• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

VAIL SUCKS

drjeff

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
18,134
Points
113
Location
Brooklyn, CT
The latest Vail fail. Looks like the Mothership took the hit this time.

They may have indeed.

Confusing though when you look at the pics of the "agregious" incident at Keystone (which looks to the casual observer like a typical above treeline work road) and then say compare that to the images Sunday River/Boyne have put online of the construction area at the Summit of Jordan where the new 8 pack bubble is going in where it looks like a bomb went off with about a 50 yard radius annihilation area... plus after having looked at with my own 2 eyes a few hours ago the area cleared for the new base terminal of the Sundance 6 pack and its first few tower locations at Mount Snow, lift construction in today's day and age definitely involves the movement of lots of earth and the underlying bedrock.

Ultimately when it's done with any new lift, it seems like the following Summer you'd never know how much earth and rock had to be moved to make it happen if you hadn't seen it with your own eyes
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
30,163
Points
113
Location
NEK by Birth
Confusing though when you look at the pics of the "agregious" incident at Keystone (which looks to the casual observer like a typical above treeline work road) and then say compare that to the images Sunday River/Boyne have put online of the construction area at the Summit of Jordan where the new 8 pack bubble is going in where it looks like a bomb went off with about a 50 yard radius annihilation area... plus after having looked at with my own 2 eyes a few hours ago the area cleared for the new base terminal of the Sundance 6 pack and its first few tower locations at Mount Snow, lift construction in today's day and age definitely involves the movement of lots of earth and the underlying bedrock.
Apples and oranges. Keystone was done at a much higher altitude and in USFS land subject to their regulations. IIRC Sunday River lies on private land.

More details of the specific issues with Keystone incident here:

 

cdskier

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Messages
5,124
Points
113
Location
NJ
Apples and oranges. Keystone was done at a much higher altitude and in USFS land subject to their regulations. IIRC Sunday River lies on private land.

More details of the specific issues with Keystone incident here:

Yup...what it looks like compared to something else is 100% irrelevant if it was things they were specifically told not to do. Reading this document, this was much more than just a simple mistake. Looks like many requirements/restrictions in the approved plans were ignored.
 

crystalmountainskier

Active member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
172
Points
28
The Democrats NEPA policies were put in place with good intentions but have become a serious pia for doing just about anything on public lands.
Please name a ski area project which was rejected on NEPA grounds in the last 20 years.

Also NEPA passed unanimously in the Senate, 372-15 in the House and was signed into law by Richard Nixon.
 

machski

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
3,025
Points
83
Location
Northwood, NH (Sunday River, ME)
They may have indeed.

Confusing though when you look at the pics of the "agregious" incident at Keystone (which looks to the casual observer like a typical above treeline work road) and then say compare that to the images Sunday River/Boyne have put online of the construction area at the Summit of Jordan where the new 8 pack bubble is going in where it looks like a bomb went off with about a 50 yard radius annihilation area... plus after having looked at with my own 2 eyes a few hours ago the area cleared for the new base terminal of the Sundance 6 pack and its first few tower locations at Mount Snow, lift construction in today's day and age definitely involves the movement of lots of earth and the underlying bedrock.

Ultimately when it's done with any new lift, it seems like the following Summer you'd never know how much earth and rock had to be moved to make it happen if you hadn't seen it with your own eyes
Sorry man, you cannot compare the two. As others have said, SR is 100% private land and outside the National Forest system/lands. Add to that the top of Jordan barely crests 3000', it isn't protected, delicate tundra terrain anyway. Bergman Bowl is and construction in those zones on NFS lands has always had very strict construction guidelines and specific plans to be followed. Keystone didn't ensure the contractors stayed within those narrow guidelines and now are paying the price.
 

raisingarizona

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
790
Points
63
Please name a ski area project which was rejected on NEPA grounds in the last 20 years.

Also NEPA passed unanimously in the Senate, 372-15 in the House and was signed into law by Richard Nixon.
Ever try to build a new trail on National Forest Service land?

I don't care to post a link to something to prove you wrong and win the internet today. I'm sure there's been a lot of proposed ideas for ski areas that were kiboshed because of environmental concerns. Like a shit ton.

The hoops one needs to jump through to create any kind of infrastructure on public lands is extremely costly. That I do know.
 
Last edited:

raisingarizona

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
790
Points
63
Please name a ski area project which was rejected on NEPA grounds in the last 20 years.

Also NEPA passed unanimously in the Senate, 372-15 in the House and was signed into law by Richard Nixon.
Ahh, right you are. I didn't know that. thanks for the post.

Many NEPA policies were enacted by Clinton in the 90's though and that's what I remembered. I wasn't born yet when Nixon was president.

 

crystalmountainskier

Active member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
172
Points
28
Ever try to build a new trail on National Forest Service land?

I don't care to post a link to something to prove you wrong and win the internet today. I'm sure there's been a lot of proposed ideas for ski areas that were kiboshed because of environmental concerns. Like a shit ton.

The hoops one needs to jump through to create any kind of infrastructure on public lands is extremely costly. That I do know.
All public land is not created equal. Most Forest Service ski area projects are green lighted with minimal review. It happens hundreds of times every offseason, we only hear about the occasional hiccup.
 

drjeff

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
18,134
Points
113
Location
Brooklyn, CT
All public land is not created equal. Most WESTERN Forest Service ski area projects are green lighted with minimal review. It happens hundreds of times every offseason, we only hear about the occasional hiccup.
Fixed it for you, or atleast that what it sure seems like.

In the East, it seems like a big deal if a ski area gets a new trail or 2 every 10 years, and often that may just be a connector trail or possibly some widening of an existing trail. Rarely do we see an actual new peak developed, which is much more likely to happen out West on a regular basis.

I am sure that there are 101 things that factor into that, but from the casual observer, it certainly seems like the USFS is a much more formidable adversary to development of new ski terrain in the East than in the West
 

crystalmountainskier

Active member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
172
Points
28
Fixed it for you, or atleast that what it sure seems like.

In the East, it seems like a big deal if a ski area gets a new trail or 2 every 10 years, and often that may just be a connector trail or possibly some widening of an existing trail. Rarely do we see an actual new peak developed, which is much more likely to happen out West on a regular basis.

I am sure that there are 101 things that factor into that, but from the casual observer, it certainly seems like the USFS is a much more formidable adversary to development of new ski terrain in the East than in the West
Vermont Act 250 is restrictive but again the Forest Service is not. They approved Loon's expansion (which wasn't built.) They approved Attitash's new lift and will approve the next one. They approved Waterville's new lifts. They will approve Sugarbush's new lift. They approved Mount Snow's new lifts. They approved everything that has been applied for in the last decade.

The truth is Northeast demographic trends are poor compared to the West. Margins are way lower. It's easy to blame government regulation but look at Sunday River - flush with thousands of acres of private land and cash but not expanding its footprint much.
 

ss20

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
3,564
Points
113
Location
A minute from the Alta exit off the I-15!
Vermont Act 250 is restrictive but again the Forest Service is not. They approved Loon's expansion (which wasn't built.) They approved Attitash's new lift and will approve the next one. They approved Waterville's new lifts. They will approve Sugarbush's new lift. They approved Mount Snow's new lifts. They approved everything that has been applied for in the last decade.

The truth is Northeast demographic trends are poor compared to the West. Margins are way lower. It's easy to blame government regulation but look at Sunday River - flush with thousands of acres of private land and cash but not expanding its footprint much.

Forest service is generally OK with new lifts replacing existing ones on the same footprint. As for the Loon expansion, yeah it happened but it took close to 20 years for it to finally be approved.

The theory is that the Jordan 8 at Sunday River is such high capacity so it can be a jumping off point for future expansion down that ridge. But generally I do agree, not a ton of ROI for resort expansion in the northeast once you get beyond 500 acres or so. The Killington-Pico interconnect would be a great case study for your post. Parker's Gore never got built because of environmental concerns (although that was more complicated than just the Forest Service). After that was dead in the water Killington and the State traded for the land to connect between Killington/Pico. Here we are, almost 30 years down the road, still not built. I believe the permits quietly get renewed/extended every time they're about to expire. But would it move the needle on guest visitation? Some say yes, others say nay.
 

Newpylong

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
3,905
Points
83
Location
Upper Valley, NH
I think the biggest concern with expansion at this point is the ability to actually cover that terrain. When you have a shortened snowmaking season, resorts like Killington and SR aren't even able to get all of their snowmaking terrain open. Why would anyone expand on the amount of acreage in a big way is beyond me. At least SR is investing in the booster station and better feeds to get water more efficiently over to Jordan. Killington's system while expansive is not that impressive if you actually went and looked at it. It is very manual, inefficient, and they cannot pump a lot of water per acre. I wish someone like B. Ryan (Boyne ex-Peaks) would get hired over there to kick them in the ass.
 

drjeff

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
18,134
Points
113
Location
Brooklyn, CT
I think the biggest concern with expansion at this point is the ability to actually cover that terrain. When you have a shortened snowmaking season, resorts like Killington and SR aren't even able to get all of their snowmaking terrain open. Why would anyone expand on the amount of acreage in a big way is beyond me. At least SR is investing in the booster station and better feeds to get water more efficiently over to Jordan. Killington's system while expansive is not that impressive if you actually went and looked at it. It is very manual, inefficient, and they cannot pump a lot of water per acre. I wish someone like B. Ryan (Boyne ex-Peaks) would get hired over there to kick them in the ass.

Just curious as to what your highly educated opinion is as to what it would take (and I'm more talking dollars than specifics such as #'s of compressors/pumps/more automated snowmaking equipment, etc) for a significant B. Ryanization of their snowmaking system? And I get that while some of a "modernized" K system would still be all about brute force on Superstar (especially as long as they keep hosting the Worldcup and North Ridge for early season) but I would think that many other parts of the mountain they cover would actually benefit from the efficiency savings a significant upgrade in their system could make, even with sunstantial upgrade costs they would likely be looking at
 

Newpylong

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
3,905
Points
83
Location
Upper Valley, NH
I couldn't begin to spitball a dollar amount for something that expansive.

But what he would do:

  • Significant investment in pumping (number of pumps at both Snowshed and Bear) plus the booster stations coupled with automation in the pumphouses. They have to hire a ridiculous number of pump and air operators as well as mechanics every season to keep that system going.
  • Significant investment in fixed Low-E technology on core trails, moving the existing stuff to secondary trails. That also means using it if it's there. Killington even in great wet bulb at times refuses to use their fixed infrastructure that's already there. We all know how hard of a time they had staffing this year, and when you're moving gear all around the earth and back... They could cut back their diesel rental fleet considerably, if not the number of units, but the time they have them if they still wanted them to surge for the Cup.
  • Significant reworking of feeds and valve systems. Many of their feeds are old and undersized, limiting the amount of water that can be delivered to any one area. Mount Snow can put 8,000 GPM basically to the summit and top feed nearly the entire place. Imagine if K could put that type of volume on any of their peaks at any one time? 48 hours and all of Snowdon (for example) is done.
How often have they made significant snowmaking investments? All of their on hill gear is 20 years old and more save a few select trails. They added Pipe Dream and Great Bear two years ago, but that was an expansion and only makes it worse. They just aren't going to be able to get the place reasonably covered until something changes. 12,000 GPM distributed very inefficiently is not enough. I hope as the K1 lodge is completed, they may pivot to some of these things. However, one has to be reasonable, that they have done other massive projects while other mountains have not.
 
Last edited:

bigbob

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
534
Points
18
Location
SE NH
I couldn't begin to spitball a dollar amount for something that expansive.

But what he would do:

  • Significant investment in pumping (number of pumps at both Snowshed and Bear) plus the booster stations coupled with automation in the pumphouses. They have to hire a ridiculous number of pump and air operators as well as mechanics every season to keep that system going.
  • Significant investment in fixed Low-E technology on core trails, moving the existing stuff to secondary trails. That also means using it if it's there. Killington even in great wet bulb at times refuses to use their fixed infrastructure that's already there. We all know how hard of a time they had staffing this year, and when you're moving gear all around the earth and back... They could cut back their diesel rental fleet considerably, if not the number of units, but the time they have them if they still wanted them to surge for the Cup.
  • Significant reworking of feeds and valve systems. Many of their feeds are old and undersized, limiting the amount of water that can be delivered to any one area. Mount Snow can put 8,000 GPM basically to the summit and top feed nearly the entire place. Imagine if K could put that type of volume on any of their peaks at any one time? 48 hours and all of Snowdon (for example) is done.
How often have they made significant snowmaking investments? All of their on hill gear is 20 years old and more save a few select trails. They added Pipe Dream and Great Bear two years ago, but that was an expansion and only makes it worse. They just aren't going to be able to get the place reasonably covered until something changes. 12,000 GPM distributed very inefficiently is not enough. I hope as the K1 lodge is completed, they may pivot to some of these things. However, one has to be reasonable, that they have done other massive projects while other mountains have not.
So what you are saying is the need additional sources of water in addition to moderenizing their plant to replace people. They have had to shut down since they lowered Woodward Resevoir too much.
 
Top