Benji’s Blog – Giants Ridge Update Dec. 16th, 2022
Category: Benji's Blog
Hello Giants Ridge,
We have a lot of things going on at Giants Ridge that I wanted to update everyone on.
First off – the new snow!!! Holy cow, we are seeing anywhere between 18” and 24” around the recreation area. This is a great thing, but it also comes with some challenges. We know everyone is excited to ski this snow, and we are doing our best to preserve as much as possible for our re-opening on Saturday. More on this in a bit. The first thing to address is available terrain this weekend. We won’t be opening any additional runs from our offering last weekend, as we haven’t made any snow since Friday the 9th. The fact of the matter is it has been too warm to make snow in the last week. With that said, Mountain Operations is currently preparing to restart snowmaking the evening of Friday the 16th. Our goal remains to get as much terrain open by December 26th as possible. This week long shut down certainly interrupted the breakneck pace snow making was moving at. As always, we ask everyone to please respect closures, they are there to make sure that guests don’t end up on unprepared runs, numerous hazards exist on unprepared runs!
Open Runs this weekend (from South to North):
- Innsbruck and Innsbruck race
- Helsinki and Helsinki Race
- Olympic Valley and Lower Olympic Valley
- Sarajevo Pass
- Val d’sere
- Placid and Placid Terrain Park
Our plan is to preserve the natural snow on the following runs: Olympic Valley, Sarajevo Pass, Whistler, and Calgary. We will likely groom a “travel lane” along each of these runs so that people can duck in an out of the fresh snow. We also plan to leave ungroomed snow on the edges of most of our other open runs as well.
Placid Terrain Park will be open, and the park crew has refreshed it again this week. Also the park crew has begun pushing the Garmisch park, however we are still making snow in a few select areas there as well. We have a lot of cat work, and snowmaking still to go, but hopefully we will have a better idea of a projected opening date in the coming weeks.
Over the past 36 hours, Giants Ridge has received 18-24” of new snow. Our Nordic Grooming crew is actively working to manage this snow. The early morning hours of the 15th, our crews were attempting to pack the snow to make a base, however there is too much snow for any of our pull behind implements to successfully process the snow. Even our PistenBully 100 can’t climb hills with its tiller engaged with all of this snow. This means that we have to use different equipment, and a slower process to create a base. The process is called track packing, and we use a tucker snow cat with wide tracks to drive around pack down the snow. Once it has been packed, then we can again use a variety of tow behind implements to put a more finished product out. This process is ongoing. We ask that our Nordic guests please be patient while we work to make a great product that will last for the season. We do not expect to have skiable conditions before Saturday. We will do our best to have a very good offering Saturday Morning. While getting all this snow, is a blessing, it does take a lot of additional effort to process this snow all at once. However once we get it processed, it should make for amazing skiing!
We have been getting many questions about the tubing hill. While we don’t have an official opening date yet, grooming and snowmaking operations are ongoing in that location, and we should know more in another week. This brings up an opportunity to say that we are still hiring for lift and tubing operators/attendants. Please help us get the word out that we have open positions, and are still hiring!
This continues to be an ongoing process. We believe we have finally gotten our printers working reliably. (knock on wood) We have been constantly working with our technical resources to troubleshoot these issues. We have made some progress in the last two weeks, with a major breakthrough on Friday. We appreciate the patience all of our guests have had through this process, and we ask for your continued patience for the next week or so as we continue to work through the final problems. Please note, we have been working as hard as we can to get this resolved as we recognize what an impact this has on every guests’ experience at Giants Ridge! We have technical resources helping us from literally all around the world helping us with this. We have technicians from the East Coast of the US, Canada, and even Austria working on this issue.
As always, we are so thankful for our amazing guests and hardworking staff at Giants Ridge, and we are incredibly excited for the rest of the season! The best is yet to come!
Director of Mountain Sports