Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff Photo
Sugarbush Resort snowmaker Cam Jackman of Lincoln checks on the mountain's snow guns Tuesday as cold temperatures allowed the resort to bgin making snow. Sugarbush is planning to open for the season on November 18th.
I wanted to reach out and provide an update from our Sugarbush Mountain Operations Team. As you can imagine, it’s an exciting time for us right now as we just completed our first snowmaking session of the season! We fired up the snowguns Monday night on Jester and Organgrinder at Lincoln Peak and on Elbow at Mt. Ellen. Our continued goal is to get as much snow on the ground as possible by taking advantage of every window of opportunity to make snow. Though this weekend is looking unfavorable for snowmaking, the temps drop again next week and our team will be working around the clock to create the best early-season base possible.
Of course, this all comes after a large construction season for Sugarbush. This year we installed over 9 miles of new snowmaking pipe between the two mountains to help improve the reliance of our systems and their capabilities. On top of the new snowmaking pipe, we installed 64 new KLIK Hydrants and HKD towers at Lincoln Peak and 36 new KLIK Hydrants and HKD towers at Mt. Ellen. To further ensure maximum snowmaking coverage, we moved the towers that had already existed on these trails to new locations that will provide better snowmaking coverage throughout the mountains. These improvements provide us the opportunity to refresh trails more easily with fresh snowmaking after freeze thaw cycles and provide you a better product.
Another huge undertaking that will enormously improve our snowmaking capabilities is replacing the snowmaking water withdrawal infrastructure on the Mad River, which is located adjacent to the snowmaking pond off Rt. 100. The pond currently provides 100% of the water used for Lincoln Peak’s snowmaking. Through the project we built a new inflatable dam that will allow for a more reliable process to withdraw water and maintain a more consistent water level for the pond throughout the year. The inflatable dam will also keep excavators and personnel out of the river at the start and end of snowmaking season and will allow for natural river conditions when it is deflated. This project provides us the opportunity to fortify our water supply for snowmaking at Lincoln Peak. We were able to get this completed through a joint construction project between us and Kingsbury Companies.
Our Lift Maintenance Team has also been busy this summer with projects that include a new carpet for the Welcome Mat, new chairlift grips on the Gatehouse Quad, a new comms line and sea pads on the Summit Quad, and new seat backs on the Super Bravo Quad. The seat pad project in particular will provide us the opportunity to have fewer wind holds throughout the year and provide you a better riding experience. These projects are all on top of the annual line work, terminal work, and general maintenance of our 16 different lifts. Our lift maintenance crew truly deserves some praise. And before you ask, this work also includes getting the Slide Brook Express Quad ready to roll for this winter!
Our Vehicle Maintenance team has also been hard at work providing service to our 14 different snow cats. We purchased three new snowcats this season. A versatile fleet and terrain park groomer, a winch groomer for our steeper terrain, and a cabin cat that will be used for Sunset Groomer Rides, Cabin Cat First Tracks, and Allyn’s Lodge Dinners. We also serviced our trucks, UTVS, and snowmobiles that are used daily to access the mountain. This is a dynamic team that has worked day and night to make sure our transportation and grooming needs are met.
The Mountain Operations Team is working tirelessly, with the help of our new equipment, to get snow on the ground for Opening Day on November 19th. If Mother Nature does not cooperate with our efforts and that date becomes unattainable, we will make sure to communicate any changes to you through the snow report as they are determined.
I would really like to thank all of the Sugarbush teams throughout the resort for all their hard work in getting the resort ready for the 22/23 season. I look forward to dusting off the boards and getting back on the slopes with you all! Early season turns are a great way to get one’s legs in shape for those powder days when you will see me skiing in my favorite place: Castlerock. Until then, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any other questions or comments. My email address is Pkonvicka@sugarbush.com.
Patrick Konvicka VP of Mountain Operations and Recreational Services