January 30, 2014
And the guns are off. We finished up trail refreshes this morning, with Panic (keep those bumps until April!) and Upper Twister getting the last flakes. Our base is built, and it's a good one. We've pumped a total of 110,000,000 gallons of water since November 1, an all time record! Guns may come on again, as needed towards the middle of February, but we'd much prefer some natural stuff! Keep your fingers crossed for snow.
January 16, 2014
Well, the weather didn't cooperate. Erik and the night crew stood at the summit last night around midnight, in the foggy mist. Temps weren't cold enough to stick with the plan laid down yesterday, according to yesterday's weather forecast.
Looking at a new forecast today, we now plan on firing up on Saturday evening, blowing snow day & night through the 24th. Weather permitting!
January 15, 2014
Just last week the snowmakers pulled out of the East Side of the mountain after totally burying three of our favorite trails: Havoc, Little Dipper, and Stargazer. We got to enjoy their efforts for two brief days before the recent round of heavy rains and warm temperatures (also fondly known as a "January thaw") set in to change the surface over to loose granular and also to reduce the snowpack. Yours truly skied today, and I must report the East Side held up very well. In fact, I would like to point out all of our snowmaking trails are open! While some of them look better than others, Bromley has the second highest percentage of trails open in the state: 74% (34 trails out of 46). These 34 trails represent over 80% of our skiing acreage, so as we head into the MLK Holiday weekend, we have a lot of terrain to offer. In looking at the weather forecasts we see a slow cooling trend over the next few days, and even better (colder) air arriving Saturday night. With this in mind we plan on firing up our guns (yes...our ponds are full!) starting this evening on the upper half of the mountain and work our way down to the base area as temps permit. Our attention returns to the West Side as we want to resurface and to start and rebuild our depth. Our guys are good at this, and they will go out and do what they do best: make snow!
January 4, 2014
Team Snowmageddon has been working 12 hour shifts since Christmas, and our President has decided to give them some much needed time off. There will be no snow guns blasting this weekend as the crew gets some rest, regroups, and gets ready to power through the last couple of trails (Havoc & Stargazer) on the snowmaking map! In total so far this season, we have pumped 75,000,000 gallons in 660 hours. There have been years in the past where the entire season was 66,000,000 gallons! These guys have really been working hard to keep the mountain in top shape... we hope you agree! Until Monday...
December 30, 2013
As this latest weather front moves out, it's dragging in some extremely cold temps in its wake. We're looking at lows of -5° tonight! While that may be bad news for your heating bill, it's music to our ears as we fire up the snowmaking system once again this afternoon. We'll max out (3,000 gallons/minute) on Panic, Blue Ribbon, Lower Stargazer and No Name Chute tonight and through tomorrow. That just leaves Havoc, Upper Stargazer & Little Dipper as the only remaining snowmaking trails to hit. With temps like these, it'll be soon; we're seeing single digits (maybe some low teens) through Friday. It'll be a great week for Team Snowmageddon!
December 23, 2013
We thought it might be nice to actually see what our snowmaking plans are for the next few days. The image with pink is the plan through Wednesday morning, and the plan in green is the plan from Wednesday morning through Thursday. We are hoping to fire the system up around midnight tonight, and with any luck we'll be running over 100 guns before you know it. Think cold!
December 21, 2013
By Tuesday morning this warm weather will head out, and we'll begin a 48 hour resurfacing program on the majority of our currently open snowmaking terrain. We'll be going full boar, with over 100 guns, running 25 gallons per minute, per gun as Team Snowmageddon works to resurface terrain back to top notch status before the Holiday period gets too far underway. By Thursday evening they'll have thoroughly whitewashed Lower Boulevard, East & West Meadow, Twister/Twister, Ridge, Yodeler, Corkscrew, Upper & Lower Thruway, Runaround 1, Chase It, and Sunset Pass. It's a lot of ground to cover in two days, but they've all got a great base, and will just need a refresh after this recent wet weather.
By Thursday afternoon, the crew will move on to terrain expansion! Panic, No Name Chute and Blue Ribbon are up next. Stay tuned, and think cold!
December 6, 2013
Quick pre-weekend update: Looking beyond this recent warm spell, we see temps dropping into the snow friendly range once again! With a forecasted 2-4" tonight of natural snow as our inspiration, we'll fire up the system again at midnight. The night crew will be setting up on Sunset Pass, Snow Ranger, and Liftline (yes kids, the plan is to build a big enough base for the Exhibition Terrain Park), and touching up on Upper Twister. The day crew will pull off of Twister in the morning (so we can ski and board with only the sun on our smiling faces), and move over to East Meadow. We're right on track for about halfway through Phase 3, with a little bit of Phase 4 sprinkled in 'cause we can, and care about the kids and their park! Have a great weekend.
November 29, 2013
“Mid-January” temps have kept the crew extremely busy as we continue to turn millions upon millions of gallons of water into snow. We have effectively buried trails one by one, building HUGE whales of snow before moving onto the next set (or pod) of trails. This way we know that when the snowmakers say they are “done” with a trail they are in fact done and we can move on knowing that coverage will outstanding edge to edge.
Efforts at the moment are focused on the Run-Arounds (1, 2, and 3) and the Learning Zone. By burying the Run-Arounds we give our beginner skiers and riders ( or anyone who simply loves those trails) an easy way off the summit of the mountain which is something we love to do as early as possible. The Learning Zone needs a lot of attention too this year with the introduction of Terrain Based Learning so we’ve been hammering that as well.
Our efforts are paying off in spades, and tomorrow we will open even more terrain with Upper and Lower Thruway and Run-Around 3 moving over to the open column. Weather for snowmaking looks terrific through Saturday night and then we move into a period of warmer days and cooler nights. Not to worry though, we have a plan for that. As it warms a bit above freezing (starting Sunday) during the day we will retreat to the upper part of the mountain and hit Sunset Pass, Snow Ranger and Lift Line; as temps drop at night our efforts will march back down the mountain to work on East Meadow, Ridge, Yodeler and Chase-it.
We tend to average around 110-115 hours of snowmaking in the month of November, and as we see the month come to a close we are already going past the 300-hour mark… impressive to say the least. Now we are just waiting on Mother Nature to get in on the act.
November 25, 2013
With temps in the single digits the past 2 nights, our crew has been blowing snow at maximum capacity. Pop quiz... how many gallons/minute will max out Bromley's system? If you said 3,000, you are correct. We're currently in the Learning Zone, on Lower Boulevard and West Meadow... and they look awesome. The day crew will be switching over to Upper and Lower Thruway, and the Runaround during the day today. And now we'll let the pictures do the talking...
November 18, 2013
Let’s just start this post off by stating that we certainly had an awesome opening weekend! Saturday especially, but the entire weekend was full of some great skiing and riding, and really happy people… how do you beat that!?
Tonight we will see Mother Nature turn the freezer back on and we should be able to get the system firing around 3 or 4am. If you’ve ever had a desire to get up in the middle of the night only to venture out into the cold and dark then snowmaking might be for you! Seriously though, this snowmaking crew works hard and they’ll be right back to that hard work tonight.
We will see some “yo-yo” snowmaking operations over the next few days as temps rise here and there, forcing our crew to retreat to the summit of the mountain where temps remain cold enough to keep laying down the winter white. We should make some headway though, and with any luck we’ll see some expanded terrain for next weekend.
Efforts will be focused on Route 100, Corkscrew, and Spring Trail (yeah, you heard that right… she’s been added to phase 1) and temps will certainly dictate which one of those three gets the brunt of the guns first. Along with trying to add new terrain, we’ll have to go back and do some “patchwork” on Twister as these last couple days of warmer weather haven’t been kind but the mountain should be in prime shape for the weekend.
We’ll do our best to keep you updated this week with all things snowmaking, and look for a terrain update on Thursday. Think cold.
November 13, 2013 - 10:00am
Quick update: The snowmaking crew absolutely hammered the mountain last night, and if you haven't read our snow report yet then you haven't seen that their efforts have lead to Bromley's earliest opening in memory. We're opening Saturday, November 16th and it feels really good. Temps have been ideal, and we've been maxing the system (3000 gallons/minute) 'round the clock. A lot of credit (obviously)
goes to the snowmaking crew. They've done an outstanding job (with the help of some shiny new equipment) and will continue to do so as they pass the workload over to the grooming team. It will be the groomers that will have to get to work pushing out all the mounds of snow we've laid down the last couple of days.
Snowmaking temps look good through tomorrow morning and then Mother Nature may have us on hold for a few days, but that gives the guys some time to rest up before the next weather window. Plus, some warmer temps are going to make for some great skiing and riding for opening weekend.
November 12, 2013 - 4pm
You've got to love these cold temps! Currently we're running 71 guns (including 3 fan guns) top to bottom; over the summit, down Twister/Twister all the way to the Sun Mountain Express Quad. That's 5,600' feet of skiing and boarding over 15 acres; we're maxed out, pumping 3,000 gallons per minute up the hill! Fun stat: 1 gallon of water = 8.3 pounds of snow. 3,000 gallons of water per minute equals 24,900 pounds, or 12.5 tons of snow. Per minute. Imagine what that means by tomorrow morning.
Sleep on it; look for updated pics in the am!
Bromley Marketing Dept.
(as dictated by Bill Cairns)
November 5, 2013
As we zoom into November (and before the Ops crew disappears for deer camp, just kidding) we have a few interesting items left on the fall agenda, with a possible Snowmaking start up happening this Thursday night! November signals the beginning of the four winter months as far as Green Mountain Power is concerned, so the decision to "go" is now made around snowmaking "windows".
A window is a time period where the temps are cold enough, and just as importantly, stay cold long enough to warrant a system startup. A possible window may come in this Thursday night and last until Saturday morning! While not predicted to be overly cold, the intent of this first window would be related to testing and training... testing the equipment with continuous run time and training new snowmakers (we have three this year). How do we know a "window" is on the way? Bromley contracts its weather prediction services with Tony Vazzano of Center Harbor, NH and has been contracting his services since 1978! (That's right, our very own weatherman!) Tony takes into account many geographic factors such as elevation and exposure to name two, but what is very important is Tony's years of experience forecasting for Bromley...35 years! I must say Tony does a great job forecasting the weather (many operational game plans are drawn up with the knowledge Tony provides) and as all skiers know, weather is everything. We have developed a few nicknames for Tony on those rare occasions where is he off base but the "V" man is who we run with and who we rely on. So Tony...cold and snowy...say it over and over!
This is also the week we operate for the first time two of our key Capital investments: the 600 kw generator and the 800hp Centac air compressor. This is the very last of the above mentioned fall work...it is time to flip the switch. The snowmaking crew and all the mountain staff are very excited to get the season rolling, and I'm here to relay to you that given the successful debut of the generator and air compressor, it will be "all systems go... all hands on deck!"
October 9, 2013
I'm excited to kick off the snowmaking season by letting you know we'll be testing out our water system tomorrow by firing up select pumps. This will check summer maintenance repair work, pressurize various water lines and valves to look for leaks, and test new hydrant installations. We also use the test day to make sure our snowmaking computer and the communication network associated with operating three remote pump houses is good to go. The test will run for six hours, and the goal tomorrow is to knock off many of the West side trails. Testing of the snowmaking system must be done by scheduling electric power use with Green Mountain power, and we are entitled to 24 hours of testing time per our contract with the utility. So, after tomorrow we have 18 hours of testing left. Tomorrow's test is for water only, with the air test coming later in the month. This is a very big first step toward winter! Our target date to have all systems "go" is November 1st.
Big news in our world of snowmaking... we purchased a brand new 800 horse power Centac air compressor. It arrived at the beginning of the month, and is now being installed. We are very excited by this purchase as this single unit replaces 4 smaller machines dating from the 1980's. Think of how fast technology changes - seemingly year to year - and the only thing I can say comparing our new machine with the older machines is.... they both make air! Suffice it to say the new Centac is significantly more energy efficient.
Speaking of energy efficiency, I am quite pleased to also announce Bromley was recognized last August by Efficiency Vermont as one of the top companies in the State... and one of only two ski areas... for our energy efficient investments. Efficiency Vermont has an Energy Leadership Challenge award, and for the time period 2011-2013 Bromley was one of 33 companies to be so recognized. We passed the target goal of reducing energy consumption by 7.5% over that 2 year period! (Official Press Release coming soon.) With our snowmaking investments over these last few years; encompassing tower guns, energy efficient motors, air compressors, proper sized pipe diameters, computer systems, and cooling systems, we now make more snow in 700 hours than we used to make in 1500 hours! More snow faster... just the way WE all like it.
So.... this is our first blog of the season... we will keep you up to date on our testing and new installations... and will have pictures also. Winter is coming!