Thursday, April 1, 2010


Winter returned alright! While I was blowing my driveway before I left for work, it didn't snow a bit. When I pulled into the parking lot at work, there was about five inches on the ground. When I pulled out of the lot this morning, there was at least fifteen inches!

Pretty nice snow, and plenty of it...recipe for a tasty night's work. I was in no mood for hassles, so I ran the Pack. I broke trail and the rookies followed along behind. The snow was as deep as two feet almost everywhere because the Mountain only opened one lift Tuesday. The winds ranged from near 50MPH at the Base to 100+ MPH up top. Patrol's anemometer recorded a 130MPH gust in the afternoon!

Running the Pack was just the became a "Teachable Moment" in today's vernacular. As we rolled hither and yon, I narrated over the 2-way, coached the guys to make just a little more with each pass, and explained my deep, dry snow, berm position.

I've turned these guys into Perfectionists. When it's as deep and dry as last night, they've got to unlearn a few things in order to increase production. I told them: "Tonight, I'll tolerate 6X6 Berms" I explained that six inch high, six inch wide berms wouldn't be dangerous, wouldn't set up, and would let us get the Work Orders done. A lot of the list got groomed three times!

With the Mountain closed, Swing Shift came in early and did a lot of digging before grooming a bunch of trails. I ran the Pack until 0400, when I launched them to their own devices, so I could start detailing the ramps, roads and mazes, and dig out the lift terminals again. Visibility had been improving all night, so I didn't worry that the guys would get lost and make more work for us. With so much snow on hand, adjustments had to be made to our usual routine. Working alone now I did a few trails "backwards" to control the berms.

As the night wore on, the snow fell and got ever dryer, so dry that it could barely find the ground. Snow levels dropped as low as 2000ft. Everything flowed nicely, our only mechanical was a windshield wiper failure on my old favorite tractor...passenger side, so the operator was able to run with it fine. I got a nice "power nap" for Lunch Break, and when the Sun rose, I was well into the Snow Day routine.

Back at the shop by 0900, Jeweler, one of the guys worried that we didn't get enough done. I laughed and said we did fine...we did tons considering the two feet of fluff we had to work with.

Warming up the pickup, I thought about Jeweler worrying all morning...I'd better dole out some kudos tonight, and council a little more about the Big Picture! For me, last night wasn't ecstatic, but it was can get jaded in a hurry when Champagne Powder rules the roost in Springtime...I'd better not let it go to my head.

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