Friday, December 26, 2008

Cranmore Vacation Week

We're off to a great start here at Cranmore for vacation week. We received over two feet of snow in the last 2-3 weeks and last Monday was one of the best powder days I have personally experienced here or anywhere, East or West.

Because of the snowfall we were able to open some of our new terrain which relies on natural snow. I checked out Gibson Chutes and greatly enjoyed the steeper narrow trails through the woods off the Gibson trail, down to the new Tommy's Trail. Snowboarders be forewarned - Tommy's is a traverse so be prepared to unstrap and walk portions of it, including the short uphill bit at the very end before it reenters Beginner's Luck. Still, the three snowboarders who passed me on the Chutes thought it was worth it to snag all that fresh powder in the woods.

I also did my first glade runs of the year in old favorites like Treemeister and Beech glades.

Mother nature decided it was time for loose granular conditions but thanks to the deep base from her and our snowmakers, we still have excellent coverage even after some less than snowy precipitation.

New Year's Eve ticket sales have been brisk and we anticipate selling out over this weekend, if not before (only about 17 were left as I type this Fri. afternoon). But never fear, we will have PLENTY of room for anyone who wants to come skiing, riding, tubing or to view fireworks or the bonfire. But the lucky coupla-hundred folks who bought their tickets in advance will have VIP access to the Chris Fitz Band show in the Eating House.

The rest of you can enjoy listening to live music in the main base lodge set up with its own beer & wine bar on the 3rd floor - a great vantage point to enjoy the fireworks. Sit on the upper deck with a Sunset Wheat beer and watch the fireworks over the ski slopes at midnight - does it get any better than that?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snowy Weather Pattern Ahead

All I want for Christmas is a weather forecast showing storm after storm heading into the White Mountains. For once, I am getting my Christmas wish. We enjoyed 5" of the fluffy stuff yesterday, giving me my first powder run of the year, hopefully the first of many.

Another 2-3" is coming in Friday, just in time for the weekend. Then a real "nor'easter" for Sunday. And if you believe long term forecasts, Christmas week could see another bout of snow before the holiday. What a gift for us snow lovers!

Now Jimmy, our mountain manager, loves to "under promise and over deliver," which of course makes him the antithesis of most of us in the marketing trade. ;) He is going to check his weather prognosticator and get back to me with an update on the forecast, but I think any way you spell it, we are going to have a very white Christmas indeed.

Jimmy also told me we are going to open new terrain for this weekend, including Skimeister, Split Decision, expanding Schneider all the way down to Gibson, and both the Competition Slope and Middle will now be open down to the North which runs down to the Quad. This on top of already having Artist Falls and Easy Street off the Summit means we will have the best variety of terrain going in very short order here!

I would also like to introduce a new interactive trail map on our website: http://www.cranmore.com/info/winter/trailmap.asp

Not only does it show you what trails are opened, closed, groomed and where snow was made, it also gives you little insider tips and descriptions of each trail from yours truly.

We are in the process of uploading videos and still photos of every trail and left. But here's what's REALLY cool. You, our loyal fans, can also submit photos and videos. Click on the "submit my photo/video" tab at the top of the map and if we like it, we'll post it! My goal is to have this trail map lit up like a Christmas tree by the first of the year so thanks in advance for helping me reach that goal.

See you on the slopes this weekend I hope! What a great way to reward yourself for finishing your holiday shopping early (yeah right!).

Friday, December 12, 2008

The "R" Word


No doubt if you live in Mass. or NH you are aware that we had a bout with the "r" word here in northern NH last night. Well, the good news is that there is still plenty of the white stuff on the ground and we still anticipate opening additional terrain this weekend. And colder temps are returning tonight, which means that snowmaking can resume and the snow will set up nicely, allowing us to groom again overnight and into tomorrow, Saturday.

Our snow surfaces team faces challenges such as these with a reassuring nonchallence. I look out my window at the wet snow and wonder how the rain of today will affect my skiing tomorrow. But our snow groomers look at that same wet stuff and see both a challenge and an opportunity to restore the slopes to their previously wonderous conditions.

By not grooming today, Friday, it actually kept the wet snow from getting packed down or damaged by the grooming equipment. And after a cold night tonight, we can once again till the surface for skiing and riding on Sat.

This is my seventh winter here at Cranmore and there is not a day that goes by that I don't learn more about the art and science that is snowmaking and grooming. No wonder our Mountain Ops Director Jimmy Mersereau was selected to be part of the snow grooming team at the Salt Lake City Olympics. The Olympic committe surely knows talent when they see it.

In the meantime, check out our new photo gallery page, featuring our daily picture, weekly video snow report and live cam shots to see that we do indeed still have plenty 'o snow left here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy 71st Season!

Great news - Cranmore is now open for its 71st season and is off to a great start.

We have 9 trails today, Sat. with more coming very soon. Conditions are surprisingly good. Last winter's fabulous snow fall is still in my memory and the start to this year promises more of the same.

I went out and filmed our weekly video snow report this morning with our entire snowboarding instruction crew, which you will see posted very soon. It's a cold bluebird day and snow surfaces are a crisp packed powder. It's a great day to get those first turns in. Best of all, the weather is calling for a few inches of snow Sunday night which can only make things even sweeter!

Monday, December 1, 2008

4 Days & Counting

Well, another surprise snowfall this morning - a few wet inches of snow greeted me when I got up this morning. Word on the mountain that the wet stuff makes for a GREAT base so we continue to be in great shape for opening this weekend.

Snowmaking temps return later this week and come Saturday, there will be ideal conditions to crank out the white stuff.

Our plan is to open the following trails on Sat.:

Artist Falls
Beginner's Luck
South Slope
Beginner Basin
Snow Train

And with any luck the weekend could end with these trails as well:

Middle
Zip
Lucky Pitch
Oompah

Lifts operating: (4)
South
Skimobile Express Quad
Magic Carpet
Lucky Loop

Terrain parks:
Lucky Loop Park open on Beginner's Luck Trail

Of course, everything is weather dependent so check back to our snow report or call our snow phone before coming over.

So the countdown is on. So far so good. Tubing was a big hit last weekend as was our new indoor fun zone. Hope you all come out to greet the new winter season at Cranmore this Saturday! We'll have special $42 lift tickets for adults and teens, $31 for kids 6-12 and under 5 free as always.

See you Saturday!