Crotched Mountain 2016-2017

joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
in Trip Reports Posts: 1,664
As I walked the hill yesterday (10/4/2016), it's clear that prep for the new season is well underway.

One of the guys was going from snow gun to snow gun making sure that each was ready-to-go; he mentioned that all lifts are ready to go and some paths were nicely covered with fresh bark mulch which should mean less protruding rocks, especially early and late season.
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Comments

  • xwhalerxwhaler intermediate
    Posts: 37
    Nice! I'm running a race team at CM this coming season so looking forward to 9 nights there Jan-March.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,664
    I was at CM today and ran into nelsber.

    I found it interesting that they are expanding the parking lot.  After last season, that's what I would call optimism!  
  • tededetedede advanced
    Posts: 118

    I was at CM today and ran into nelsber.


    I found it interesting that they are expanding the parking lot.  After last season, that's what I would call optimism!  
    Perhaps making room for a new pond?
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 819
    Where's the expansion, to the northwest? Isn't that wetlands?
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,664
    obienick said:

    Where's the expansion, to the northwest? Isn't that wetlands?

    The lot next to the Magic Carpet.  There was some room with a little fill to bring it much closer to Francestown Road.
  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,589

    obienick said:

    Where's the expansion, to the northwest? Isn't that wetlands?

    The lot next to the Magic Carpet.  There was some room with a little fill to bring it much closer to Francestown Road.
    Oh good, that should cut my walk in half on Fridays
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,664
    CM moves closer to the new season.  Snowguns are being placed on some of the key trails and hoses are out.  The "Peak Resorts" shared regional lawn mower arrived, but they haven't started serious mowing of the upper trails.  The lower part of the mountain was kept nicely mowed all summer.

    All the typical fall things are happening: Returning employee meeting, hiring open-house and ski sale.

    Patrol has done some pre-season training.

    All we need is some some snow - or at least cold weather with which to make snow.
  • shprideshpride intermediate
    Posts: 54
    How's the snowmaking pond looking?
  • NELSBEERNELSBEER advanced
    Posts: 206
    Both snowmaking ponds (upper & lower/marshlands are full now. Looking much better than just a few weeks ago. There is also moisture in the ground & standing water in drains for the first time in months. Chances are the water table is not fully recovered; the usual 1 - 1 1/2 foot daily recovery from springs may or may not happen. There should have enough water to get most everything open if they hold off on the big park features.

    A few of the glades have been cleaned up, hopefully mother nature will give us good cover for them. They have been bushwhacking the trail edges already so if the mower runs and the creeks don't rise the mountain should be in good shape soon.

    Only other item of interest, they opened the bar for the ski sale with a limited selection of Beer. SHED Mountain Brown made its first appearance on draft joined by perennial favorites Tuckerman's Ale and Henniker's 'Rocket Fuel (IPA). They normally have Henniker's Working Man's Porter and a few other 'good' beers.

    The Crotched Mug Club will be having crockery mugs this year, sounds like the ones at Wildcat last year - they were really nice looking. 
  • obienickobienick expert
    Posts: 819
    NELSBEER said:

    the usual 1 - 1 1/2 foot daily recovery from springs may or may not happen. 

    That'd depend on where the water in the springs is coming from.  I'd bet its shallower than you think.
  • newpylongnewpylong advanced
    Posts: 478
    Despite all of the rain the past couple weeks the table is still way down. Saving grave now is lower temperatures, so less evaporation. Another good storm would really help out refresh rates tremendously.
  • NELSBEERNELSBEER advanced
    Posts: 206
    Checked back today (Monday) and noticed the upper pond was a few inches lower than the spillway batter boards. There is a little leakage around the boards but the refill is just not there yet. The lower pond does seem to be holding its own. There is a little water showing on the hill in the places where the underlying ledge comes up, but the usual marshy spots are largely absent. At this point "PRAY FOR PRECIPITATION", we'll take whatever falls.

    Things dried up over the weekend allowing mowing to get under way in earnest. Today the Magnitude (under Valley FGQ) and Meteor (race) Trails were done. The AEBI Terratrac mower they are using moves right along and does a nice cutting job.. There was a weed whacker crew working down Moonwalk from the summit while others were staging hoses on the Fan Guns all over the mountain .

    Load tests were done on the chairlifts a few weeks back, all passed. The Valley and Rocket lifts have the pads in place and are ready to go now.  The other 2 lifts won't take long to finish.  The Magic Carpet is getting a total re-build of the platforms on the sides of the carpet.
  • xwhalerxwhaler intermediate
    Posts: 37
    NELSBEER said:

    Only other item of interest, they opened the bar for the ski sale with a limited selection of Beer. SHED Mountain Brown made its first appearance on draft joined by perennial favorites Tuckerman's Ale and Henniker's 'Rocket Fuel (IPA). They normally have Henniker's Working Man's Porter and a few other 'good' beers.

    The Crotched Mug Club will be having crockery mugs this year, sounds like the ones at Wildcat last year - they were really nice looking. 

    Out of curioisuty, how much are the CM Mug Clubs this yr?

  • NELSBEERNELSBEER advanced
    edited November 2016 Posts: 206
    Haven't heard a price yet. Expect $50.00 or $55.00. The mugs give you 2 extra ounces of beer per purchase. Gotta buy a lot of mugs to make it pay. There has been a T-shirt & one free beer included in the membership in the past.

    Based on conversations with Mug Club members at a number of Peak areas I suggested that they get some bigger plastic cups and extend the size differential to all Peak Pass resorts for mug club members from any resort. That only got a smile... :-/   Maybe next year  
    \:D/
  • xwhalerxwhaler intermediate
    Posts: 37
    That seems a bit pricey. I just joined the Ragged mug club last week and it is $30 which includes the 1st beer free, 2 extra oz, and a $1 off each beer.
    Given I'm a passholder there this yr it seemed like a pretty easy ROI to achieve.

    Am doing race league at CM this yr so if it had seemed like a similiar 'value' for the 9-10 nights I'll be there I would consider it but not at that $.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,664
    Opening day has still not been announced but snowguns have been running.
  • ski_itski_it expert
    Posts: 1,589
    The Ski Swap is an awesome way to get great gear at an affordable price. Fri-Sun, Nov 25-27 at the Nashua High School South.
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • tededetedede advanced
    Posts: 118

    Opening day has still not been announced but snowguns have been running.

    I think next weekend will be a challenge given the pond filling event forecast for midweek.


  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,664
    tedede said:

    Opening day has still not been announced but snowguns have been running.

    I think next weekend will be a challenge given the pond filling event forecast for midweek.


    I noticed that Wachusett opened and they have similar weather and less fire-power than we have!
  • NELSBEERNELSBEER advanced
    Posts: 206
    They were able to run the guns much longer on the upper mountain than the lower slopes. There are snow whales drying out on Moonwalk, Satellite Summit, Upper Meteor & Galaxy.  The tops of Rocket & Valley lifts have more snow than is evident on the webcam views of the lower mountain.

    If the rain isn't too bad they should be able to spread what they have and blast Galaxy with the doubled up guns that are in place, maybe 2-3 days of solid cold needed to get things running. The ponds are only down about 4 feet and are getting some flow off the hill.

    Unfortunately it looks like the cold won't here before next weekend.

    There were one set of ski tracks top to bottom (moonwalk, Galaxy  & Meteor) when I walked the dogs up yesterday.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,664
    Sat., Nov. 26, 2016
    I returned to ski country yesterday after a 2.5 week absence.

    I noted earlier, "I noticed that Wachusett opened and they have similar weather and less fire-power than we have!"  

    At any rate, I put on my boots and hiked Super Nova to Milky Way and finally Moon Walk to the top.  Cover on Moonwalk was excellent from the summit right to the top of the Valley Chair.  From the top of the Valley Chair, I headed down Meteor.  It was well covered and the few thin spots cold have been filled in from some of the large whales.

    At the junction with Galaxy, I walked back up Galaxy including Cosmic Blast.  It too was well covered and skied nicely.  The lower part of Meteor had lots of snow, but the water bars weren't filled in and the "chicken heads" were more like stalagmites.

    So now I understand.  CM's management made an economic decision not to open.  I suspect we have as much (or more) snow than Wachusett has.  If we opened management could have called it 4-runs!

    Mine were not the first tracks on the hill, but as far as I know, this is the first trip report on it.
  • NELSBEERNELSBEER advanced
    Posts: 206
    Welcome back from Florida Joshua, did you bring the warm weather with you this time?  I visited Pat's while driving around last week; it looks like they too made snow but didn't get enough of a window to open, Sunapee tried as well (according to their website) but won't be opening until December 6th. So CM isn't alone. 

    With snowmaking temps/humidity returning to acceptable levels for 2-3 nights this weekend and again later in the week we should be seeing the lights dim as the snowmakers go to town. The ponds were down 4 feet after earlier efforts, I assume they are full again. 

    Crotched has notified Ski Patrol to be ready for next Saturday morning, see you then.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    edited December 2016 Posts: 1,664
    By Thursday, Dec. 1, I still skied it, but unlike last weekend, it was no longer continuous T2B.  Moonwalk was pretty good (although one 5 foot bare spot that could be negotiated without removing skis.)  Where Moonwalk crossed Pluto's was pretty much bare.  Meteor was the best skiing with perhaps 300' of continuous vertical.  The bottom of the mountain had 3 reasonable nice stretches (small vertical) separated by nasty (unskiable) water bars.

    I agree with nelsbeer that there should be adequate snowmaking wx this week to be able to open easily on Moonwalk, Satellite Summit, Cosmic Blast, Galaxy and Meteor.  (We had a dusting of natural last night - but not enough to open the glade :-) .)
  • NELSBEERNELSBEER advanced
    Posts: 206
    The snowmakers have been watching their weather station,  the temp dropped a few more degrees and the lights came on as the wet bulb turned to snowmaking possible around midnight Saturday. I wonder if we will see an old fashioned race to open now?

  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,664
    Considering some of the days they passed on last week, I was surprised to see the guns on this AM.  It looks like very intense snowmaking from the top of the Valley chair to the summit and they are still running 2 guns down by the base of the Valley Chair that by 10AM, are really just blowing water.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,664
    Dec. 5, 2016 - Mon.

    Well, if I were generous, I'd say we got 2".  But after all the work I did de-stumping and de-rocking one of CM's glades this summer, I wanted to make absolutely sure that I got first tracks on it.  So I ventured out today and I did it.  While I bottomed out a lot, I only hit dirt and twigs.  I certainly wouldn't recommend it in its current state, I think it is pretty clear that 6" of snow should be enough to do the run on a decent pair of skis.

    They made a lot of snow over night on Galaxy, Moonwalk, Launch Pad and the base areas.  With continued projected cold nights, they should have no trouble opening T2B by the weekend.
  • NELSBEERNELSBEER advanced
    Posts: 206
    Did you check the other glade we worked on while you were at it? 8-|

    We can only hope for the type of season where there are weekdays where the lift is actively carrying skiers up but no one is visibly coming down on the groomed trails.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,664
    NELSBEER said:

    Did you check the other glade we worked on while you were at it? 8-|

    We can only hope for the type of season where there are weekdays where the lift is actively carrying skiers up but no one is visibly coming down on the groomed trails.
    No.  That was not de-stumped and de-rocked.  It will ski much better this season,  but will still take a couple of feet of snow to cover the sharp rocks.
  • NELSBEERNELSBEER advanced
    Posts: 206
    I dropped by Crotched today (Wed. Dec. 7). Snowmaking was down because of warm temps.

    They have been focusing on hammering the upper part of the mountain with snow, even smaller mountains get temperature differentials & the line has seemingly been in the middle of the mountain much of the season.

    Lower Meteor & maybe Big Dipper have partial cover and will provide the connection to the base for this weekend.

    Water has been pumped from the lower pond (now down 6 feet) to fill the upper pond to the top of the spillway. Meteor is lined with a double line of pole & carriage mount Pole Cat fan guns. When the temps drop later in the week they will be able to easily augment existing cover overnight and be ready to open in the AM.

    The magic carpet area has some cover on it & should be ready to open as well.

    Beyond that, the fryers in the kitchen have fresh oil, the freezers are stocked and the Bar Taps are awaiting us!
  • RemskiRemski advanced
    edited December 2016 Posts: 309
    Thanks for the report.Great info particularly the "taps" part.
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