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Mittersill upgrade proposal

SIKSKIER

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I knew this would probaly happen sooner than later.Here's what the Franconia Ski Club is proposing with reguard to snowmaking and race training.It appears FSC will move out of the Ernies Haus location and off of the Garys and Rocket trails for training and racing.

From Cannons website:

Mittersill Project FAQs

Mittersill Terrain Area Enhancement Project
Cannon Mountain // Franconia Ski Club Joint Effort

Frequently Asked Questions
Note: The information given in this FAQ sheet is accurate at the time of submission. Due to a variety of permitting, environmental, fundraising, and business concerns or other factors, the scope and/or timelines associated with this project may change.
1. What, exactly, is the scope of this project?
The project scope includes a T-Bar lift installation to complement the Mittersill Double Chair (completed in January, 2011), slope clearing on Taft Slope to incorporate a ski trail / alpine training/race slope, trail widening (with contour matching) on Baron’s Run, and snowmaking on Taft Slope, Baron’s Run, a connecting portion of Skyline, and a lower mountain connector to Baron’s Run. The project cost is estimated at roughly $3 Million.
2. Who would be funding this project?
Franconia Ski Club (FSC / the Club), a New Hampshire based non-profit (and partner to the State of New Hampshire / Cannon Mountain since 1933), has proposed the project, and would enact a private fundraising campaign to fund it. Upon its completion, FSC would gift the project (and all associated equipment) to the State of New Hampshire / Cannon Mountain. Upon acceptance of the project (and ownership of all associated equipment), Cannon Mountain would incorporate the facilities and equipment into its daily / weekly / monthly / annual operation of Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway & Ski Area (Cannon).
3. Who would handle the planning, fundraising, contracting, liability, and approvals?
FSC and Cannon officials have discussed the project and its planning at length, and have engaged in both field studies of potential environmental, watershed, and habitat impact and project construction planning. FSC officials have begun planning a fundraising campaign. FSC would act as the general contractor, funding the project and assuming any and all associated liability (and indemnifying the State of New Hampshire / Cannon), while ensuring contractors’ adherence to all State and Federal environmental and construction guidelines, under the guidance of Cannon’s mountain operations team. FSC and Cannon are jointly working toward local, State, and Federal approvals, acceptances, and permits; FSC, at its sole cost, has engaged the services of Ted Sutton as project manager, SE Group and Sno-Matic Engineering as trail / snowmaking system designers, and Lobdell Associates as wetlands mitigation / planning engineer.
4. Wouldn’t this project completely change the character and/or visual impact at Mittersill?
No. The vast majority of the balance of the Mittersill terrain area will remain in its current state (all-natural, no snowmaking/grooming) for the foreseeable future. There are some gladed terrain possibilities in some lower and upper sections, and some forested areas may be placed into preserved status to further protect the Bicknell’s Thrush habitat. The trail sections incorporated in this project would not exceed their 1989 footprint (Mittersill Alpine Resort ceased its skiing operations in 1984). The earlier trail network at Mittersill incorporated a far more open “swath” of terrain that encompassed the majority of the lower 1/3 of the mountain. The current trail / glade network at Mittersill (even with completion of this proposed project), incorporates a far greater diversity of terrain.
5. What’s in it for FSC?
The Club and Cannon would renegotiate FSC’s usage contract to include training/race use of the Taft Slope venue on a consistent basis, and training/race use of Baron’s Run on a limited basis. The Club would then be able to better utilize a far safer, yet more challenging terrain area for its athletes, set away from the general public, thus offering a better and safer skiing and snowboarding experience to both Cannon’s guests and its athletes. The T-Bar installation would allow for a quicker turnaround time for both FSC athletes and the general public when accessing the lower portion of the Mittersill terrain.
6. What’s in it for the public and Cannon?
The skiing/snowboarding public at Cannon would gain daily lift and skiing/snowboarding access to both the natural and snowmaking terrain at Mittersill with the advent of snowmaking. The FSC training / racing move to Mittersill would make the very popular Gary’s, Middle Ravine, Turnpike, Banshee, Missing Link (and other) trails FAR more accessible to the general public. Cannon would serve its public as a true everyday two-mountain ski area, offering a wonderful diversity of terrain on the Mittersill side. Cannon’s snowmaking system would increase in efficiency, largely due to the new compressor being funded by FSC as a part of the project, leading to increased early and late season snowmaking capacity. The T-Bar installation would allow for a quicker turnaround time when accessing the lower portion of the Mittersill terrain. Franconia residents and businesses (both in-town and at Mittersill Alpine Resort and Mittersill Village) would see increases in property values and rooms and meals taxes, and an increase in local spending and visitation.
7. What’s the projected timeframe?
The goal of FSC and Cannon is to have the gift of the project and equipment (and associated contract revisions) approved by the New Hampshire Governor and Executive Council during the fall / early winter 2012, and, subject to funding timeframes, to commence with the project in 2013. Completion date for the project would then be expected in time for the 2013/14 winter season.
8. What about environmental and habitat impact?
Joint field studies of potential environmental, watershed, and habitat impact are underway, with FSC and Cannon working closely on mitigation, preservation, and prevention planning with the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Forest Service / White Mountain National Forest, the New Hampshire Audubon Society, the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department, the Cooperative Land Administrative Commission, and the New Hampshire Division of Forests & Lands / State Lands Management Team. The project would be completed in accordance with the Sustainable Slopes environmental charter for US ski areas, and all appropriate permits would be in hand prior to commencement.
9. What about the lights / night skiing discussed earlier?
That discussion was a part of the earliest project outlines, and is not currently under discussion as a part of the project. If the topic is raised again sometime in the future, then it’ll go through several phases of local and State discussion as to environmental, visual, and economic impact.
10. What do Mittersill “residents” and/or Cannon’s guests think about all of this?
FSC and Cannon officials have met with the Mittersill Association of Chalet Owners (MACO) residents’ group twice, and once with the General Manager at Mittersill Alpine Resort, and the approval rating of the project has been overwhelmingly positive. Anecdotally, the approval rating by the FSC membership and Cannon’s guests in general has also been overwhelmingly positive.
11. Who “owns” Mittersill?
The skiing/snowboarding operations and equipment on Mount Jackson (geographical name of Mittersill) are owned and managed by the State of New Hampshire / Cannon. The Mittersill Alpine Resort is privately owned as a non-profit, and is operated as a vacation ownership property with rental availability / opportunity. The Mittersill Association of Chalet Owners (MACO) is operated as a homeowners’ association, whose residents are considered full or part-time residents of the Town of Franconia.
12. How may I voice my support / concerns / comments?
The public comment for the project is September 20 – October 12, 2012.
You may comment on this project via e-mail at cannoncomments@dred.state.nh.us.
 

AdironRider

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On the other hand, this is a pretty sweet deal for Cannon, and eliminating the racer brats from the general populace is the only form of segregation I support.
 

Puck it

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On the other hand, this is a pretty sweet deal for Cannon, and eliminating the racer brats from the general populace is the only form of segregation I support.

Now however, they will be in the way there instead of runs that I don't ski except for Rocket. It may also put more traffic on to the notch side stashes.
 

AdironRider

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Now however, they will be in the way there instead of runs that I don't ski except for Rocket. It may also put more traffic on to the notch side stashes.

Cannon has a history of ski racing, you arent going to get rid of it. Besides, regardless of where they place the racer brats, this is going to have benefits for Cannon as a whole, much more so than it takes away.

The butthurt over Mittersill is mind boggling to me. Three years ago it was an overgrown place with an "aura" about it of coreness. You cant seriously argue this is going to detrimental to the ski experience at Cannon.
 

Cannonball

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SIKSKIER,
Thanks for posting that. A lot on info to digest with obvious pros and cons. But that is a very comprehensive fact sheet that I hadn't seen, so I definitely appreciate it.

One little piece it doesn't mention is the future of Ernie's. Any knowledge of what would happen there. A little lodge with services would be kind of cool.
 

riverc0il

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4. Wouldn’t this project completely change the character and/or visual impact at Mittersill?
No.
Ass hat.

That said, snowmaking and grooming was coming to Mittersill any ways, so this is indeed a good deal for Cannon and the benefits of getting FSC isolated and off main routes will be beneficial to all. Lifts will be better utilized as well (the Double is underutilized currently and the Zommer Triple and Peabody Quad, while never long, do have longer lines when FSC is training).

It will be an interesting juxtaposition with racers bashing gates side by side with natural snow skiers ripping through glades. Not that it wasn't like that before but it seems they only want to install snow making and grooming on trails that FSC will use and keep the rest natural.

Back to the line I quoted, that line went on to suggest any widening would only be to the original footprint and therefore that will not change the character or visual impact but that is complete horse shit. Mittersill's current character and its character as a lost area natural snow playground specifically involves it's wild nature and encroaching trail growth. There are a lot of positives but don't sell this project as not having a substantial impact on character and visuals. Goodness, the double alone substantially altered so much visually about the mountain, and that was before they even turned it on.

I'll echo Cannonball on wanting to know the future of Ernie's. That would be a massive addition as a day skier lodge without amenities. One can hope.

I wasn't expecting to see Skyline involved. That makes me sad yet excited at the same time. Skyline is a complete mess and horrid to ski in low snow years (which used to have a lot of benefits). So snow making over there would certainly put more in play sooner and reduce my core shots. But what is the point? Skyline doesn't connect to Baron's and if they are putting in a T-bar for Taft Slope, it isn't like they need to go top to bottom if Baron's isn't an option. Maybe they want that in play to get to Taft Slope if Baron's is open to the public. It is that type of extension beyond the original scope that concerns me.

Any ways, I never ski Baron's, but I'll be making a point to do so before they destroy that trail. It'll be so sad to see that trail widened and flattened. My most memorable trip down Baron's was my first time skiing Mittersill. To say that run had a huge effect on me and my direction in both skiing and life would be an understatement.
 

thetrailboss

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It will be an interesting juxtaposition with racers bashing gates side by side with natural snow skiers ripping through glades. Not that it wasn't like that before but it seems they only want to install snow making and grooming on trails that FSC will use and keep the rest natural.

That's the scene at Burke.
 

riverc0il

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That's the scene at Burke.
Eh, not really the same. A more fitting comparison might be the Practice Slope at Mad River Glen. But even then, the Practice Slope is rather separated from the mountain. And now with the HSQ installed, there really isn't much tree skiing happening around Warren's Way. Besides, Burke is pretty manicured. It isn't like the trails are growing in and there is no snowmaking and grooming, Burke isn't exactly a wild experience.
 

SIKSKIER

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I was wondering the same thing about Ernies.I didn't mean to say in my first post that FSC is leaving Ernies now.I would guess they would use it for at least a few years until they had enough funding for a new building at Mittersill.That's assuming it will even be allowed or that FSC is even planning for that.All speculation on my part but it seems they would need a new facility near the new training/race trails.
 
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