"I'm NOT cursed!"
These were the first words out of my mouth when waking up to another foot of fresh snow on a February morning this past winter. Let me explain the source of my defunct despair.
I started working at Crystal Mountain in the fall of 2011 and the winter of 2011/12 was my first winter at the resort. As you may remember, that winter was SNOW-STARVED. Benzie County, Michigan officially recorded 69 inches of snow in 2011/12, the lowest recorded snowfall since the winter of 1973/74 when we saw a meager 33.5 inches.*
Needless to say, that first winter I developed a case of new-guy-with-no-snow syndrome. People would joke that I shouldn't worry about the weather; that it's really not my fault. But every now and then I would catch a colleague throwing a low glare my way. I imagined they were about to suddenly point at me and shout out, "He brought this plague upon us!"
Snow is a precious commodity at a ski resort. Needless to say, my timing was not good.
But the winter of 2012/13 turned the short trend on edge. More than 150 inches of snow blanketed our mountain! Skiers and riders celebrated with waist-deep powder turns. Cross-country skinny-skiers shared tales of "perfect" trail conditions. Dog sleds careened through overgrown jungles of white. Kids cooped up in their parents mini-vans for the drive north, sprinted from their seats to race up the seemingly sky-high piles built by our road plows while battling blizzards. Snow lovers of all sizes rejoiced.
While looking at our snowfall totals for the last 20 years, it was only an average winter. Regardless, 12+ feet of natural snow is the kind of winter that puts perma-smiles on the lips of Midwestern powder hounds.
Part of my occupation here at Crystal is to take photos of what's happening at the resort. With the following photos, which were all posted to our Crystal Mountain Facebook page this past winter, I intend to put an end to the Curse of the New Guy.
December 10, 2012 - Great snow making temps for a solid week.
December 21 - Winter Storm Draco dumps 14 inches.
January 3, 2013 - Snowmobiling on excellent trail conditions with our partner Crystal Adventures.
January 10 - Skiing with 102-year-old Lou Batori, the oldest NASTAR racer ever, was the experience of a lifetime. Lou is my hero and a true inspiration.
January 24 - 9+ inches of lake effect powder.
February 1 - Snow circles are unbreakable.
February 19 - Whiteout.
February 20 - Falling for another foot of freshies.
February 27 - Night skiing after a week of constant snowfall.
March 1 - Snow was piled as high as our trail map near the lift ticket windows.
March 13 - Snow madness marches on.
March 19 - 18+ inches of cold smoke. This Tuesday in March dropped on us the greatest conditions of the entire winter and the first face shots I've ever experienced in Michigan. What a day!
April 5 - Even the fishermen couldn't resist the slopes this winter.
April 7 - Closing day. The best part is, winter will be here again before we know it!
*Source: Benzie County Road Commission