Wachusett: Sunday 11/25/2012

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  1. #1

    Camera Wachusett: Sunday 11/25/2012


    This is my first trip report, so here goes.

    Some context: I've been doing the Instructor Training Course (ITC) at Wachusett. It started in early November, we start off doing indoor learning, then start going outside when there's snow. Yesterday, they decided the mini patch on Ollie's would be enough to demonstrate some teaching techniques, so that was my first time on skis this year. On Ollie's. Oh, the glory . Everything else was pretty much bare.



    Last night, they made snow like crazy. When I arrived this morning, the whole hill was in a white snowmaking cloud. I saw a completely different situation from yesterday: Ralph's and Challenger were very, very white. The base area was covered with the stuff. Can't figure out why one of the pics is sideways.
    photo-6.jpg
    photo-7.jpg
    The power of modern snowmaking! Other side of Minuteman was still completely bare. Only so much snow they can make at a time I guess.

    We were on the snow for most of the day demonstrating how to teach beginners. I was surprised to see the guns going all the way past 1pm! At that point, the program was over for the day, so myself and a fellow ITC trainee decided to hike up Challenger. The trail was mostly covered by that point, barring minute amounts of unburied brush skier's right. We stopped just below the race starting shack and skied down. The snow was pretty much man made crust, but it was strong enough to support my weight and actually skied very nicely. Excellent coverage skier's left. There were some rolls, dips, and fun jumps: it really was a blast for such a short run (they didn't groom it yet). Much more fun than it is midwinter! At the bottom, the fun half of my brain was screaming for more. I had to be somewhere else though...

    Based on the fact that Challenger (and Ralph's) were very skiable after only one night of snowmaking, and looking at the joyous forecast for this week, I think it's safe to say they can EASILY open before their projected Dec 1st date. The question is whether or not they actually will. Maybe they prefer a weekend opening for marketing reasons..?

    Any thoughts?
    2012/13 days:
    Wachusett: 8
    Sunday River: 4
    Loon:1
    Killington: 1
    Sugarbush: 1
    Nashoba: 2
    Lebanon (Middle East): 3
    Cannon: 1

  2. #2
    I think a lot of ski areas have set lame opening dates this year based on last year's poor weather.

    Bolton Valley projecting for Dec 15th, for example.. give me a break!

    I think a lot of these opening dates are pushed forward so they don't look bad if they can't open at a reasonable date.. but most places will open whenever possible (or they feel like spending the money on snowmaking).
    2017/2018:
    [Mount Snow: 11/27]

    2016/2017: * = powder day
    [Berkshire East: 1/16, 2/10] [Bolton Valley: 1/1, 2/5*, 2/19] [Burke: 12/17*, 1/28*] [Heavenly: 3/5*, 3/11] [Jay Peak: 1/29*, 4/9] [Jiminy Peak: 11/26] [Killington: 12/4, 12/10, 4/8*, 4/15] [Kirkwood: 3/8] [Mad River Glen: 2/25] [Magic: 2/13*] [Mt Rose: 3/7*] [Mount Snow: 4/3] [Northstar: 4/10] [Okemo: 11/23] [Pico: 1/7*, 2/18, 3/19] [Smuggler’s Notch: 1/22] [Stratton: 2/4] [Stowe: 1/21] [Sugarbush: 1/2] [Telluride: 3/27, 3/28*] [Whiteface: 2/12]

  3. #3
    Excellent news. I wish they'd open on Thursday or Friday instead of waiting for Saturday. I'm ready to get on some snow. Temps look good for snowmaking every night this week and they might even get some natural snow on Tuesday. Release the hounds!

  4. #4
    Awesome pics and thanks for sharing! I was actually thinking those pics make it look better than it did for most of last winter.

    Hoping to get out there soon. Will be starting another thread on this but my wife is taking lessons at Wachusett this winter..... hoping it's productive, she wants to take her skiing beyond beginner level this year.

    Welcome to the boards, an awesome first post!
    Free Stickers - e-mail your address to nick@alpinezone.com.

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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by meatloaf View Post

    This is my first trip report, so here goes.

    Some context: I've been doing the Instructor Training Course (ITC) at Wachusett. It started in early November, we start off doing indoor learning, then start going outside when there's snow. Yesterday, they decided the mini patch on Ollie's would be enough to demonstrate some teaching techniques, so that was my first time on skis this year. On Ollie's. Oh, the glory . Everything else was pretty much bare.

    Last night, they made snow like crazy. When I arrived this morning, the whole hill was in a white snowmaking cloud. I saw a completely different situation from yesterday: Ralph's and Challenger were very, very white. The base area was covered with the stuff. Can't figure out why one of the pics is sideways.
    photo-6.jpg
    photo-7.jpg
    The power of modern snowmaking! Other side of Minuteman was still completely bare. Only so much snow they can make at a time I guess.

    We were on the snow for most of the day demonstrating how to teach beginners. I was surprised to see the guns going all the way past 1pm! At that point, the program was over for the day, so myself and a fellow ITC trainee decided to hike up Challenger. The trail was mostly covered by that point, barring minute amounts of unburied brush skier's right. We stopped just below the race starting shack and skied down. The snow was pretty much man made crust, but it was strong enough to support my weight and actually skied very nicely. Excellent coverage skier's left. There were some rolls, dips, and fun jumps: it really was a blast for such a short run (they didn't groom it yet). Much more fun than it is midwinter! At the bottom, the fun half of my brain was screaming for more. I had to be somewhere else though...

    Based on the fact that Challenger (and Ralph's) were very skiable after only one night of snowmaking, and looking at the joyous forecast for this week, I think it's safe to say they can EASILY open before their projected Dec 1st date. The question is whether or not they actually will. Maybe they prefer a weekend opening for marketing reasons..?

    Any thoughts?
    Good luck with ITC man. Taught at Wachusett for 8 or so seasons. Stear clear of the old farts that got their level 3s in the 80s. There are some great trainers there though!

  6. #6
    Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!

    It looks like they changed the projected opening day to Friday, so a slight improvement there, though I still think they have enough snow to open up Ralph's and Challenger as we speak. They opened those two up last year with less snow than there is now, probably out of desperation because it was mid December by that point. I think the main reason they're holding off is so they can get Monadnock open so beginners have somewhere safe to play, relieves some congestion. Or they could be trying to open Conifer, again to spread the early season mobs out. I guess one or the other. In the meantime, hiking up is perfectly fair game as far as I can tell-Challenger and Ralph's can only get better as they make more snow.

    Good luck with ITC man. Taught at Wachusett for 8 or so seasons. Stear clear of the old farts that got their level 3s in the 80s. There are some great trainers there though!
    Haha thanks, I am enjoying it so far. All of my trainers have been good but I think I know what you're talking about, some of the older guys I haven't had yet seem to be rather set in their ways.
    I figure if I get the job, great, and if I don't, at the very least I enjoyed the program, know how to teach family and friends, and I get more free time to ski up north.
    2012/13 days:
    Wachusett: 8
    Sunday River: 4
    Loon:1
    Killington: 1
    Sugarbush: 1
    Nashoba: 2
    Lebanon (Middle East): 3
    Cannon: 1

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by meatloaf View Post
    Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!

    It looks like they changed the projected opening day to Friday, so a slight improvement there, though I still think they have enough snow to open up Ralph's and Challenger as we speak. They opened those two up last year with less snow than there is now, probably out of desperation because it was mid December by that point. I think the main reason they're holding off is so they can get Monadnock open so beginners have somewhere safe to play, relieves some congestion. Or they could be trying to open Conifer, again to spread the early season mobs out. I guess one or the other. In the meantime, hiking up is perfectly fair game as far as I can tell-Challenger and Ralph's can only get better as they make more snow.



    Haha thanks, I am enjoying it so far. All of my trainers have been good but I think I know what you're talking about, some of the older guys I haven't had yet seem to be rather set in their ways.
    I figure if I get the job, great, and if I don't, at the very least I enjoyed the program, know how to teach family and friends, and I get more free time to ski up north.
    You have the right mindset. I went through the course when I was 14. I thought I was hot sh*t and slacked off most of the time. I ended up having to volountarily shadow other instructors and go to clinics after the course was over before they actually decided to hire me. Even then I think they only hired me out of necessity (xmas break and school groups were starting). The best advice I can give you is that they will work with you on your demos (after all you will only get level 1,2,3 for at least the first month) but the most important thing they are looking for is your teaching and ability to critique. I am curious as to who is still around there.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the report...Hope you Wa regulars keep us informed when the moguls start growing

    Steveo

  9. #9
    Every year I hope they do something to improve the bumps and every year I am usually disappointed. The only smart thing they have done is seed moguls on Hitchcock. They have actually gotten very good. I much rather do laps on those then the ones on 10th. Alright, I will get off my soap box now.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMadWorld View Post
    Every year I hope they do something to improve the bumps and every year I am usually disappointed. The only smart thing they have done is seed moguls on Hitchcock. They have actually gotten very good. I much rather do laps on those then the ones on 10th. Alright, I will get off my soap box now.
    The ones on 10th were OK last year given the conditions, but the run is so short, it's just that one little pitch.

    Hitchcock is OK because of the lower grade, good for practicing as you can easily control speed through them.
    Free Stickers - e-mail your address to nick@alpinezone.com.

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