Sunday, January 10, 2010

Light at the End of the Tunnel

There's few things more depressing than rain on a ski hill. It's becoming like a stuck record this week. I woke up to watch the NFC Wildcard Game and passed my time in the futile fourth quarter checking the weather forecasts and AFD's. There's hope next week.

Of course, I'm doing my part...I'm taking a three day weekend to visit the Ancestral Digs, and rolling up the hill on Tuesday or Wednesday, so Chain Controls are assured! If the models and forecasts waver, I'll wash the pickup!

My crew needs a respite from the rain, mist, and drizzle on the Mountain, and from the freezing fog and black ice on the roads. Personally, I haven't seen the sun all week, though it has been shining after I go to bed.

Last night, the swing shift was pretty upbeat considering the damp conditions. They enjoyed "fast" conditions, and advised that we'd have the work orders wrapped up in no time! Looking at the glass as Half Empty, I thought: "great...another early morning, when I have to ask for a volunteer to go home early"

An hour later, I saw the first star in the sky, the lower mountain flats turned from goo into porcelain, and suddenly our work orders doubled in size as our production fell by two thirds! From bored resignation to impending doom in 60 short minutes!

On the Up-Side...the fleet and crew performed flawlessly, and Mother Nature even kicked in after sunrise and warmed things up enough to help speed the stretch run! My crew pulled the proverbial Rabbit Outta the Hat, and we held our heads high on our way home.

Look, all this rain with warm daytime temperatures has played havoc with the Snowpack. We're looking at the double whammy of hard pack and thin coverage now. Remember that all the early snowfall was of the "Champagne Powder" variety. My guys reported that the first 30 inches packed out to about eight inches!

Compounding our troubles, all this wet and warm weather has sidelined our Snowmakers all week too. Looking at the forecast for the next five days shows the clouds will be overhead most of the time. Not looking good for Snowmaking...

I'm going to enjoy this Three Day Weekend, and not give the weather any thought. See ya Wednesday! Could ya maybe do a little Snow Dance or pray or something?

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