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 hour gusts. Many of us, including me, could not sleep as the intense winds rattled the windows. The roar from the winds made me wonder if we would ever be able to turn the chairs. By snow reporting time at 4:30 AM, my ski report contact Jared said "the chairs were swinging pretty good, I don't know." So out went the ski report warning of high winds and potential troubles with opening chairs. As day light came the winds seemed to be weakening. Upon my arrival to the resort, I saw the lift crews de-icing lifts and turning the chairs slowly which gave me great hope. Sure enough, by 9:00 AM wind speeds had dropped and the chairs started to spin. The first skiers boarded the chair and off they went to begin the 2009 /2010 ski season at Saddleback.

So here we are, the lifts are operating and some excited skiers and riders showed up to make their first turns of the season. Now we have 16 to 18 weeks of time where anything and every thing is likely to challenge us. We will look forward to meeting those challenges and to providing a great season at Saddlback. If you would like to email me I can be reached at cklefos@saddlebackmaine.com .