West Mountain Jan 4 2018
Had a great time skiing West Mtn yesterday. I have a few other threads about their new trail and NW triple.
West is in the midst of a complete refurbishment. The operators are working hard to modernize the mountain. A few years ago, they installed the former Barnstormer Triple from Haystack/Hermitage which had been recently refurbished their. The pads on the chairs still say "Hermitage Club" on them which is cool. The chair is a lot more comfortable to ride than the old center pole Riblet they had, no matter how cool Riblets are, they were not friendly to ride.
Snowmaking has been improved tremendously, with new fan guns, as has the addition of new grooming equipment. Yesterday, they were making terrain features in their park - tons of snow had been made, and they were winching the piles.
They have also improved the Holy Mackerel trail, adding lights and snowmaking, making this a real joy to ski (it previously was hardly ever open). It's a relatively narrow trail at the top, widens and merges with Gnar Wall in the middle, then reenters the woods for another narrow twist (like Balance Rock at Wachusett), before ending on the wide open Face. This trail is a lot of fun and I hit it up quite a few times yesterday.
Yesterday, it was 15-20F, windy with the storm, with light snow that totaled near 2". I succeeded in being First Chair. The Face, Cure, Holy Mackerel, Meadows, Frolic, NW Glades (not a glade but a narrow easy path in the woods), and Gnar Wall were open. They were making snow on Gnar Wall, and the trails in the middle of the mountain - Alley, Coy Dog, and Bannister, so hopefully they will open soon. Although the daytime terrain was limited, the $24 8hr Liftopia ticket was a great bargain, the snow was fantastic, and I was able to get in 20 runs.
The NW Triple opened at 3pm, where I was first chair once again. I hit up Mach and Midway, the first person down both. Both were natural snow only, but the dense base underneath was topped with 2" of fluff, so it was a lot of fun. The chair however, was running very slow and I'm wondering how much operating life it has left - it is over 40 years old and was one of the first triples installed in the East.
There were maybe only another 100 skiers there so on most runs you hardly saw anybody.
West is a great local resource and they have proven to improve the mountain experience steadily each and every year.
For the pictures below - base of NW Express (from Haystack) and the Face Double, the Gnar Wall and West Express, and the turn on Holy Mackerel. The last is the Trace map for the day - but my phone died at the end of my second to last run.
800 x 450 - 37K
800 x 450 - 35K
800 x 450 - 98K
424 x 671 - 143K