The BIG Question
Update: December 28, 2015
Three Sweet Words
When eloquently strung together there are three words that can evoke a more powerful emotion than any others. Sure, ‘I love you’ is nice but for skiers and snowboarders those words are ‘Winter Storm Warning.’
Winter Storm Goliath is moving through late-Monday (December 28) into early-Tuesday (December 29) bringing with it snowmaking temps that actually allowed the snowguns to switch on Sunday night (December 27) and remain so through Monday. Overnight temps look good for continued snowmaking throughout the week with the word ‘snow’ making an almost daily appearance in the forecast. What does it all mean?
Here’s the plan: After fortifying our existing skiable terrain, the might and power of our snowmaking system (which can pile up one foot of snow over 2.3 acres in one hour) will be focused on Buck, the trail from the top of Buck down through Giggles, the spine from the Crystal Clipper to North Face, the North Face and the return trail from North Face. The temperature will determine the timeline for opening new trails so we’ll keep you posted (keep checking here and the snow report). At the time of this post (insert time), the snowguns are still running and we’ll keep them running in order to open as much new terrain as quickly as possible.
It appears at long last that Mother Nature has made her New Year’s Resolution and she is resolved to ski and snowboard more trails! Our crews are hard at work helping her see that resolution through. Let it Snow!
Update, Thursday, December 17
For Those About to Rock, We Salute You!
Crystal Mountain’s snowmaking crew is ready to rock and it would appear they’re about to do just that for the next few days. Temperatures are predicted to dip back down into the 20s tonight and, depending on which forecast you believe, stay there through Saturday. Under ideal conditions, our snowmaking system has the capacity to cover the entire mountain in a foot of snow in 45 hours. If the current forecast holds and especially if those temps trend downward, we’re optimistic we’ll be making turns this weekend and then every day that weather permits moving forward. Stay tuned for more details over the next 24-72 hours!
Update: Thursday, December 3, 2015
Something to ‘Cheer’ about: Open on Saturday!
The Groomers climbed Cheers to assess the snow on Wednesday night and the news is good. Crystal Mountain will open Cheers and the Cheers lift on Saturday, December 5 from 10am-4pm for skiing and snowboarding. It is the season of giving so bring three (3) non-perishable food items or a gently used winter coat to donate and your lift ticket is FREE (otherwise, lift tickets will be $15 at the window)! Donations will benefit to the Benzie Area Christian Neighbors Food Pantry.
Carpe Ski'em (Seize the Snow)! The current 10-day forecast does not appear to provide too many snowmaking opportunities. Given Saturday’s forecasted temps, we will assess conditions on Cheers at the end of the day and determine whether or not to reopen on Sunday. Stay tuned to the snow report for the very latest updates.
Update: Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Don’t Stop Believin'!
On Wednesday morning Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” is blaring over the Crystal Clipper loudspeakers as the snow made on Cheers over this past weekend attempts to stand its ground in defiance of the weather. Tonight as the temperature drops near freezing the groomers will climb Cheers to assess the snow and the possibility of a weekend opening.
However, Mother Nature remains reluctant to let temps slip below 28 degrees for snowmaking this week while continuing to threaten with the type of precipitation that we dare not speak its name. Snowmaking crews remain poised to go to work and earnest in their efforts but we are still in a ‘wait-and-see’ mode so please stay tuned.
November 27 is a perfect example that just because it's cold enough to snow doesn't necessarily mean it's cold enough to make it. Rest assured that the moment temps dip 28 or below, we will flip the switch!
As I punch away at the keyboard, my skis sit just a few feet away, taunting, asking the question. It’s the same one from Facebook. The same question comes from the snowmakers, the shop techs, the instructors, from everyone. When?
That question is preceded by another laced with a fervor and frustration that could only be born from a passion for snow. Why!? Mother Nature, why have you forsaken us!? We tip our cap and reluctantly swallow the envy for our friends to the north who are benefiting from the same meteorological whims that with a slight change in temperature could mean piles of snow on Buck, Cheers and North Face. Nonetheless, our snowmakers ask why!? Why is it 24-degrees at the base of the Clipper and 33-degrees at the top of Main Street!? Why can't it drop just a few more degrees and stay put? With arms out-reached to the heavens we ask WHY!? (Okay, that might be a bit of an over-dramatization)
It’s not personal. Mother Nature doesn’t work that way. If she did we would hire her on retainer for early opens and frequent powder days. She always comes around eventually and when she does we’ll be ready with a snowmaking system that can put a foot of snow on the entire Mountain in 45 hours – under ideal conditions. Our crew is at the ready for the moment temps drop below a magic 28-degrees and won’t quit until we open the first trail and the other 57 to follow.
Which brings us back to the original question: When? Unfortunately, we won’t be able to open the trails this weekend but beginning Friday night (November 27) we’re seeing some windows for snowmaking through the weekend and hoping to see a slight downward trend in temperatures for next week. We’ll continue updating to this blog post with latest on our work and progress. We’ll try to get you on a lift as soon as possible. Stay tuned and in the meantime, do a snow dance, it couldn’t hurt.