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Skivt2

The 2016-17 Ski Season Thread

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I'll say I am very impressed with the amount of snow Killington put on Superstar this month.  That's no easy feat in this pattern.  It looked like they had every snow gun possible double and triple hosed all over the place to create an all out assault on the ski lane down the trail.  

It looked deep too.  Well done Killington.

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15 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

I'll say I am very impressed with the amount of snow Killington put on Superstar this month.  That's no easy feat in this pattern.  It looked like they had every snow gun possible double and triple hosed all over the place to create an all out assault on the ski lane down the trail.  

It looked deep too.  Well done Killington.

I saw somewhere (maybe in here-too lazy to look) that they had rented almost every available snow gun for extra firepower too. I thought about bringing my son down to watch but with about 10,000 expected, getting in and off the mt road will be a ****show. 

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36 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

I'll say I am very impressed with the amount of snow Killington put on Superstar this month.  That's no easy feat in this pattern.  It looked like they had every snow gun possible double and triple hosed all over the place to create an all out assault on the ski lane down the trail.  

It looked deep too.  Well done Killington.

 

We've avoided warm, high dewpoint cutters....this kind of shows what is possible as long as you avoid that. You like to preach how the manmade snow is pretty bulletproof, so dry weather is going to take a long time to melt it out.  Obviously it wasn't overly cold, so you need a little extra motivation (such as a world ski cup event), but as long as it stayed pretty dry....big win. I will say that getting a head start in late October was really helpful. They probably blasted a ton of snow at the top of Superstar that lasted easily. That was an nice cold snap there...where even you guys not hosting a big event took advantage of stockpiling some manmade snow (and it looks to pay dividends for you as your upper mountain is still holding most of that).

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21 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

 

We've avoided warm, high dewpoint cutters....this kind of shows what is possible as long as you avoid that. You like to preach how the manmade snow is pretty bulletproof, so dry weather is going to take a long time to melt it out.  Obviously it wasn't overly cold, so you need a little extra motivation (such as a world ski cup event), but as long as it stayed pretty dry....big win. I will say that getting a head start in late October was really helpful. They probably blasted a ton of snow at the top of Superstar that lasted easily. That was an nice cold snap there...where even you guys not hosting a big event took advantage of stockpiling some manmade snow (and it looks to pay dividends for you as your upper mountain is still holding most of that).

Yeah all of this is very true.  I figured they'd have it covered, but the depths were fairly impressive when you see the vids of the groomers pushing it out.  The largest and best snowmaking window so far has actually been that final week of October.  There was the natural snow with the first system (upslope and deform combo) and that cold actually held really well, setting the stage for the next event a couple days later that even brought snow into SNE.  Killington did really well in that second storm too, with 10" and their biggest of 2016.  Our 11" for the first event was the biggest of 2016 here, lol...and followed it up with 7" at the picnic tables for the second storm. 

That decision to make snow in October was a big deal for us so yeah, I can definitely see how that was their window.  If they could blast the top portion of the run for 48-72 hours with natural snow as well, with their firepower (owned and rented) it was probably very impressive.  I just hadn't seen any real photos until recently.

 

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I'm guessing the low sun angle didn't hurt either. 

I'm looking forward to that weekend. Not sure if I'll ski Friday or Saturday, but we're adding a webcam and weather station to the local Campton Mountain at the cabin. Even though they won't be open, we've got entertainment and will likely have NBC on (Thanx Ginx!)

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Just now, MarkO said:

I'm guessing the low sun angle didn't hurt either. 

I'm looking forward to that weekend. Not sure if I'll ski Friday or Saturday, but we're adding a webcam and weather station to the local Campton Mountain at the cabin. Even though they won't be open, we've got entertainment and will likely have NBC on (Thanx Ginx!)

 

Yeah, mid-November has the same sun angle as late January. It's a lot different than even mid/late Feb or early March when exposed spots can melt easier...usually not an issue in ski areas since depths are so high by then, but we all know from our own backyards.

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Another thing, I was just looking up the Superstar stats, and the Superstar Quad length is 3,395ft with a vertical drop of 1,173ft.  The elevation range on google topo maps looks to range from roughly 2,540 feet to 3,720 feet elevation.

A couple things come to mind that make it easier to see how Killington got this done. 

1) A vertical drop of under 1,200ft with a trail length well under a mile is pretty easy to bury with a few snowmaking windows and the right equipment.  I was comparing it to Stowe in my mind naturally, and that's essentially the top half of the FourRunner Quad terrain.  We too could open that fairly easily right now, so maybe its not as hard to imagine them doing it as they have more firepower. 

2) The elevation range of the Superstar Quad (and Superstar trail) at a base of 2,500ft to a top at 3,700ft is high up there.  We've been discussing how the snowmaking this fall has been much more favorable above 2,500ft while not that great in the mid-slope range of 1,000-2,500ft. I forget that even though that run goes to the Killington Base Lodge, that it is up at 2,500ft.  That's some significant elevation for the bottom of a run.  Even the top of the Superstar Quad is actually above the top elevation of Stowe's FourRunner or Gondola which both top out around 3,625ft. 

So when I think about it, even though they are farther south, they are essentially trying to make snow and hold a race on what would be our upper mountain terrain....which is also fairly buried by snowmaking (though Stowe's trail widths on early season routes are much less than Superstar's). 

Still really impressive...well done Killington.  But yeah at those elevations and only needing to get roughly 1200 vertical feet buried, its definitely easier than trying to do like 2,000+ verts.  The width of the trail is huge so that needs to be taken into account.  This makes me wonder though about the FIS requirements... I thought there were bigger vertical drop requirements to hold these races.  Like it needs to be at least 1,500 feet of elevation change on the course.  Will need to do some research.

This is a really cool event though, as every ski resort was rooting for them to pull it off.  We are all competitive but at the same time there's a community among those that work at the resorts that really pull for each other to do stuff like this.  Like when Mount Snow was holding the X-Games, everyone was rooting for them to have a successful week.  Its a competitive industry but also a close-knit one as well.  Everyone knows someone working or worked with someone who is now trying to put on these events, so you wish them the best always.

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PF, those were probably all the calculations and thoughts the Killington guys put into this before taking on the task. I wonder if the vertical requirements are less since they aren't having a downhill, only the gs and slalom. 

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23 hours ago, mreaves said:

PF, those were probably all the calculations and thoughts the Killington guys put into this before taking on the task. I wonder if the vertical requirements are less since they aren't having a downhill, only the gs and slalom. 

 

Yeah for GS the min vert drop is 250m for both womens and mens....verses 450m for womens downhill and 800m for mens downhill.

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On 11/17/2016 at 7:27 PM, mreaves said:

PF, those were probably all the calculations and thoughts the Killington guys put into this before taking on the task. I wonder if the vertical requirements are less since they aren't having a downhill, only the gs and slalom. 

lol yah that would make sense.  They obviously thought that out a little earlier than I did, ha.

 

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1 hour ago, ORH_wxman said:

 

Yeah for GS the min vert drop is 250m for both womens and mens....verses 450m for womens downhill and 800m for mens downhill.

Thanks, Will.  I meant to look it up last night but got distracted by the models ha. 

That makes sense but I thought they were all more in the range of the downhill courses.  However now that I think about it, our course at Stowe is like Superstar in the 1,200 vert range.   Those GS requirements are only 820 vertical feet...but the downhill is 1,400ft (women) and 2600ft for the mens.  That's a tough requirement at 2600ft...no wonder only Whiteface was the only place to hold those races in the East. 

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11 minutes ago, LSC97wxnut said:

Didn't Waterville Valley have one for a while?

I just found this:

The World Cup circuit visited Vermont before, in Stratton in 1978, but November’s event will be the first in the U.S. northeast since American skier Julie Parisien won a giant slalom in Waterville Valley, N.H., in 1991.

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11 minutes ago, LSC97wxnut said:

Didn't Waterville Valley have one for a while?

Correct.  They were the last to have one.

 

i was surprised to see killington utilizing a bunch of the old guns on superstar.  

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14 minutes ago, Hitman said:

Correct.  They were the last to have one.

 

i was surprised to see killington utilizing a bunch of the old guns on superstar.  

The old equipment, while quite inefficient energy wise, does really well in marginal temperatures.  We've been using a lot of the land frames this fall in marginal weather to supplement the towers.  Even passing up the higher efficiency HKD towers for the older Ratnik land frames at times.  The newer stuff works a lot better with wet-bulbs under 26F but ideally it was developed for wet-bulbs in the like 14F to 22F range.  The old stuff is much more basic with high levels of compressed air but can be more productive at those marginal 26-30F wet bulbs.  I figured the best option for them is just to line the trail with every type of snow gun possible and see what works best in any given situation.  

Saving money with energy efficient technology was probably out-weighted by the desire to pull off the event so they probably blew a lot of marginal snow with high costs...but the good PR and revenue from the event will out-weigh the energy costs.  This is one of those events you do whatever you can to make happen as I think we all know.

 

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Killington is probably gonna pick up double digit natural snowfall over the next 4 days as a bonus. Should be nice to at least make the place a winter wonderland rather than a white ribbon surrounded by brown sticks. Might even get mood snow all next weekend too during the event. 

We can pretend that it's always snowy in November in New England when the rest of the world watches, lol. 

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Skis are tuned and ready to go for D1 at K tomorrow(Damn you Sunday River for not opening sooner and making me buy a lift ticket :P). Wish I could make it up on Sunday but can't swing it - 50s and sunshine isn't a bad consolation prize though! Looking forward to being back on snow and putting ACL surgery behind me; had my knee done in April and have been working my butt off since then to get it ready for ski season.

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On 11/18/2016 at 10:13 PM, SR Airglow said:

Skis are tuned and ready to go for D1 at K tomorrow(Damn you Sunday River for not opening sooner and making me buy a lift ticket :P). Wish I could make it up on Sunday but can't swing it - 50s and sunshine isn't a bad consolation prize though! Looking forward to being back on snow and putting ACL surgery behind me; had my knee done in April and have been working my butt off since then to get it ready for ski season.

Have no fear.  I had acl surgery in may and had no problems skiing the following december.  Keep riding the bike.

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On ‎11‎/‎18‎/‎2016 at 8:21 PM, powderfreak said:

Thanks, Will.  I meant to look it up last night but got distracted by the models ha. 

That makes sense but I thought they were all more in the range of the downhill courses.  However now that I think about it, our course at Stowe is like Superstar in the 1,200 vert range.   Those GS requirements are only 820 vertical feet...but the downhill is 1,400ft (women) and 2600ft for the mens.  That's a tough requirement at 2600ft...no wonder only Whiteface was the only place to hold those races in the East. 

I think Sugarloaf hosted a WC downhill sometime in the early 1970s.  Also the old Glen Ellen, now Sugarbush West, had trails named Upper and Lower FIS, covering enough vertical for the men's downhill, and those trail names made me wonder if such a race was their source.

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Here's a great video Sugarloaf put out two seasons ago leading up to them hosting the national championships. I just happened to be skiing at Sugarloaf one day during the '84 Junior World Championships that they hosted. 

 

 

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