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Whaleback said:October 1st Update:-You've probably seen the pass prices and benefits our wonderful marketing team posted a while ago-Trees have been trimmed from all core routes and we are installing 43 new and used lights. Existing lights are being raised to offer better coverage. We can't wait to see the difference this year.-All excavation has long since been completed and many areas are going to only require a fraction of snow to cover. Areas including the previous horrible exit of Scrimshaw/Canyon have been fixed.-Water pump has been sent to VT for rebuild-Chair has passed 10% chair inspection and load test is pending-Primary (Prinoth) groomer has had a full 5,000 hour rebuild-Backup utility groomer is having blade installed so we will be able to move snow around in addition to move guns with it-Fan guns going out for service-Compressor getting servicedI think that's about it for now. The mountain looks the best it has looked in years.We have a cool event coming up if you're in the area:Sunday, October 11 come celebrate and enjoy the first annual Antique Auto and Non-Stock Car Show at Whaleback. http://www.whaleback.com/car-show/
October 1st Update:
Things are progressing well.
Snowmaking improvements are nearly complete
Lighting improvements are progressing with roughly doubling of on hill lights
Base Lodge ground floor has received new paint, a new wall, and will be receiving new carpet, new lights, and a new door facing the hill.
We were recently rated #1 in local ski areas by Valley News readers: https://www.facebook.com/whalebackmtn/photos/a.236963480625.288414.178319650625/10156165124020626/?type=3&theater
Great programs in store for kids this year.
Great team in place.
We are stoked to turn the guns on in roughly a month targeting a Christmas opening.
We sincerely hope that you will visit us and see what we are all about this year.
Whaleback said:After a tough start to the season we are pleased to announce we are opening for top to bottom skiing/riding on Saturday 9AM. We owe this to a Herculean effort of our snowmakers who have moved heaven and earth in a few short days to make this happen.The run off the summit will be Lift Line to Dorsal to Scrimshaw.We hope to see returning and new faces this year at our hill.I have attached pictures of our snowmaking efforts for you to enjoy.
After a tough start to the season we are pleased to announce we are opening for top to bottom skiing/riding on Saturday 9AM. We owe this to a Herculean effort of our snowmakers who have moved heaven and earth in a few short days to make this happen.The run off the summit will be Lift Line to Dorsal to Scrimshaw.We hope to see returning and new faces this year at our hill.I have attached pictures of our snowmaking efforts for you to enjoy.
As we look forward to the upcomingseason, the Whaleback Board of Directors and senior management have beenevaluating the past, and Whaleback operations as a whole. This season trulyrevealed where our weaknesses were, many of which have been known for sometime. Since the formation of UVSSF in 2013, there has been an extensive plan toraise funds in order to make capital improvements. To date we have raised $1,030,000with an ultimate goal of $2,400,000. Had we been successful in raising thisentire amount we are confident that our entire snowmaking system would havebeen modernized and Whaleback would be in a different place today.
Unfortunatelythat has not been the case, and as an organization, and a business, we are at acrossroads. Something must be done in order to preserve Whaleback not only forthis generation, but the next. In order for that to happen, Whaleback mustbecome sustainable, and this cannot be delayed. Through industry anddemographic changes Whaleback has moved from being a “ski area” to a non-profitcommunity supported recreational facility with far less skier visits. Operatingsuch a facility with outdated equipment, given our weather, is risky and trulychallenging.
UVSSFhas crafted a plan to immediately bring Whaleback closer to operational andfinancial sustainability. This plan not only will offer a better product to ourcommunity and stakeholders, but will give Whaleback the ability to offer a fullseason of skiing and riding in a winter like the one we just suffered through.This plan revolves around the procurement and installation of a surface lift onthe West side of the mountain where one previously existed. This lift willserve lower mountain terrain of all abilities. The trail pod will give us theability to use our existing snowmaking system with modest improvements to consistentlyopen on time, if not earlier in most years. It will also offer some redundancyshould a mechanical problem arise with the chairlift. Furthermore, it will giveour stakeholders the ability to get on snow and train at Whaleback earlierwhile at the same time offer expanded novice terrain that we truly lack. Thisarea will have a dedicated early season snowmaking loop using mostly existinginfrastructure, improved lighting and trail improvements. Finally, the existingLearning Center will be reconfigured for additional space and a gradient thatwill be more favorable to true beginners.
In a“normal” winter, once we have early season terrain open on this lift, we will progressto the upper mountain per our traditional schedule. We are confident that had this lift been inservice this season, we would have been able to offer an entire season andadequate terrain for our school groups, clubs, race league and the public. Weneed the “insurance” this new trail pod provides so we can endure anotherwinter like this one. Whaleback must be prepared to survive. Once this strategyhas been implemented, and the business has stabilized, we will begin the longprocess of working towards the ultimate goal of rebuilding the snowmakingsystem, among other necessary improvements. Having a stable business beneathour feet allows us to do this with more confidence and incrementally on our owntimeline as funding allows.
To thatend, we are happy to report that we will once again have some excitingfundraising opportunities this off season to move us towards implementing thisplan. As the details are solidified in the following weeks, we look forward tosharing this news with all of you. Please stay tuned and be ready to join us onthis exciting, yet hopefully short journey in strengthening Whaleback Mountain,a true gem that we are all so lucky to be part of.
The Upper Valley SnowSports Foundation
pagamony said:What is the price difference between a basic installed used double chair and a used platter ? I realize it is not negligible, and I do love me some surface lifts, but does it seem like if you are going to bet the farm on a lift for earlly, late, and bad seasons that maybe it should be a chair lift even if it only has like 200' of vert ? edit. boneyard still shows two stowe lifts for sale ... is that right? only $75k to go... http://www.resortboneyard.com/i/1982-doppelmayr-double/42825
What is the price difference between a basic installed used double chair and a used platter ? I realize it is not negligible, and I do love me some surface lifts, but does it seem like if you are going to bet the farm on a lift for earlly, late, and bad seasons that maybe it should be a chair lift even if it only has like 200' of vert ?
To answer the above question - the Platter likely cannot be converted to a T-bar due to engine HP. That said, there is also a possibility of a T-bar install as well. We are doing more homework on our side to see which lift fits us best and what the prices will be.
Please see below for exciting news:
Dear Whaleback Friends,
Two weeks ago we mentioned we would besharing news with all of you about exciting upcoming fundraising opportunities.Without further ado:
As you know, the 2015–2016 winter was a particularlychallenging one for northeastern ski areas. Thanks to your contributions oftime, money, work, and resources, along with revenue from season passes,programs and lift ticket sales, Whaleback was able to stay afloat in our non-profitbusiness model. This is a place where youcount.
What we learned from this winter is that weneed a fallback plan for when El Niño comes again, or whenever we have limitedsnowmaking weather. We need to be able to make snow on a reduced amount ofacreage, using our existing snowmaking, in marginal conditions, in a shortamount of time so that we can guarantee somethingwill be open for our community, our after-school programs, our race groups, ourcamps and lessons. We also want to get you gliding, sliding, carving andwhooshing your way down Whaleback starting earlier in December, not January!
2016 Summer ChallengeWith your help, we will add a used surface lift on the lower West Side of themountain, where one previously existed. The existing Learning Center will bereconfigured. We will also install a dedicated snowmaking loop using mostlyexisting infrastructure and improve the lighting on Lower Face, Blubber andLower Ivory, all this summer & fall.This will reduce the acreage required to open from the current 25 acres to just5 acres, meaning that we can open in 3 days of optimal temps, rather than thecurrent 10 days it requires. This will allow us to get on snow earlier in theyear and remain open throughout a terrible winter such as the one we justendured.
To accomplish this we need to raise $100,000from the community by June 30th, 2016, in order to receive the (drumroll,please!) $200,000 Challenge Grant pledged by a pool of Whalebacksupporters! Your $100,000 will cover the cost of the surface lift andinstallation; the $200,000 from the Challenge Grant will cover improvements tosnowmaking, new lighting, required summer maintenance to the chairlift, neededmachinery repairs, upkeep, operating expenses, etc.
That's right, 2:1 Match for Every Dollar of Your GiftFor every $1 you give, $2 will bereleased immediately from the Challenge Grant and put to work ensuring Decemberskiing and riding. Your gift must arrive by June 30th to count toward the 2:1 Match, sodon't delay! A $500 gift has $1,500 impact—wow! Click and donate!
We willroutinely keep everyone up to date with how the challenge is progressing.
Thank you, The UVSSF Board
bubblecuffer said:Yum! Another northeast T-bar.Anyone keeping a tally of these? I know Ward Hill has a sweet one. Otis Ridge. What else? There has to be only a handful left.
Yum! Another northeast T-bar.