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snow conditions 
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:21 am
Posts: 26
Location: West Newbury, MA
Post Re: snow conditions
Thanks very much Jamey.

(Among other things this explains why I didn't know where the MRG "snowmaking pond" is ...)

Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:04 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:11 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Burlington vt
Post Re: snow conditions
Very helpful and good to see 24 downloads of the presentation. This is good for the board to do!

Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:50 am
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Fayston, VT
Post Re: snow conditions
Is there a new snow gun out there? I noticed one that looked fairly new--aluminum finish?

i see we are not blowing now, out of curiosity, does that mean that no water is available?


Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:46 pm

Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:07 am
Posts: 13
Post Re: snow conditions

Yes we are demoing a new gun as the ones we use are no longer made so we will be changing guns in the future. We are still making snow when we can but the water is nearly gone each time it gets cold. Thanks for your interest and support of the Coop.


Jamey Wimble

Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:08 am

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:48 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: snow conditions, or the lack thereof as the case now is
Dear friends,

I have read the MS Excel report on what it would cost to make snow up to the top of the double chair (Fox, Vixen, et. al.). I see a figure of about $6.23 million dollars and I agree, this is formidable. Some will argue that it's not achievable.[/b]

As of this date, 1/19/2014, the main mountain chairlifts have been open a total of 10 days - that does not include the attempt at running the Sunnyside Double chair during the rain Monday Jan. 7th (shut down early due to loss of terrain). For the 3rd or 4th year in a row, this is the worst season I've seen in 11 years of working at MRG and must be the worst season since Betsy only ran the main hill for 30-odd days in 1979-1980. It has been 5 years since I can recall a winter of consistent snowfall.

Global climate change is destroying Mad River Glen as we have known it. I don't see how an ambitious new base area project can be pursued without product on the hill to attract people. It can be argued that it won't pay off, but I disagree. The person who now owns a Bolton pass does so because whenever we are shut down, Bolton can produce top-to-bottom skiing on 7 - 14 trails and let me tell you, their chairs are nearly 100% full on weekends when we've got nothing but the Practice Slope to offer. Our Lift #4 (Practice Slope) simply isn't enough. I've heard plenty from passholders who no longer wish to buy season's passes in the future. I've also lost an enormous amount of work that once seemed to be something I could count on.

I see a rather stark choice: Either find a way to create top-to-bottom skiing off of Lift #2 (the Sunnyside Double), or we become a novelty act that only will offer skiing intermittently....if at all...and certainly less than 100 days a year. I am not a shareholder, mainly because I can't afford a share on the meager salaries I make in seasonal work, but I urge you to change the bylaws with a 2/3 majority. We can leave the Single Chair out of the snowmaking picture because it is of course part of skiing history and probably ought to stay that way. Do it, and maybe we can get several more decades of 100+ days of main mountain skiing. Then, make an impassioned appeal to the State of Vermont's Agency Of Natural Resources and Dept. of Environmental Conservation. Why? Because we are on the National Historic Registry which puts us on par with other National Parks and Monuments. Unfortunately, without snowmaking capacity to the top of the ridgeline, the historic function of our special place is gravely threatened by climate change and most reasonable people would agree that the world is a better place with a functional Mad River Glen that includes skiing in it. Find a way to create a new pond, somewhere. Find every spring and seep. Use any which have been donated to the mountain (isn't there one up along the Upper Mountain residences near The Rat?). Create a track that includes Fox/Vixen > Broadway > Easy Way & above Birdcage > Chipmunk Bowl for starters, perhaps others but enough to keep people coming to the mountain consistently.

These are extraordinary, climatically changed times we all live in and in order to make Mad River Glen both relevant and a place that we'll want to come to regularly, we must do the extraordinary....for how long can anyone wait for a "real winter" before they give up and go buy a pass to Sugarbush, or Bolton, or wherever? I do greatly prefer natural snow to machine made, but I will gladly ski anything that's open.

Respectfully submitted-
-Brian Aust (Midstation SingleChair)

Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:50 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:27 am
Posts: 20
Location: Bradford, MA
Post Re: snow conditions
Brian, well put!

Jamey, when will the snowmaking white paper be published? Will it be published on the Coop website?

From the last Trustees Board Meeting and other documents it appears our biggest challenges concerning expanding snowmaking are water availability and operational costs for labor and power.

Concerning water availability, I have heard references to water rights to an aquifer in the general area of above the Practice Slope chair on the other side of Route 17. What is the truth/story/status of that? What are the regulations/permitting requirements vis-a-vis maximum water draws permitted from wells in aquifers? It appears that the State of Vermont, Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, Water Supply Division, Environmental Protection Rules Chapter 24 (Groundwater Withdrawal Reporting and Permitting Rules) is relevant.

I've been continuing development and am running a longer test from a higher height above ground with a refined apparatus starting 21-Jan or 22-Jan once temperatures drop to good ranges. I'll keep figures on area and depth covered, water and air pressures and water use.

Dave Stein

Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:05 pm

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:47 pm
Posts: 11
Post Re: snow conditions
Lots of hikers earning their turns this MLK Holiday. I measured 8" of new powder at the bottom of Slalom Hill and 5-6 at my house on the Rattlesnake. The Pisten Bully went up Lark and onto Broadway packing it in nicely. The hikers left some awesome tracks in the powder on the Slalom Hill and down Panther and Birdland. Looks like they really know what they are doing! As of 4PM, the skies are starting to clear and it's down to 6 degrees as the cold spell attacks.

Bob Rogers (brmrgskier)

Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:02 pm

Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:06 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: snow conditions
Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum. By way of introduction, I am a 30-year MRG skier, co-op shareholder since its inception, and am a hydrologist, working with environmental consulting firms in VT for over 30 years. I have worked with many VT ski areas in the permitting of their snowmaking systems. I am currently (don't shoot me), the Environmental Compliance Coordinator for Sugarbush.

Anyway, I think that the primary question that needs to be fleshed out at the beginning of the snowmaking discussion is "How much water do we actually need?" To do this, the Co-op needs to have a clear plan of precisely what trail(s) (or areas of trails) we would like to cover to allow top-to-bottom skiing (both initial and recovery coverage events). The bottom line is that, no matter how efficient the latest technology in snowmaking equipment, we still need water, and we need to make a precise calculation of those water needs as "square one" so that the snowmaking planning process can continue with a solid foundation.

My two cents for now. I am happy to help as the process and discussions continue.

Eric Hanson

Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:31 am

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:39 pm
Posts: 7
Post Re: snow conditions
Water availability Is one issue, storage is another. I'm on my way back from skiing in Colorado and noticed that areas use different strategies to ensure continued availability of snowmaking water. Aspen uses bubblers in their small pond on Ajax so the water doesn't freeze; Wolf Creek has a 500,000 gallon partially-buried storage tank which a friend challenged me to find (I couldn't). True, there are many obstacles to snowmaking at MRG but some outside the box thinking might help us find a solution. I'm a minimalist when it comes to artificial snow, but it would be nice to have some mid-mountain coverage so we'd have a better chance of being open for the Xmas holidays.

Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:16 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:39 am
Posts: 12
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Post Re: snow conditions
Water storage is a huge deal for many ski areas and resorts. I mostly ski Canyons Resort and a few years ago they made a big investment by creating a man made snowmaking pond. It sits next to the existing snowmaking maintenance facility. It sit about 8100 feet, base of the mountain is 6500 feet. This pond has has made a significant difference in the Canyons ability to make snow. Here are a few pictures of the pond.
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Untitled3.jpg [ 246.42 KiB | Viewed 2837 times ]

Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:21 pm
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