Mountain Blog

How to Make a Quick(er) Buck
Keirsun Scott - Thursday, July 25, 2013

Following our last update, construction continues on our new Buck Quad chairlift, which will be operational for the 2013/14 winter season.

This week Team Elmer's was busy pouring the concrete for both our lower and upper lift terminals. Here's the team working at the top of the mountain.

Buck Construction
Buck Construction
Buck Construction

The majority of Buck slope's re-sculpting has been completed. Looking down the lift line, it's easy to see how much the slope has been widened. Buck is about to become my favorite northern Michigan black diamond run all over again.

Buck Construction
Buck Construction
Buck Construction

Team Elmer's used their Pump Truck to deliver concrete to the pre-built, lift terminal forms.

Buck Construction
Buck Construction
Buck Construction
Buck Construction

The concrete has now set up and the forms have been removed to reveal the foundations for the lift terminals.

Buck Construction
Buck Construction

The Buck Glades have been cut skier's right of the expanded slope. The new gladed run will drop skiers and riders onto Hoot Owl slope, which leads to the base of Buck slope.

Buck Construction
Buck Construction
Buck Construction

Next on our to-do list: pouring concrete for the foundations of our new snow guns that will be placed beneath each lift tower.

Buck Construction

Winter's Cure for the Curse of the New Guy
Keirsun Scott - Wednesday, May 08, 2013

"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. sunrise snowmaking

December 21 - Winter Storm Draco dumps 14 inches. Winter Storm Draco
Winter Storm Draco

January 3, 2013 - Snowmobiling on excellent trail conditions with our partner Crystal Adventures. Michigan Snowmobiling

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. Lou Batori
Lou Batori

January 24 - 9+ inches of lake effect powder. Snowboarding in Michigan Powder

February 1 - Snow circles are unbreakable. Snowboarding Circle

February 19 - Whiteout. Michigan Snow Whiteout

February 20 - Falling for another foot of freshies. Snowy Wipeout

February 27 - Night skiing after a week of constant snowfall. Loki Quad

March 1 - Snow was piled as high as our trail map near the lift ticket windows. Crystal Mountain Snow

March 13 - Snow madness marches on. Michigan Skier

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! Michigan Powder Skiing
Michigan Powder Skiing

April 5 - Even the fishermen couldn't resist the slopes this winter. Skiing Fisherman

April 7 - Closing day. The best part is, winter will be here again before we know it! Michigan Snowboarder

*Source: Benzie County Road Commission