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Whaleback Mountain Updates

Whaleback-Mountain

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Hi AZ, please see below for the full press release.

Our new Mountain Manager and the 2 for 1 gift challenge are both huge for our community supported non-profit mountain. If you have ever had the pleasure of stopping by or just enjoy seeing smaller feeder mountains survive, please consider making a tax-deductible donation however small you can manage. Our new Mountain Manager has already hit the ground running as we already have two weeks of volunteer days under our belt. Work on base facility and trail cleanup is ongoing while lighting and trail improvements will follow. We have had an independent analysis of the snowmaking infrastructure by a respected engineering company to help us take better advantage of the current system, make modifications, and help plan for future upgrades as capital becomes available.

We know it is easy to truck by us on 89 but we would love to see you all this coming winter. Stop by for some affordable skiing and grab a beer in our lounge and see why Whaleback is a second home to so many. Also, below is the link to our sign up sheet for Volunteer days should you be in the area this summer/fall and want to help out. We should be picking it back up shortly: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0a4fa5af2ba3ff2-whaleback/27917684

I will continue to stop by and post mountain news and answer any questions as I have time.

Thanks,


_________________________________________________________________________


WHALEBACK HIRES NEW MOUNTAIN MANAGER and $100,000 CHALLENGE ANNOUNCED

Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation is proud to announce that Gerd Riess will be the new Mountain Manager at Whaleback Mountain this coming season. "UVSSF would like to thank Dick Harris for his service in helping this non-profit ski area get up and running", said John Schiffman, chair of the UVSSF board. Dick Harris, a long time veteran of the ski industry and who came most recently from the Balsams Resort, stepped down after this season due to health issues. Gerd Riess has been involved with Whaleback for the past 4 decades, working in many roles with various previous owners. Moreover, he has run his own nursery business and has been coaching the past 25 years and is the head coach for the U14 Ford Sayre Alpine Racing Program. "I see the potential of this mountain to get back to the basics providing healthy recreation opportunities for our local youth", stated Gerd. I think we can make Whaleback a great place to learn and train to ski".

An anonymous couple is challenging the community to raise a minimum of $50,000 by June 30, 2015. When that minimum is met they will donate an additional $100,000. The couple have grandchildren in the area who have been learning to ski and ride at Whaleback. "This community values a local ski area that allows for all, especially children, to remain active, even with such cold winters and we are proud to be part of what has been accomplished in preserving Whaleback", they stated. This generous challenge will give a great boost to the foundation's efforts and will help with the working capital needs of the mountain. Many groups are already actively fundraising to meet this challenge by the June 30 deadline.

Whaleback Mountain, located in Enfield NH is owned for the community and is stewarded by the Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation. It is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, created in 2013 to make sure that Whaleback remains a community asset. The mountain relies on numerous volunteers to do trail maintenance, fund raising, administrative services and general upkeep. In the past year there were over 300 children taking lessons in the after-school programs from 11 different towns in the region. It is the home for the Whaleback Mountain Club, the Ford Sayre Alpine Racing Program, Kimball Union Academy and Cardigan Mountain School. Adult ski groups include a USSA Masters Alpine race group and the Thursday Night Race League. The mission of UVSSF is to enrich the lives and health of Upper Valley youth and families by providing a sustainable facility that will: deliver affordable skiing, snowboarding and other outdoor recreational activities; offer snow sports lessons and training at all levels - local, regional, national and international; and support those in need by enabling all who wish to participate. A scholarship program is available-no child has been deprived of learning to ski due to affordability. It is the goal of the Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation to build community by providing an affordable home for the lifelong enjoyment of all snow sports.
Donations can be made by going online to http://www.whaleback.com/product/donate-uvssf/ to make your gift or send it to UVSSF 160 Whaleback Mountain Rd., Enfield, NH 0374
 

mriceyman

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Hope people donate.. 100k is a nice gift


Sent from my iPhone using AlpineZone
 

Whaleback-Mountain

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May 29, 2015
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Enfield, NH
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Happy summer everyone - I figured I would give everyone an update as to what we are doing up here.

First off, we have just reached 50% of our minimal fundraising goal of $50,000, with only 2
weeks left. For those of you not aware, an anonymous couple whose grandchildren love to ski and ride at the Whale have offered a challenge grant to the Upper Valley Snow
Sports Foundation (UVSSF - the nonprofit that owns Whaleback) to raise $50,000 during the month of June and they will donate $100,000. This funding is vital for continued operations.

Up on the hill, Volunteer Days are making great progress under our new Mountain Manager. Around the base area the main parking lot has been graded and we are working on doing the same across the river. The upper deck (the one off the second floor of the lodge facing the hill) is being rebuilt as are the walkways to the lower deck. This should be awesome come winter.

Spout has been trimmed back top to bottom both sides. We started replacing the lights on this trail last year but ran out of time. We plan to finish the project this year which will greatly help for races and training at night.

Primary trail work continues on Dorsal, where we are widening choke points and fixing dark spots with additional lights. This is going to be our primary beginner route (down to Scrimshaw) off the summit this year.

Last year we suffered a lighting failure on Scrimshaw (the lower beginner and the park) and we fully intend to resolve that for this season. This will give us 3 top to bottom lit routes with snowmaking for winter - Spout, Dorsal > Scrimshaw, and Face. They will be opened in that priority order. If the winter goes well we may be able to do more but this is what we agree is the best use of our aging snowmaking system.

Long story short we are excited about the changes happening and for this upcoming season.

If you're in the area and want to spend a few hours working on the hill you can check out our volunteer sign up page: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0a4fa5af2ba3ff2-whaleback/27917684

Also, If you want to consider making your tax free donation now, no matter how small, you can do so here: http://www.whaleback.com/product/donate-uvssf/

I will stop back as I can - I have attached some photos of the work we are doing.

11406434_10155673633035626_4995486259154199993_o.jpg11062348_10155673626375626_4263060009266583977_o.jpg11406340_10155673626010626_8484838103643500555_o.jpg
 
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xwhaler

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Great stuff....I like the idea of trying to reclaim snowmaking on Ivory at some point. Getting that West side skiable for longer portions of the season would be really nice.
Jonah's and Jawbone are great classic trails that combined with Ivory would offer something for every ability level.

Mtn skis a lot bigger when West side options are available.
 

prsboogie

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I kicked in, never skied there but hate to see any area close and the extra 100K can only help to keep them open! Congratulations on hitting the goal.
 

Whaleback-Mountain

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May 29, 2015
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Enfield, NH
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Work continues on the mountain as we clear and clean up the snowmaking plant as well as began the process of preparing and servicing snowmaking and grooming equipment for winter. Up on the hill our Whaleback Core Team widened the narrow section of the Canyon Park and next they will remove the stumps that have been there for years. This will make snow coverage much easier.

View attachment 17127View attachment 17128View attachment 17129View attachment 17130
 
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Whaleback-Mountain

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Excellent....any news to share on the possible T bar project?

Not really. The capital does not exist to undertake such an endeavour at this time, but it is high on our list in back of snowmaking.

In a perfect world we would have a chair where the Poma used to be as was originally intended and a surface lift for racing on Spout.
 

Whaleback-Mountain

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DATE: July 16, 2015

CONTACT: John Schiffman, Chair, Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation

WHALEBACK CHALLENGE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED

The Upper Valley Sports Foundation (“UVSSF”), the operator and owner of Whaleback Ski Area, announced that it received charitable donations of $76,016 from 250 individual donors and foundations. This amount successfully exceeded the requirements of an anonymous couple's Challenge grant ($100,000) by $25,806 (50 percent). Completion of the June, 2015 fund drive provides the necessary working capital in order to be able to open Whaleback for the 2015-2016 seasons.

When they heard about the successful completion of the Challenge campaign, which ended on June 30, 2015, the donors wrote to UVSSF, “We knew the Upper Valley was a great community that values wonderful places for kids to enjoy like Whaleback! We are so happy to hear that the community rose to the challenge - congrats!”

There was a flurry of donations that were received on the very last day of the campaign. In the final five (5) days 103 donations were received. Cornelia Purcell, UVSSF Board Vice Chair, gratefully acknowledged the wonderful publicinformation support from the Valley News, and acknowledged that without that help the public never would have been properly informed of the opportunity to support Whaleback with their generous donations. She said: “It is the nature of our time that so many people wait until the very last moment, so it was really key to keep the word out there and keep reminding people to step up and help.” Whaleback's new Mountain Manager, Gerd Riess added, "This is a really exciting development; these funds will enable the necessary summer maintenance to be accomplished on schedule and provide the necessary working capital to begin to fund next winter’s ski season activity.".

OVERALL CAMPAIGN & GOALS:

When originally created in 2013, UVSSF planned to raise approximately $2,400,000 in order to preserve the Whaleback ski area. So far the organization has raised or been promised $952,807 and is now in the next phase of a multiple year major fund raising drive. That goal is to complete the task by the end of 2016 and raise the next $1,000,000 from many individuals and foundation sources. This money will be used to accomplish major improvements in the snow making systems. When UVSSF acquired Whaleback in 2013, it knew that the more than 30-year old system would have to be modernized. The funds that have been raised to date were used to purchase the area from a bank that had foreclosed on the property, address and remedy the immediate deferred maintenance issues and make sure that Whaleback stayed available to the public without a loss of continuity. Additional improvements were made to the infrastructure in order to bring the sanitation systems up to code. The lodge is a gracious but antiquated building that has a very “retro” feel. As volunteer labor and material become available UVSSF is working on a program to improve the facility by small incremental projects, such as replacing doors, windows, painting, and building a new spacious deck to connect the lodge to the ski hill and to use for functions. The volunteer program at Hypertherm has provided both labor and materials on many of these projects and has been absolutely vital to UVSSF.

In addition, under the guidance of Mountain Manager Gerd Riess, scores of volunteers are already at work doing the summer maintenance needed to open for next season. Moreover, Charlie Harrison is helping Whaleback with creating mountain bike trails, some of which will be ready for recreational activity next summer.
 

xwhaler

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Thanks for all the great updates! You guys are doing a fantastic job with communication through these channels as well as social media/email blasts etc.
Interesting news about a new glade...that would ski pretty awesome as a steep tight glade. Plans to extend it all the way down to the lift or will it cut out prior?

I've always looked at that patch of woods between Blowhole and Spout and thought it would make a great glade.
Thoughts on being able to access it from Spout/Boug as well?
Hopefully it is open more than YOOYM which I know is pretty ledgy/stumpy/rocky and requires a ton of snow to fill it in.
 

Whaleback-Mountain

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It would go all the way down to the bottom as depicted in this old map and yes it is steep. http://www.newenglandskihistory.com/maps/viewmap.php?id=1047. It was partially cleared as well as the runs on the west side around the end of Tim Herbert's ownership at the mountain.

I will have to get back to you on whether you will be able to get to it from Spout but doubtful due to snowmaking pipe.

I doubt we will get to it this year but YOOYM needs to be given a good cleaning out to be skiiable more days. It certainly is a favorite and one of the coolest / most difficult tree runs around.

We have a great team in place this year and we think it will show Day 1. Let's hope mother nature cooperates.
 
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