad day at Bromley. I always try to get there once or twice during the season.

Check out their webpage for online ticket deals, and other great deals like Family Fridays:  Every full paying adult can purchase up to three teen/junior tickets for just $20 each with the purchase of an all-day lift ticket! The Family Fridays are good to go every Friday this winter season except during the holiday periods. Not valid with any other discount or special rate.

2-fer Tuesdays:  Buy one all day full priced lift ticket on our 2-fer Tuesdays and get a second free!  Valid every non-holiday Tuesday, except for 3/17 (There is another awesome deal that day).  Valid for two people, both must be present. Not valid with any other discount or special rate.

Again check out the Bromley website for these specials and many others that may suit you needs.

 

New Sunbowl Express Lift Spins at Sunapee

Guests at Mount Sunapee have long awaited replacement of the Sunbowl lift and it is now a reality. The new Sunbowl Express, a high speed detachable quad which opened last week, speeds them to the summit in 4 ½ minutes, half the time of its predecessor. Many Sunapee skiers and riders favor the Bowl cruisers, especially in the morning with its sunny exposure. But their time spent there was sometimes cut short by impatience with the slow lift. With the ride time now more comparable to the high speed quad on the front side of the mountain, Sunapee’s guests will likely spend more time in the Sun Bowl thereby spreading customers more evenly around the mountain.

“In recent years this has been the #1 request from our guests,” said Jay Gamble, general manager of Mount Sunapee Resort. “With the ride time to the summit cut by more than half on the second longest lift at Mount Sunapee, our guests will enjoy a lot more skiing and riding during the day. The Sunbowl is very popular, especially when the morning sun is shining on the trails.”

Happy riders on the Sunbowl Express
Happy riders on the Sunbowl Express

The Leitner-Poma installation is the first step in a series of changes that will take place over the next couple of years. The fixed grip quad will move to the front of the mountain next year and replace the North Peak Triple providing faster access to some of the area’s steepest terrain. And a triple chair will be installed to bring skiers and boarders from the bottom of the Sunbowl to the top of North Peak. New terrain will also be added from North Peak into the Sunbowl along with additional snowmaking.

Spear Mountain Express Opens at Ragged

The sun shone brightly this past Saturday for the opening of Ragged Mountain’s new lift, the Spear Mountain Express. The brand new Dopplemayer detachable quad, installed this fall, transports skiers and riders to the summit of Spear in just 4 minutes, a fraction of the 14 minutes spent on the old lift. The $5 million lift travels at 1100 feet/minute and currently has 68 four passenger chairs. According to Lift Maintenance Manager Jim Hjermstadt, if more trails are cut on the Spear Mountain portion of the resort, 22 more chairs could be added for a total of 90 without impacting the skier density on the hill. Meanwhile the Spear Mountain trails, which had been underutilized due to the long ride up, should see more skiers thereby spreading out trail usage on both peaks.

The new lift is powered by an electric motor with two backup diesel drives in case of emergency. The first diesel backup can run the lift at full speed should there be a power failure. The auxiliary power unit or APU, also diesel, would run the lift at a slow speed to get riders safely unloaded at the summit. “The only time we would have to do a rope evacuation would be in the case of the cable coming off the sheaves or some other catastrophic mechanical failure,” says Hjermstadt.

Ryan Schramm, Ragged’s Director of Business Development and the first rider on the lift along with three special guests, says “This new lift is going to have a positive impact on the area experience. Changing the ride time from 14 minutes to 4 minutes is huge. This is the first step in a long term development plan which is really exciting.”

Other improvements currently in the works are the construction of Cardigan Cabins along the edge of the Barnyard beginner’s area. The first three out of a planned 20 units are now under construction. These units range from 1200 to 2000 square feet and will be available for rental when completed.

Last year Ragged added a new carpet lift servicing a terrain based learning area and a tubing park with its own carpet lift, warming hut and complete snowmaking.

Ryan Schramm cuts the ribbon to open the Spear Mountain Express
Ryan Schramm cuts the ribbon to open the Spear Mountain Express
Chair # one takes first riders up Spear Mountain Express
Chair # 1 takes first riders up Spear Mountain Express

Whiteface Adds 100 New Guns to its Arsenal

Whiteface Mountain in Wilimington, New York recently added 100 new high efficiency, low energy snow guns to its arsenal.

The HKD impulse snow guns are a welcome addition to the Whiteface’s to snowmaking collection of equipment said General Manager Aaron Kellet. “We were able to deploy the new guns very quickly after they arrived. We got them off the truck and right up the hill” said Kellet.

Impulse Head

The HKD Impluse “low-e” snow guns operate at higher temperatures. They have four water flows, hybrid nucleation and variable airflow. The Impulse is unlike any other low-e gun on the market. The “Variable Airflow Technology” of the Impluse is able to deliver better snow quality at high temperatures, and big production with minimal air consumption at cold temperatures.

The 100 new guns were made available by a grant from Whiteface’s electricity provider, New York State Electric and Gas Corporation, NYSEG. The return on investment is about a year and a half according to Kellet. Whiteface now has about 350 snowguns including the computerized Technoalpin T-40 Snow guns.

This is very important to Whiteface as it is faced three thaws after starting to make snow this year. Making snow in marginal conditions is important to laying down a good base. “The goal is to get the summit open before the Christmas week so skiers and riders can enjoy all aspects of the mountain” said Kellet. Whiteface is poised to make that happen this year.

Impulse2
HKD Impulse Snowgun head

The topography of Whiteface makes snowmaking a little more challenging. While there is an abundance of water from the Ausable River getting water up the hills and to the heads where it is combined with compressed air is not so easy. There are now flat areas where water can be staged half way. Many mountains have storage pumps to store water.

The Ausable River where the water is drawn from is at about 1,200 feet above sea level. Pumping that river water another 3,200 feet to the guns located on the upper mountain requires a complex network of about 40 miles pipes and multiple pumps stations. Whiteface can take 6,000 gallons a day from the Ausable. They hope to increase it to 12,000 a day in the future according to Kellet.

The snowmaking crew at Whiteface wants to provide the best possible conditions. The simple reason for this is because they are skiers and riders. They know where the snow needs to be, how much and when. They make it and they use it. Their commitment to working with Mother Nature and the technology available to provide the best coverage on the mountain.

Whiteface, like other mountains, plans to make snow well into February and expects to have substantial coverage by then.

For more information visit http://www.whiteface.com/

DAY 1 OF THE SEASON

In the past I can remember getting out to ski at Thanksgiving and battling the hordes of people who want to get out for their first or second time early in the season and to be honest as I have gotten older as much as I like to get out going to Killington and fighting the hordes of people trying to ski 3 trails on top of the glade chair was like putting your life in someone else’s hands. Now this was well in the past and I guess I just wanted to give it a try one more time.

skiing on Sunway
skiing on Sunway

The day was Last Saturday Nov 29th, a nice mild sunny day My grandson, brother and sister in laws and myself went up to Gore . Surprisingly the parking lot was not full (although it did fill up as the time got later) but I have heard stories of the weekend before it was really busy. It had snowed over Thanksgiving so any snow that was on the trails from snowmaking had some fresh topping on it. Both the Gondola and the new Adirondack Express chair were running.

The Express was put up this summer to replace the old triple that went up to the Saddlebrook Lodge. It is a 7 minute ride to the top on a soft cushioned quad chair. Very fast and very nice.  Now it isn’t like riding the gondola however does not have a lift line and if the gondola is busy ( which often times  it does) this is a great alternative. In addition when they installed the lift the new design comes in a little lower at the top and has eliminated the steep ramp on the old triple. Nice Fix!

There were about 12 trails open but basically 3 trails combined rom the 10 to make 3. The beginner’s trails were open also to add a few more. I would have not expected any more this early in the season. What was open was fantastic skiing.  We had fresh groomed snow on a good base that held up all day. That is saying a lot with few trails and lots of skiers on them.

From the gondola to ruby run or foxlair to sunway to quicksilver was one way to get down or you could also go all the way down sunway top to bottom ( which was the way to go) or showcase to upper sleigh ride where features were already being put in place. We tried them all and all were in great shape.

Now, this was my first day out and I had lunch and could not get up to go out again I was beginning to worry that turning 71 was starting to catch up with me but it turned out I was getting sick and spent the rest of the afternoon getting comfortable trying to sleep on the circle disc seats of the lunch tables in the lodge. God I wish there was a couch to stretch out on. As a matter of fact the reason I have not written this until now was that there was zero energy in me till today and I still am questioning today.

Everyone else with me had a fantastic time and the snow quality held up right to the end, could you have imagined if there were more trails open. I would expect that there will be more this weekend and some snow is supposed to be in the way.

Take the I LOVE NEW YORK Bus Skiing

New York State’s I LOVE NEW YORK has several winter bus tours this winter that combine transportation, lift tickets and rentals and lessons for those who need them.

The I LOVE NEW YORK Bus will take you there, operated by Hampton Jitney, an industry leader in motor coach travel.ILoveNYBus2

Both single and multi day trips are being planned.Each trip departs from three pick up locations:
– NYC – 44th Street and 3rd Avenue
– Long Island – Calverton 253 Edwards Avenue
– Huntington/Melville LIE Exit 49 Park and Ride.

All trips include: Ticket package of your choice, I LOVE NEW YORK ear band, light snacks, beverages, on board escort, deluxe round trip transportation.

The first trip is Saturday – December 13, 2014 to Windham Mountain in the Catskills.

PrintWindham Mountain – the Northeast’s premier alpine lifestyle in New York’s Catskill Mountains.  Located in the northern section of the Catskill Mountains, it has 46 trails and 9 lifts, including two high-speed detachable quads, one from the bottom to top of each peak.

Ski Windham offers a real mountain adventure with slopes and trails spanning two mountain peaks. There’s literally something for everyone: a separate learning terrain for beginners, groomed cruising runs for all levels, and moguls and steeps for experts. Alternative terrain includes snow parks, glade skiing and snow tubing.

The Hampton Jitney, I LOVE NEW YORK Bus offers three packages.

  • Package 1 includes your round trip deluxe motorcaoch transportation and one lift ticket. ($89.00pp)
  • Package two adds a Beginner Lesson and Equipment Rental to the Lift Ticket (Lift Ticket for Lower Mountain Only). ($109.00pp)
  • Package 3 is for those who need to rent equipment and includes Ski or Snowboard Rental & Lift Ticket. ($119.00pp)

Pick the package that meets your needs. Select your pickup location and packages below.

Depart:
-5:00 AM Riverhead/Calverton Hampton Jitney Terminal – 253 Edwards Ave.
-6:00 AM Huntington Exit 49 Park & Ride – North Service Rd, West of Pinelawn Rd / East of Route 110 (at the bus shelter)
-7:00 AM New York City E. 44th Street & SW Corner of 3rd Avenue

Arrive Windham Mountain:
9-9:30 AM

Return from the Mountain:

4:30 PM Departure
6:30 PM Arrival at E. 44th Street & SW Corner of 3rd Avenue, NYC
7:30 PM Arrival at Exit 49 Park & Ride, Huntington
8:30 PM Arrival at Hampton Jitney Terminal, Calverton

Tour package includes: Ticket package of your choice, I LOVE NEW YORK Earband, light snacks and beverages, an on-board escort, and deluxe round-trip transportation. Not included: Gratuities for motor coach driver and tour escort. All gratuities are up to your discretion.

For more information and online booking see:

https://reservations.hamptonjitney.com/ilny/NYWIND20141213.asp

 

Okemo Mountain Cares and Shares Event – December 7, 2014

Okemo Mountain in Ludlow Vermont will be holding their Annual Cares and Shares Event on Sunday December 7, 2014.

Those donating at least five non-perishable food items, a new child’s toy or new clothing item, will be able to purchase a full-day lift ticket $39.   The ticket is only good for that day.

Look for Okemo Mountain Ambassadors collecting the donated items in the Clock Tower base area and Jackson Gore base area between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. The donated items distributed to needy families in time for the holidays by volunteers from the Black River Good Neighbor Services Christmas Basket Program.

“This is a great way for our guests to share the holiday spirit with their winter-season community,” said Okemo Vice President and General Manager Bruce Schmidt. “And it’s a pleasure for Okemo to reward its guests for assisting local families in need this holiday season.”

The Okemo Summit Sunburst Six
The Okemo Summit Sunburst Six. Photo by Okemo

Okemo is looking to open Jackson Gore this weekend which will add 11 additional trails and a 10 lifts including the Summit Sunburst Six.  This will bring to total to 45 runs for skiers and riders.