Understanding Opening Terrain

Just two days away from Opening Day, we wanted to step back and help explain the status of the mountain and the terrain we’re planning to open. Here are the trails we know will be open: Pushover, Slowpoke, and Sugarbear Road, with additional terrain assessed and opened as soon as is feasible. Now naturally, we know that expert skiers and riders will be disappointed in a Gate House opening, but when assessing the forecast there was only a limited window with viable snowmaking temps for the base. 

Why Gate House and not say Valley House? Well, it takes less snow to open the trails listed above compared to a steeper trail like Spring Fling and the load area of the Valley House Quad. Again, we only had a limited window of good temps. Going with Super Bravo was also not realistic as the spacing on the hydrants below Heaven’s Gate are too spread out for such a quick turnaround, and it is a lot of ground to cover to open alongside no natural base and marginal temps.  We also really did not want to open with downloading, which would have happened when looking at Heaven’s Gate. 

Just look at the window we had to make snow down low. It’s been an extremely mild month to say the least. When Killington, which has over 5 times the water and air capacity that we do, is opening only two days earlier, it’s a real testament to what our snowmaking team and recent capital improvements let us accomplish.

The forecast starting Friday looks cold through the early part of the week, and we next intend to get the Valley House Quad open as soon as we can. As for Mt. Ellen, we’ve been focused up high for the time being since there’s more time to get open over there. By the weekend we will be moving down to Inverness to get GMVS out and training.

The beauty of Mother Nature is that it’s always changing. This recent influx of natural snow developed late, and our plans can change at any moment. To stay up to date on opening plans and additional terrain expansion, keep an eye on our snow report.

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