Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More runs and Jaxx

We had another stretch of good snowmaking this week.  We are planning to have up to 15 runs open this weekend including Bakke, Lookout, Dan's Dive, Harley's Hollow, Twister, Long Way Home, Anna's Alley, Nanny's Nob, Fowl Play, Paul's Trail and more.  Also opening this week will be Jaxx Chalet on the east side.  If you like good craft beer and classic ski bar experience, Jaxx is the place to be.  We are looking forward to some of the best skiing we have had for Thanksgiving weekend.  Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

More Terrain

All the snow guns are quiet now at Welch Village, but that won't last long.  The forecast for the rest of this week right now calls for another great week of snowmaking.  It's already been a great start to the snowmaking season and the hills are filled with big piles of snow.  Thank you to all of you who joined us for opening weekend.   We expect to have much more skiable terrain ready for this Friday.  This will include some runs on the east side which will mean Jaxx Chalet will be open for business.  For those of you who can make it down next weekend, you will be able to ski and ride more terrain than we usually have open for Thanksgiving weekend.  Have a great Thanksgiving and we'll see you on the slopes on Friday.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Training in the Mountains

There are 8 Welch Village race coaches and ski instructors in Colorado this week to taking part in the Harb Ski Systems Tech Camp.  Joining me in this training event is our Welch Alpine (USSA) Head Coach, our Junior D-team Technical Trainer, and key SkiLink Learning Center trainers and instructors.  The training we are getting from Harald Harb and his staff with the PMTS Direct Parallel system is unique and at a higher level than any other training I have seen in the country.  This is the second year in a row that we have sent Welch Village instructors and coaches to this event.  However, some of our instructors have been coming out here for training on their own for a few years now.  We are looking forward to bringing back what we have learned in Colorado back to our race athletes and guests at Welch Village.  Our goal is to offer the highest level of race coaching quality and ski instruction possible.  We are fortunate to have access to this kind of training here in the mountains and very fortunate to have a group of such dedicated and passionate coaches and instructors. 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A good night

We had great snowmaking weather last night.  It was evident this morning just by looking at the piles of snow that were created.  As I left the area yesterday around 5pm, the temperatures were just beginning to drop to about 20 degrees.  This morning at 7:30am, it was about 10 degrees and clear...almost ideal conditions.  We are hoping to keep the guns on throughout the day today and overnight again.  Right now, most of the action is centered on Heidi's Hollow, Lookout, and Harley's Hollow.  However, there are guns on all over in places like Foul Play, Bakke, Chicken and more.  We were pumping water over 3,500 gpm this am.  Anytime we can get this kind of around the clock snowmaking this early in November it's a big deal.  It's still too early to starting using the "O" word.  It's supposed to warm up again later in the week so we may leave the piles intact.  However, there appears to be snowmaking weather in next week's forecast as well.  If you have purchased a pass for this year yet...we urge you to do so soon. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Snowmaking has resumed

Our crew has turned on most of our portable snowguns and a good portion of our tower guns.  This afternoon they will turn on more tower guns on Bakke and maybe Chicken along with Harley's Hollow.  It should be a good night of snowmaking tonight and probably tomorrow night.  It looks as if we may get a 24 hour+ window of snowmaking...which is really nice this early in November.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Last Night

The weather didn't cooperate last night for great snowmaking.  However, nights like last night are still productive because we were able to run our main water system, discover leaks, fix leaks etc.  The value of nights like last night enable us to test the system in order to gain confidence that it will be ready for when the colder days and nights do arrive.  Looking at the 7-day forecast, it looks promising early next week.  Check out the photo below...this is where snowmaking technology is headed and Welch Village is already moving forward.  We now have three "smart guns" that are equipped with weather stations.  These weather stations are monitored by our snowmaking team on this laptop.  Someday, we plan to automate the snowmaking system, including the pump station, so the system basically starts and stops on it's own according to the wet bulb temperature that is required.  There are a number of large resorts in the west and east that already have systems like this.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tonight could be the night

Our crew is getting guns, hoses, and everything into position to possibly begin snowmaking (for real) tonight depending on the weather.  We really need temps at 25 degrees with lower humidity to make decent snow.  It also helps to have a west or NW wind.  Recently we turned a couple of guns using water from a well.  Tonight (weather permitting) we will turn on the full system.  As we get ready to use our full snowmaking system, I thought it would be a good time to give you a brief snowmaking lesson on the size of our system and it's capabilities.  We built our snowmaking pond, which is connected to the Cannon River, in 2001.  We also built our pumping station and installed three 250 horse-power pumps at that time.  These pumps, at the time, gave us the capability to pump water at 2500 gpm.  We then added two 400 hp pumps in 2003...enabling us to pump water from the river at times over 4200 gpm.  We can also add to that...flow from the east side for another 1100 gpm...which produces a 5000 gpm capability.  All of this water is distributed through an extensive and complex underground piping system.  As a result, a huge portion of the capital investments we make are things that people never see.  What you do see however is the snow!   The water from the Cannon River is  very cold which enables us to be more efficient and make more snow.  If you are up late tonight, or up early tomorrow morning, take a look at our webcam.  You may be able to watch our snowmaking system create winter from the comfort of your home!