Saddleback Blog

Archive: January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Winter Concert Series

Founded on the success of the Summer Concert Series last summer, Saddleback will host a Winter Concert Series. The venue is the fireplace room in the base lodge. When set up, 250 patrons can be comfortably seated. There is row seating up front and table seating towards the rear of the room. The setting has an intimate feel. Concerts begin at 8:00 PM, so the trick is going to be able to set the stage, prepare the sound system, clean the room and set the chairs & tables, all between the end of the ski day and concert time. I am sure that it will be an all hands chinese fire drill!

The first concert is January 1st. Performing will be Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys… Read More >>

Opening Day For Meisters

This morning I decided to take a stroll from the office and took a shortcut through the bar area. I opened the door and was surprised to see a nearly full room of parents and kids. Of course, it was the first day of the Meisters and Mini Meisters ski programs. There was a lot of frantic excitement as the kids were being organized into different groups and parents were buckling their kid's ski boots and making sure that their children were prepared. Meisters is a season long program for children on Saturdays & Sundays. It is a fun program for the kids and it is very helpful for their skiing skills. If you are interested, it is not too late to sign up. Contact Mark Robie at Read More >>

My Second Ski Day

As we head into a weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to get up on the mountain and check out the conditions. We had just opened Green Weaver from the top to bottom and I was curious to see how the snowmaking and grooming turned out. This was also a great excuse to make some turns and get in my second "ski occasion".  I joined my wife Lisa at the chair and we headed up the Rangeley Double. It was a beautiful morning, the wind had died and the temperature felt balmy compared to what we experienced yesterday. We exited the chair and glided down the exit ramp. The snow was that squeaky sounding snow that extreme cold temperatures create. The Green Weaver snow surface… Read More >>

Snowmaking Plans

Snowmaking operations at New England ski resorts are vital, as we can not always count on Mother Nature to deliver the goods when we need it. This season's start up was a bit frustrating as you need cold temperatures to make snow. November was dreadfully mild and we did not get into a good range of temperature until the very end of the month. Of course, with today's frigid sub zero temperatures, we quickly forget about the mild November. Another important ingredient to snowmaking is electricity. This week alone we have experienced three power outages. When this occurs, the crew scrambles to open valves to drain the lines and shut the system down. Any hesitation in the process can… Read More >>

Planning Saddleback's 50th

On December 31st 2010 Saddleback Ski Resort will celebrate 50 years of skiing. I have just left a meeting to plan for how we will celebrate this monumental event. A lot happens in 50 years and we need a year to do a good job to be able to recognize all of the people who were instrumental in making Saddleback happen and function throughout the years. We discussed a book, decorations, souvenir items such as commemorative patches & pins, a 50th logo design, a banquet, a video slide show, torch light parade and fireworks. We have a lot of good ideas to create excitement around the 50th.

Jim Quimby, our Director of Mountain Operations, has volunteered to work in collaboration… Read More >>

Tis The Season To Shop & Ski

When employed in a management position at a ski resort at the start of the season, there is little time for personal things. When someone informed me that the biggest day for the post office during the holidays was yesterday, I freaked! I hadn't even thought about Christmas gifts for my far away relatives. So, I headed downstairs to the Saddleback retail shop. There I was able to find something for everyone on my list. I bought the items and handed them off to my wife for wrapping and shipping. Another problem solved!

Seriously, if you are cramped for time for both skiing and shopping why not combine the trip. Ski in the morning and shop at lunch time. Get that done and… Read More >>

New Snow & More Terrain

It is a quiet Monday here at the resort. It is too bad that folks cannot just take a powder day when ever it snows. My wife Lisa did and she thought it was "awesome". It was not deep but we were blessed with 4 inches of quality snow with some body to it. It was sweet to cruise on.

Today's warmer temps gave the new snow some additional moisture which is perfect as the temps drop tonight. The snow will set up and will get us that much closer to opening more natural snow trails. The new snow did help us to get Blue Devil and Parmachenee Belle open. We also opened a few short spurs specifically Montreal, Gnat and Squirrel's Tail. The snowmakers will fire up again on Green… Read More >>

First Weekend

As the first weekend of the season is winding down, it has proved to be a very successful couple of days. Excited skiers & riders flocked to Saddleback to pick up their season passes and make their first turns of the year. Families were moving their equipment into their season lockers, staging them selves for the long winter months ahead. Old winter friends re-connected and spirit of camaraderie was abuzz through the base lodge. The first apre`s ski entertainment kicked off in the Swig`n Smelt Pub Saturday night and it was like we had never been closed. Winter was truly here to stay.

Like the many that came to Saddleback, many of the staff was able to get on the… Read More >>

Exceptional Snowmaking

The coldest temperatures so far this year have descended onto the northeast's ski country. For Saddleback that has meant some serious snow production from the guns. The Saddleback snowmaking team is taking full advantage of the weather, with every gun hooked up and spewing beautiful snow. The Green Weaver is lit up top to bottom and there also guns on Grey Ghost and the Wheeler Slope. With tonight's cold temperatures, those trails will be buried by Sunday morning.

We have had some gusty winds during the last two days blowing and re-distributing some of our snow. A very interesting side benefit, Golden Smelt has been the benifciary of much of the blowing snow and is in beautiful… Read More >>

Opening Day

The arrival of a ski area opening day is always challenging. This opening day today was no different and posed several interesting challenges. First thing yesterday morning, power went out which supplied snowmaking, the pump house and lifts. Jim Qimby, our Director of Mountain Operations with a crew searched miles of wildernes power line before finding the tree on the line. Removing the tree actually broke the line. A skidder had to be called in with power crew to splice the line and restore power. All of this took about 12 difficult hours in the woods, but opening day would be saved!

Last night winds began to intesify and by midnight the mountain experienced 60 to 80 mile per… Read More >>

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