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The 2021-2022 Ski season thread


Skivt2
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18 minutes ago, Angus said:

LOL - wildcat will open with Tomcat lift only - so nothing from top. route down will be cat tracks to middle wildcat to bobcat. This is NOT their normal opening which is essentially Lynx with some polecat at the top - although in 2006, I do remember skiing december 30 in this configuration but can't remember the circumstances - weather (it was snowing), mechanical problems, et cetera. Bobcat is wide.

 

 

November and December 2006 were exceptionally mild, with Grinch-y storms just before Christmas.  Might've been a factor.  The 2006-07 winter arrived about Jan 14.

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47 minutes ago, Angus said:

LOL - wildcat will open with Tomcat lift only - so nothing from top. route down will be cat tracks to middle wildcat to bobcat. This is NOT their normal opening which is essentially Lynx with some polecat at the top - although in 2006, I do remember skiing december 30 in this configuration but can't remember the circumstances - weather (it was snowing), mechanical problems, et cetera. Bobcat is wide.

 

 

They are a mess. It would be a real shame if Vail allows them to fall apart and then closes the place.

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18 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

They are a mess. It would be a real shame if Vail allows them to fall apart and then closes the place.

Sounds like some of this is the labor market, but let's face it, vail probably never wanted them.  They were attached to the peak deal where vail was after Snow, Hunter and JFBB.  

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9 minutes ago, bwt3650 said:

Sounds like some of this is the labor market, but let's face it, vail probably never wanted them.  They were attached to the peak deal where vail was after Snow, Hunter and JFBB.  

The labor market is horrific over there.  I really feel for them.  Other VR mtns are sending them staff but that’s not sustainable.  I know their former GM well, he said it was an extreme challenge last winter and as we all know the labor pool is even smaller now it seems.

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3 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

BW and Sunday River seem to be able to get staff to make snow and get those mountains open. Same labor market, really. Maybe they pay more? I really hope Wildcat figures it out. Cool place and very convenient for us. Obviously getting a couple feet of snow in December would cure a lot of problems. 

Yeah some mountains are just better staffed than others.  Do those places have vaccine requirements for staff like Wildcat?  Just thinking about how that might play in that geographic area… 

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2 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

Yeah some mountains are just better staffed than others.  Do those places have vaccine requirements for staff like Wildcat?  Just thinking about how that might play in that geographic area… 

I am not sure, but I could definitely see that being a contributing issue. Vail seems to expect Wildcat to have enough staff to check vaccine cards for all people eating at the food service places too... was surprised to see that in NH but apparently it is a Vail requirement across the board.

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Vail seems to be on their own in that regard.  Other resorts have not followed.  I had more typed out but I just deleted it so this didn’t turn political.  
 

When it comes to jobs like mountain ops, lifts etc. I would think you need to find people who really enjoy it because it is hard, physical work in the elements for the same pay as working in a much easier environment.  Crap hours a lot of times too.

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5 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

I am not sure, but I could definitely see that being a contributing issue. Vail seems to expect Wildcat to have enough staff to check vaccine cards for all people eating at the food service places too... was surprised to see that in NH but apparently it is a Vail requirement across the board.

I remember some Peak Resorts employees saying Wildcat doesn’t like to be told what to do… they sort of let them live up there by themselves.  If people want to work in flannel lined jeans, they work in jeans or whatever.  But that’s not how VR does things.  That hill probably has had the hardest integration in terms of mindset out of any of the Eastern hills bought by any major company the past few years.

I can think of a variety of reasons why that specific hill has been the most challenged.  Maybe not one thing by itself but a variety of things that compound on top of themselves.  The COVID stuff certainly doesn’t help up there. 

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8 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

I remember some Peak Resorts employees saying Wildcat doesn’t like to be told what to do… they sort of let them live up there by themselves.  If people want to work in flannel lined jeans, they work in jeans or whatever.  But that’s not how VR does things.  That hill probably has had the hardest integration in terms of mindset out of any of the Eastern hills bought by any major company the past few years.

I can think of a variety of reasons why that specific hill has been the most challenged.  Maybe not one thing by itself but a variety of things that compound on top of themselves.  The COVID stuff certainly doesn’t help up there. 

Like I said, a couple feet of snow would solve a lot of issues. Simplifies things a little, at least. Just need to groom a bit and run the lifts. Wildcat seems to really suck at snowmaking now for various reasons (staffing, pumps, electricity, etc.). There are tons of idle construction type workers up in Berlin, Milan, Stark, etc. (I sit at the bar with a bunch of them sometimes) but I guess they are hunkered down and not thinking of picking up hours at Wildcat. This has certainly been an issue nationwide we have all seen play out.

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5 minutes ago, bwt3650 said:

Vail seems to be on their own in that regard.  Other resorts have not followed.  I had more typed out but I just deleted it so this didn’t turn political.  
 

When it comes to jobs like mountain ops, lifts etc. I would think you need to find people who really enjoy it because it is hard, physical work in the elements for the same pay as working in a much easier environment.  Crap hours a lot of times too.

Yeah trying to skirt the political stuff but VR operates a lot of ski areas.  Most out west are on federal land which means they follow certain federal guidelines.  They have places like Whistler operating on Canada’s standards.  So what they’ve tried to do for ease of communication is blanket all areas under that.  Might be too much but it’s incredibly hard to have different policies at every area.

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2 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Like I said, a couple feet of snow would solve a lot of issues. Simplifies things a little, at least. Just need to groom a bit and run the lifts. Wildcat seems to really suck at snowmaking now for various reasons (staffing, pumps, electricity, etc.). There are tons of idle construction type workers up in Berlin, Milan, Stark, etc. (I sit at the bar with a bunch of them sometimes) but I guess they are hunkered down and not thinking of picking up hours at Wildcat. This has certainly been an issue nationwide we have all seen play out.

Yeah the background staffing is real tough nationwide.  I saw it in Georgia, I see it here in Stowe.  Places that were open 7 days a week now do 5 days a week.  Wages are as high as they ever have been and it’s not moving the needle.

And you are spot on, a couple dense feet and you groom and turn the lift on.  

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5 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

VR better not f*ck Wildcat up....that's one of the few "pure skier's mountains" left in New England with that type of vertical.

 

If they can staff it, it’ll be fine.  I’ve got friends over there right now, ha.  I was down helping Sunapee early season.  Staffing is the biggest threat right now… and then when understaffed those that are there get burnt out.  It’s an employees’ market when literally every business you drive by on your way to work is also hiring.

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One thing I've noticed immediately off the bat this season is that having people in work and school has made mid-week days dead again.

Last year Monday and Friday were the new weekends… Wednesday was the same as a Saturday.  All days seemed to be the same and busy.  The past three days have been quieter than any three days all of last year.

Its amazing what having people going to work and kids going to school does to midweek visitation.  It feels like people actually have other things to do on certain days.  I know of at least half a dozen families who lived here last winter skiing every day, working/schooling remotely who are back to physical school/work this winter.

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16 minutes ago, Ginx snewx said:

? Sr has 2340 and Wildcat  2110 from the top not the Tom chair

I was referring to what is currently open. Locke and Tomcat both access just under 1400' of vert - which I think is the most vert you can get off a single lift at Sunday River. Barker or Jordan Bowl might give a little more. 

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4 minutes ago, powderfreak said:

One thing I've noticed immediately off the bat this season is that having people in work and school has made mid-week days dead again.

Last year Monday and Friday were the new weekends… Wednesday was the same as a Saturday.  All days seemed to be the same and busy.  The past three days have been quieter than any three days all of last year.

Its amazing what having people going to work and kids going to school does to midweek visitation.  It feels like people actually have other things to do on certain days.  I know of at least half a dozen families who lived here last winter skiing every day, working/schooling remotely who are back to physical school/work this winter.

It's been awesome for us. We ski Mon-Fri and have the mountain mostly to ourselves. Even with limited terrain open we had free rein from 1-4. Last chair every single day. :) 

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4 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

It's been awesome for us. We ski Mon-Fri and have the mountain mostly to ourselves. Even with limited terrain open we had free rein from 1-4. Last chair every single day. :) 

That’s awesome.  Yeah man we never had any time last year where you could just ski onto the lift and have a whole bunch of empty chairs in front of you.  These past three days have been a giant sign of relief by many locals.  Last year I truly think we saw midweek skiers like we’ll never see again because of circumstance.

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Beautiful afternoon after the morning squalls.  The mountain picked up 3" in the past 24 hours at the Lookout plot.

Bluebird and empty.  The natural base right now is in that weird zone where it's skiable for like a couple people, but certainly not deep enough to sustain any sort of "open" traffic.  People would ski it to dirt within an hour or so, ha.  It looks great but would be destroyed real fast.

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I don't know SR but that route isn't great 'vertical' at Wildcat - I would normally skate and pole from the offload area to middle wildcat. I noticed that Wildcat's twitter is advertising a hiring event this Friday. What's strange about the current state of snowmaking is Peaks was using the mountain as a testing center for the HDK guns a few years prior to Vail acquisition. That TomCat lift is slow...

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Part of Wildcat's staffing issue is probably related to the lack of places to live nearby.  I was a ski bum after college for a season at Steamboat. I was living in a house about 15 minutes to the mountain.  The house was damaged in a fire due to a faulty safety on the heating system, and we had to leave the house.  Nearest place I could find to live was in Oak Creak, about 50 minutes away. That was enough for me to call it quits to my ski bum experience.  

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13 minutes ago, tamarack said:

Looks right for SR but one needs 2-3 lifts to get there.  Top single lift gain looks ~1500' on Google Earth'.

Technically it can be linked by taking a green from OZ to the base of White Cap but there's some skate skiing involved and so definitely not 2300' of fall line vert lol. Having said that, if you can't have fun with an old slow double and 1000', you're doing it wrong. Outpost double at Pico is a prime example (may be closer to 500' than 1000' tho)

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20 minutes ago, MRVexpat said:

Technically it can be linked by taking a green from OZ to the base of White Cap but there's some skate skiing involved and so definitely not 2300' of fall line vert lol. Having said that, if you can't have fun with an old slow double and 1000', you're doing it wrong. Outpost double at Pico is a prime example (may be closer to 500' than 1000' tho)

Such a fun trail pod. That lift is something else. 

https://www.newenglandskihistory.com/lifts/viewlift.php?id=396

Zoomer at Cannon is another fun short one.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, MRVexpat said:

Technically it can be linked by taking a green from OZ to the base of White Cap but there's some skate skiing involved and so definitely not 2300' of fall line vert lol. Having said that, if you can't have fun with an old slow double and 1000', you're doing it wrong. Outpost double at Pico is a prime example (may be closer to 500' than 1000' tho)

Nah you can rip thru Kansas on Jordan and high speed it all the way to little White cap lift. Done it a hundred times literally, 2 plus miles. North Peak 1500 feet high speed is my jam for short vert and having a ball

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19 minutes ago, Ginx snewx said:

Nah you can rip thru Kansas on Jordan and high speed it all the way to little White cap lift. Done it a hundred times literally, 2 plus miles. North Peak 1500 feet high speed is my jam for short vert and having a ball

Yeah I've literally only done it once, on a spring day with inadequately waxed skis and plenty of crowds at the Barker base, hence the need for skate skiing on my part. What you're saying makes complete sense tho, just not the same 2300ish fall line vert at places like Stowe, SB the Loaf etc. 

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25 minutes ago, MRVexpat said:

Yeah I've literally only done it once, on a spring day with inadequately waxed skis and plenty of crowds at the Barker base, hence the need for skate skiing on my part. What you're saying makes complete sense tho, just not the same 2300ish fall line vert at places like Stowe, SB the Loaf etc. 

For certain 

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