last couple of weeks has made for a lot of re-grooming in the mornings. Three times in the last week we’ve closed the upper half of the mountain because of the trails icing over after we have opened … Lift Maintenance – Greg Carter and his guys have had some weather issues to deal with as well, we have pulled chairs (editors note: taking the detachable chairs completely off the line at night, making it easier for lift operations to de-ice the cable) five out of the last seven days. Weather in Vermont, you got to love it! Everyone has jumped in to help in the mornings to get things going on time or as close to it as possible. Last night with the cooler temps, made for some great conditions. I skied a few runs this morning, conditions could not have been any better, bluebird day, 112 trails open on April 9 pretty nice! … Brian Budrow is Okemo’s mountain operations night manager, and Ray Kennedy is the snowmaking manager. Combined they have more than 50 years of experience, not only at Okemo, but at other resorts around the country. Every evening, Kinney and Budrow review the evening grooming and snowmaking plan. “Brian and I talk every night somewhere between eight and nine o’clock,” Kinney said. Some nights those are quick conversations as favorable weather and snow conditions usually means everything goes according to plan: all scheduled trails will be groomed; the desired snowmaking production will be achieved; and the lifts will open on schedule for guests to make their first turns the next morning. But when you’re grooming 580 acres of terrain on a nightly basis, pumping out enough snow to bury Gillette Stadium 20 feet deep in 24 hours, and spinning 20 chairlifts, sometimes those calls review more data, strategy and variables than the New England Patriots’ Playbook. On those nights when the weather just won’t cooperate, experience and plan B kick into high gear. “Stuff can happen after we leave and the weather can go south real quick,” Kinney said. “If Brian is off, the next in charge would be your grooming supervisor who makes those decisions, or your night snowmaking supervisor. They have to make those decisions on the fly too, because the weather just isn’t cooperating. So that’s where experience is key.” At times there is a lot of “hurry up and wait” for the overnight crew as Mother Nature dictates her own schedule. And depending on the weather and snow conditions, the plan Okemo Mountain Ops EXPERIENCE IS THE OKEMO DIFFERENCE! - continued from page 59 - KNEE-DEEP, GROOMED OR GREEN; THERE’S A TRAIL WAITING FOR YOU THIS WINTER,SOGRABAJUICYGREENBLAZEIPAANDCREATEYOUROWNADVENTURE. AVAILABLE ON DRAUGHT, IN BOTTLES AND IN APRES-FRIENDLY CANS. LTB144-16 Okemo Ad.indd 1 8/9/16 4:38 PM - continued on page 63 - > 802-228-1600 > page 61