Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Snow, Snow, and more snow

This week and last week I have to keep reminding myself that it's mid-November and not mid-December or January.  It's incredible the amount of snow we are making right now. In fact, at times, it's almost possible for us to make too much snow.  The size of some of these piles is hard to believe.  It's going to take us several days to push all of this snow around until we are able to accurately predict how many runs will be open this weekend and which runs those will be.  Right now, it's a pretty good bet that we'll have at least Heidi's Hollow (beginner hill), Nanny's Nob, Fowl Play, Lookout, Harley's Hollow, and Dan's Dive open.  We are hoping to have at least 10 runs open by Saturday if not more. We will have a more accurate snow report on Thursday.  The skiing and riding is going to be fabulous this weekend. Sorry, due to renovations, no Madd Jaxx yet.  We are hoping Madd Jaxx can open after Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Message from Leigh Nelson

To: Welch Village Friends and Family:

As we open for another season we need to reflect on both the differences and the similarities five decades of time generates:

Season 1965-66

Lift(s) - One 1200 ft T-bar, One Rope Tow
Slopes - Three (Lookout, Wild Finale, Fowl Play)
Snow Rate - 150 gal/min from 12 air/water guns
Groomers - Polaris sled, John Deere Cat
Rentals - 100 Hart Wood skiis, cable bindings
Weather - Rain on December 24, open Jan 1
Members - Nelson families

Season 2014-15

Nine Chairlifts (Five Quads, one triple, three doubles), One Carpet
Sixty Runs on Five Hills (Far West, West, East, Far East, Back Bowl)
4500 gal/min from over 150 airless snow machines
Four Piston Bully Machines
1600 Shaped rental skis, boots, bindings
Snow and cold on November 11
Several thousand Members

During that first season, we were scrambling to build the original chalet (which is still there and used), finish clearing the slopes, install the T-bar lift, design and build the rope tow and the snow makers, hire and train ourselves and our first employees, and take care of our young families while being employed full time at jobs that paid the bills. Somehow, with hard work, long hours, helpful neighbors and friends, and lots of prayer support, we made it through the first season, and the next four, until we could install the first of three chairlifts in 1969, 70, 71.

However, in those first years, the most important variable was weather, and how to cope with the uncertainty of the forecasters, and the reality of snow conditions when either cold or warm fronts came our way. Those issues have not changed in the last fifty years.
Another factor that has not changed through the years is the excitement and joy that exudes from within even a senior citizen when he feels the rush of another winter season and skiing through bands of machine made snow. As I begin my 86th year of life and 50th year of skiing mostly at Welch Village, I look forward to more adventure with my great grandchildren, and also skiing with many of our members from near and far, this year from 20 different states. Who would have thought that we could deliver so much joy to so many people in the little town of Welch.

As my father told me on a visit to our ticket booth in 1967, "Leigh, it is going to be big!", and it is. Thanks be to God.

Please come and celebrate with us, and start the next 50 years of our joy.

Leigh Nelson

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Snowmaking Update 11/12/14

We turned the snow guns on yesterday afternoon for the first time this season and they are still on right now.  Overnight, we had about 3 hours of good snow making temperatures and conditions.  It's been cloudy which keeps the temperatures and the humidity higher, which in turn presents challenges for snow making.  Below are some pictures from this morning.  We are still hoping to open this weekend and will have an update sometime soon.  Let's see how snow making goes today and tonight.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November Snowmaking Outlook

I just checked in with our snowmaking crew this evening as they were performing their final checks & tests of the equipment. We were targeting this Saturday evening to start making snow but the forecast has now changed and the temperatures appear to be too warm.  However....if the current forecasts hold true for early next week, we are hoping to begin making snow on Monday evening.  In fact, most of the next week looks outstanding for snowmaking.  Right now, it appears that we may get at least one day, maybe two, where the high temps stay under 32 degrees for a high.  That could mean significant snow production.  Things can change at anytime this time of the year so it would still be a good idea to keep your expectations in-check.  There are also some weather systems coming in early next week which could affect snowmaking weather here. 

We will be targeting most of our snowmaking efforts on Lookout, Harley's Hollow, and Fowl Play in the first week or so. It's still too early to forecast an opening day. With that being said,  I think it would be a good idea to make sure your equipment is waxed and tuned.  It won't be long now.