Is there such a thing as ‘too much snow?’ Well, yes there is if resort operators want to open safely.
As much as we all want to get out there and shred the multiple feet of snow being dumped on California, we can only do so once patrollers say it is safe to do so. From avalanche mitigation to clearing snow and ice from walkways and highways, employees have been working round the clock to open as quickly, but as safely, as possible.
With 17 inches of snow overnight and high winds preventing snow safety and lift operations we will not be able to open…
Kirkwood Mountain Resort, CA, who didn’t open yesterday, shared a post detailing what their ops crews are having to deal with during this storm, and ask for guests’ patience as they mitigate all potential safety issues. It’s not just heavy snow; there’s gusting wind, visibility, and cold to contend with too.
The mountain that makes this place so wonderful also provides some extreme conditions for our crews. Our goal is always to open as much as we can, as fast as we can in a safe manner. Remember, we love to ski and ride too! Because every lift on the mountain is impacted by a slide path, the process starts with patrol getting to the top of the mountain to perform snow safety. Even if the slope is not steep enough to avalanche, there may be avalanche terrain hanging above it.
With the ridgetop winds and visibility we have currently, this is not able to happen at all or as quickly as we’d like in order to keep up with the storm. At higher elevations on the mountain, the snow layer from the first storm of the season is also providing additional challenges. Our Ski Patrol and Mountain Operations teams are ready and will always move as fast and as safely as mother nature allows.
This storm will set us up for a great start to what we know will be an amazing season. We ask for your patience and to share in our gratitude for the teams working hard to get our mountain ready for you. Trust mountain ops.
Patrol and lift maintenance are stationed at the top of the mountain overnight throughout the storm and are ready to get going as soon as mother nature allows. At this time we are still assessing tomorrow’s conditions. And will start work early in the morning to get the mountain ready. We will post on our social channels as soon as we can provide an update.
Follow @kwconditions twitter account for the absolute up to the minute updates – this is what is updated through dispatch when we make the call…even if it’s 6am.
So if your resort doesn’t quite get the lifts turning at 9 am today, spare a thought for the crews that have been doing their best and working through the night. As soon as the mountain is safe to open, it will. It’s in all our best interests. Thank you, mountain workers!
- Related: Should We Pay Ski Patrollers More?