Windham Improvements

TomWhiteTomWhite advanced
in NELSAP Forum Posts: 493

ropeways.net | Home | 2017-11-23

Windham Invests In Keeping Winters Cold

New York’s Windham will be making and grooming snow more efficiently than ever with an increasingly automated snowmaking system and environmentally friendly grooming fleet, thanks to $2 million investments this year.

Continuing its commitment to snowmaking efficiency and environmental consciousness, snowmakers now have access to fully automated snow guns, nearly three miles of new snowmaking pipe, and a PistenBully 400 Winch Cat.

Wiseacres, a popular intermediate trail that winds through a wooded area on the ski area’s West Peak now has 100 percent snowmaking coverage with permanent, fully automated HKD snow guns.

Beginners on Wonderama and upper portions of the Warm Up Park will also benefit from new snow guns.

Ted Davis, Director of Mountain Operations, explains that this new system will allow his team to take advantage of even the short windows of opportunity they see, with the “push of a button,” rather than the old system of set up and break down. Ted also notes the new HKD guns will greatly reduce the amount of runoff experienced with older systems. “We’ll be able to make snow earlier, faster, and better,” he says.

Windham’s grooming fleet of five machines sees upgrades each season. This year, it’s in the form of a new PistenBully 400 Winch Cat. The groomer complies with Tier 4 of the emissions standards set forth by the EPA, making it the most efficient engine available. Traditional groomers can only push snow down the mountain, but the 4.4 ton pulling force of the winch on this machine will allow the grooming team to push snow back up the mountain, creating optimal conditions for skiers and riders.

Comments

  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 971
    How steep of terrain requires a winch cat?
  • 4aprice4aprice intermediate
    Posts: 57
    I am so glad Windham jumped on the Max Pass bandwagon and intend on hitting it as many times as i can,  

    The Pocono's are closer but I am someone who has gone to the Catskill's my fair share over the years. It's a fairly easy ride up 287 to the Thruway, straight up to exits 19,20 and 21 from here in North Jersey. Single and pre-kids was easy to go up weekend mornings and day trip.  Have skied multiple times at each of the 4 main areas and at least one NYLSAP (Cortina Valley).  



    The 80's was Hunter and all that Hunter was in those days.  I thought of it as a Killington south. It was open early, closed late,(November/April skiing) Was the 1st place I ever skied with my best friend in the world, now my wife.  The base lodge bar and HVI (how many remember that?) hopped. It was get there for 8:30 opening, hit West at 10, ski through lunch and hit the bar at 2.  Sun bathed cord (southeast exposure) early morning at Hunter is an experience I will never forget.  


    Exit 19 is Bell and Platty.  Platty has the charm, 1st time I ever skied there they had the T-bar up the north face of the bowl , and we were skiing powder late in the afternoon on a Presidents Day weekend.  Its special but its also the furthest away. Belle is at least a 1/2 hr closer, usually has good snow (and moguls which I love) and the ride up 28 is no treat so I've been more likely to stop there, and will visit this year as well as it is on Max. 

    Windham, I've have been to but, I have to admit, I have never been there when the conditions were good so I'm really interested in checking it out.  Hope to get to the stuff off of Wheelhouse Chair and the East Peak which I've never hit.  I remember their facilities were pretty nice, decent lifts, decent parking etc. Will be reporting in the Trip Report section for sure.

    The month of December is a busy one for me and pretty much a non travel month. Having the Catskills ramp up quickly and early would benefit my ski season greatly (Pocono's too but that does not look like its happening yet). Hoping it's cold this week so I can get out and get this thing started Dec 3rd.

    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
  • newmannewman advanced
    Posts: 227
    obienick said:

    How steep of terrain requires a winch cat?

    You can use it on any pitch. It helps stop the cat from sliding. Makes steep grooming faster, safer, and neater on the snow.

  • Posts: 8
    obienick said:How steep of terrain requires a winch cat?

    Depends on conditions. In the most general terms, the winch is particularly helpful on any terrain with a consistent slope gradient greater than 20 degrees or so, for the reasons newman cited above. As you approach the 28 degree point, it basically becomes a necessity in order to achieve the level of grooming quality expected today. It's certainly possible to free-groom steep terrain (and it's always a fun challenge for an experienced operator), but the results are usually sub-par (you either have to groom it all downhill, or if you're able to climb, you probably won't be able to carry a blade of snow and retain traction). It also depends heavily on conditions. If the snow is deep or the base is soft, then you'll need the assistance of the winch more than on a firm base. Icy boilerplate also presents traction problems, especially if you don't have ice caulks! But newman is also correct: you can use a winch on
    any pitch, and in any circumstance where you need added traction, or greater efficiency and effectiveness in moving large amounts of material.

    [To put this in a real-world scenario, if you're familiar with Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush, trails like FIS, Exterminator, and Cliffs consistently require winching if they are groomed. Inverness would normally be a winch trail in my opinion, especially since it often requires carry a lot of snow to fill in deep race ruts. It wouldn't be necessary all the time, but it would be helpful from time to time on a trail like Elbow. Any large builds in the park would also be able to make good use of the added assistance of the winch.]
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 823

    obienick said:

    How steep of terrain requires a winch cat?

    Depends on conditions. In the most general terms, the winch is particularly helpful on any terrain with a consistent slope gradient greater than 20 degrees or so, for the reasons newman cited above. As you approach the 28 degree point, it basically becomes a necessity in order to achieve the level of grooming quality expected today. It's certainly possible to free-groom steep terrain (and it's always a fun challenge for an experienced operator), but the results are usually sub-par (you either have to groom it all downhill, or if you're able to climb, you probably won't be able to carry a blade of snow and retain traction). It also depends heavily on conditions. If the snow is deep or the base is soft, then you'll need the assistance of the winch more than on a firm base. Icy boilerplate also presents traction problems, especially if you don't have ice caulks! But newman is also correct: you can use a winch on any pitch, and in any circumstance where you need added traction, or greater efficiency and effectiveness in moving large amounts of material.

    [To put this in a real-world scenario, if you're familiar with Mt. Ellen at Sugarbush, trails like FIS, Exterminator, and Cliffs consistently require winching if they are groomed. Inverness would normally be a winch trail in my opinion, especially since it often requires carry a lot of snow to fill in deep race ruts. It wouldn't be necessary all the time, but it would be helpful from time to time on a trail like Elbow. Any large builds in the park would also be able to make good use of the added assistance of the winch.]


    Inverness is winch-catted nearly every time for the reasons you give, especially early season when moving snow around. It can make it up and down the headwall but if snow is soft it spins out going up and also tiller does nothing unless it can go slowly. I was hiking up there last week and they had it going for 3 straight days, hooked to the big birch tree up top.
  • Posts: 8

    obienick said:

    Inverness is winch-catted nearly every time for the reasons you give, especially early season when moving snow around. It can make it up and down the headwall but if snow is soft it spins out going up and also tiller does nothing unless it can go slowly. I was hiking up there last week and they had it going for 3 straight days, hooked to the big birch tree up top.

    I know the tree well. I groomed at Ellen for 4 seasons ('08-'12), and have had the pleasure of both sliding all the way down the headwall of Inverness (nearly took a brand new demo cat into the woods on skiers' left once, after a 30" storm when then 350W was broken down...), and also winching it all to perfection.
  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,582
    Never skied Windham
    Was it Blackhead formerly?

    I remember Ben Lane looking at Blackhead I believe before he chose Bearpen

    Alex I can tell your getting older too, reminiscing ⛷⛷⛷
  • NELSAPNELSAP advanced
    Posts: 216
    Nope, Windham used to be called Cave Mountain I believe for a short time. It's a good mid-sized resort. Great cruising terrain and a fair amount of variety. Flat top like a lot of Catskill areas, then trails that quickly drop off of that. Go midweek and you'll have it to yourself.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,857
    ciscokid said:

    Never skied Windham
    Was it Blackhead formerly?

    I remember Ben Lane looking at Blackhead I believe before he chose Bearpen

    Alex I can tell your getting older too, reminiscing ⛷⛷⛷

    All I have on Blackhead is at http://skikabbalah.com/lostNY/jls_adds/blackhead.htm

    Windham is shown as a completely separate area in the same years.  It is reported to have operated as Cave Mtn. although I don't know when.

    If you have more info on Blackhead, please pass it along and I'll add it to the site.


  • ciscokidciscokid expert
    Posts: 1,582
    Never forget skiing Jackson Hole on March 17 st pattys day
    They only groom it that day, once a year.steep as heck but groomed I can ski any pitch

    Sure they used a winch

    Can't remember name of trail
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