Tenney Mountain Update (OPEN FOR SKIING!!!)



  • TENNEY - Progress Update

    Tubing Park / Safety Fencing & Comm Cabling Installation

    Master Carpenter John.K installing safety fencing at top of the Platter Pull / Tubing Park.

    Also cleaning up some disconnected conduit and filling in a few sink holes...

    In the background, TEAM Pfister is preparing to install a new comm cable the full length of the lift. The old one is weathered and damaged and neglect / ageing has just left this old cable impossible to make work reliably! So out with the old and in with the new! Safety first again and always!

    - Sam
  • TENNEY - Progress Update

    Diesel Compressor #2 / Removed

    Finally got the 2nd diesel compressor disconnected and out...

    This is the last of our over 300hp Cummings LSI fixed engines that were affecting our DES permitting concern / issue we had.

    So glad this is out and the amount of room we gained is amazing...

    This system is being replaced by electric powered air compressors next spring.

    This year we are using all used / borrowed fans guns that don't require air and a TFFT (Oshkosh Military - Tactical Fire Fighting Truck) which is mobile and pushes a boat load of water, more than all out fixed diesels combined! I'll get some shots / clips of that running after this weekend.

    BTW, these Cummings motors both run great and are for sale for those folks that may be building a project for their kids! lol

    If interested, can provide videos of units running prior to de-installation!

    - Sam
  • edited January 2016

    TENNEY - Snow Making

    So I've been getting much negative feedback / advise about NOT running the Fan Guns / Snow Making Equipment for long periods of time... For the last 4 weeks...

    So, I don't want to sound rude but let me try to explain from a business dollar / laws of physics stand point and then you can add your own comments to this post and I'll try to answer any and all concerns / questions.

    First of all, we don't just fire up the equipment just because it gets a little chilly outside (for one night or day)... There is a science to making snow and there is a HUGE dollar associated in making the "Product" of snow. It cost thousands of dollars a night (few hundred dollars a hour when everything is running at 100%). These cost (massive energy cost) are past downstream to ticket pricing... So in order to keep pricing down low and keep the "Product" on the ground and groomed properly for longer than one day,,, there are laws of physics and business practices we follow.

    We are tided into NOAA, the Mount Washington Observatory, NWA and a few other Federal sites separate that may differ from what traditional Ski Mountains may use - and then we compare all the data...

    We have been target and on time with all our forecasting and now we look forward to the up coming week where it will remain cold for more than 5 days straight... The Fan Guns will be cycled up and run off and on whilst we continually clean, tweak and test the systems out...

    Folks asked me why i was constantly cycling the Fan Guns off and on - well the engineering reasoning behind that is because I'm constantly taking settlement and scaling checks. I have in-line filters that I am constantly checking to make sure settlement is at a minimum prior to going through the fan guns. The nozzles on the guns are extremely small and very sensitive to debris. The pond, intakes, pumps, manifolds, check valves, main & branch lines, hydrants have all been sitting for quite some time. I have stressed the system to 1200 psi this past summer with the boosters fired up - and have run water through the entire system for 15 plus hours...

    The random checks have yield much settlement is sill in the system and the proof is the color of the snow! It has just started coming out clear and white after thousands of gallons have been past through the system.

    Now the forecast is finally agreeing to the Wet Bulb charts for making quality snow that will stay longer that a day or so... I have attached a simple Wet Bulb snow making chart so you can get an idea how humidity and air temperature work together in optimizing snow manufacturing. And of course there is really much more to this as well but I'm keeping this post explanation simple for now and answering why we haven't been making the product over time rather than how it is made.

    Now, in addition to the Wet Bulb charts and cold weather variables - we have a very unique problem here at TENNEY. And that is ground temperature! Do to the shallow ground soil and all the granite - compounded by the immense surface and ground water flows... Our ground is still simply still warm here on half the mountain and about 20% at the bottom of the tuning park. Extremely frustrating that Jack Frost hasn't set in. We need a cold streak just like Lake Winnipesaukee does. If you noticed, the lakes not frozen yet either due to this crazy wether warm pattern...

    So in closing, we at TENNEY are trying to be smart and responsible (for cost and energy savings) when making the product and to make sure it stays down, it's just that the weather is NOT agreeing with us yet but next week looks extremely promising. (And note: being engineers we are dying to play with all the new toys and systems)!

    Today, Sunday, you will see us placing and preparing the Fan Guns for strategic deployment in anticipation for next weeks chill.

    You comments, feedback, suggestions are always welcome... but please note, we don't claim to have all the answers or practice traditional ski engineering / business principles - we are learning and tweaking as we retrofit and resurrect these facilities so they are safe and reliable - Again, SAFE and RELIABLE... So comments along these lines would be most beneficial / productive.

    - Sam
  • A little attitude coming through.......a sign of things to come???
  • edited January 2016
    No he's just getting a little sick of all the armchair snowmakers harping him on Facebook that have no idea of costs or physics associated with the process. To them if it's under 32 for an hour you let it rip.

    Problem with being so active on social media is you're inviting this.
  • In the old days air/water systems were turned on at under 32 with what would be huge costs nowadays.......

  • TENNEY - Progress Update

    Tubing Park / Platter Pull Lift / Electric & Mechanical

    Status: FINISHED!

    Finally, after a long few weeks... tonight TEAM Pfister Aerial Mountain Services along with TEAM TENNEY has completed all electrical and mechanical retrofits to the Platter Pull Lift.

    Just some safety signage and carpentry tweaks here and there to be touched upon tomorrow - to cold and wet to finish tonight.

    I'm sure everyone won't mind if we wait till end of season prior to sanding and paining all the towers - it ain't pretty but it sure is safe and reliable!

    - Sam
  • edited January 2016
    TENNEY - Progress Update

    Tubing Park / Full System Test

    Snow making at TENNEY! Finally!!!

    This morning we fired up all the fan guns (four units) a full system test.

    Needless to say it runs perfect like everything else we touch / work on around here. Go TEAM TENNEY! 

    These fan guns are SMI Super Wizard that run off of 485VAC, on board compressor provides air and we provide 250psi of fresh TENNEY water...

    And as you can see, these units put out a lot of snow as you can see.

    Now note, if you come up to visit today, these units will be shutting down from 15:45 on... Last time we fired up the guns for a quick test, folks showed up expecting to see them running and huge whales of snow... Needless to say, we don't want to disappoint so I'm just giving all a heads up.

    - Sam
  • "....runs perfect like everything else we touch....."  Uh-huh.....

    So why is he holding back?
  • flbski said:

    In the old days air/water systems were turned on at under 32 with what would be huge costs nowadays.......

    Still are. But what makes financial sense for Killington, Sunday River, or other resorts packing in the crowds doesn't make sense for Tenney right now. They can't justify or stomach that kind of cost.
  • edited January 2016
    dcapbtls said:

    "....runs perfect like everything else we touch....."  Uh-huh.....

    So why is he holding back?
    Go ask him.

    Remeber they weren't even going to open this year.
  • dcapbtls said:

    "....runs perfect like everything else we touch....."  Uh-huh.....

    So why is he holding back?

    My impression is that he's been pretty open about the progress that they've made. Getting new systems up and running often runs into complications. Never mind upgrading older systems that are exposed to the elements that haven't run in years. I'm sure the costs are way over budget from what was expected. This year is a beta test. I'm sure that next year they will be making snow that is as good as anyone's.

    Now if someone like that would just buy Magic......

  • dcapbtls said:

    "....runs perfect like everything else we touch....."  Uh-huh.....

    So why is he holding back?
    Why would you think he is?  His track record in reporting has exceeded anything I've ever seen before in this industry.
  • My thoughts exactly ... what do you even think he's holding back?  He doesn't have the most polished social media presence, but gosh darn, I wish a lot more ski areas were half as open as he has been.  It says a lot to have as many "friends" as other ski areas and they haven't even been open yet.
  • You're all trying to dissect my comment too much......  I'm just wondering the real reason he is holding back on making snow.  Conditions have been excellent, he has tested, why is he only making snow for a few hours at a time?  I've read his posts and don't really believe his reasoning.  He committed to opening the lower mountain this year.  It doesn't appear that Mother Nature is going to get it done for him, so what's the plan?

  • They are engineers, they are gonna quadruple check everything mutiple times before they are happy and move on to the next item. They are going to follow every rule, regulation, safety protocol they can or change the process to what they like (i.e. removing the diesel pumps and using a "portable" firetruck system) (Hey, it is working! Makes ya wonder why other BIGGER mountains haven't thought of this to do a little "temporary" boost in snowmaking capacity)

    I think they are doing just fine. I'd rather they are happy, and confident in their systems/investments, than rush it and have unexpected problems. In a year or two, we're all going to be looking back at this and smiling, "yep, worth all the wait"

  • think about where this is coming from, so far it looks pretty "up" to me.  Even if it doesn't open this season, the transparency provides some priceless insights into the uphill road of reviving a ski area. Regardless if this guy changes course or adapts a new plan, rethinks his "commitments" or whatever,  I'm applauding every step of the way!

    He has to be doing it for the love of it.  So wherever they got this guy -- lots of money, willingness to part with much of it and never see a profit, deep passion for the mountain, brainpower to cut through all the roadblocks, creative savvy to make something out of worn out nothing -- that's where Magic needs to look.

  • TENNEY - Progress Update

    Tubing Park / Full System Test

    Test completed!

    Made a ton of heavy base snow... We'll let it dry out for a few days then we'll carve it up and push it into shape... And then apply another light dry coating.

    It really is a pretty sight at night seeing these units push a ton of snow! And wow, I can't believe how many people came up and visited TEAM today... I knew the curiosity factor was high but didn't realize it was high enough to cause traffic up here! lol.

    Thank you all for visiting, it was really nice meeting most of you for the first time and sharing in the awaking of this majestic mountain we call TENNEY.

    Ok, so we are one step closer to opening. We are queuing up an inspection with the state tomorrow and then it's just finalizing our insurance binder.

    A very special thanks to Mr. Hank Binney who although was extremely sick, assisted and directed the deployment and operations of these snow guns! Thank you Hank!

    - Sam
  • Ok, that was a really great update on their site.  I like the way he manages.  All that 'snow' suddenly appearing is just fabulous.   I hope Ullr shares some love with them soon, in fact we all need it.
  • edited January 2016
    TENNEY - Progress Update

    Hornet / Topside / Warming Hut

    As usual, Mr. Hank Binney is always buttoning up things before the storm (if any).

    This evening (Friday 15JAN16) we prepared the warming hut to receive whatever amount of snow Mother Nature throws at us!
    Windows were taken out over the summer and forgotten about with all the other priorities being addressed. This Wednesday however we will be reinstalling them all and the Warming Hut will be ready to receive anyone that's cold, wet or hurt.

    For safety reason, we decided to leave the facility unlocked and ask all to please treat it as if it was your own. I know after hiking up there a few cold & wet evenings its nice to get out of the elements... Also note new commercial grade first aid kits / supplies along with a few other emergency items will be left accessible for all just in case of the unexpected.

    Another task almost completed...

    - Sam
  • TENNEY - Progress Update

    Eclipse / Cable / Icing Prevention

    John Russo and I are at the Eclipse early this a.m. running the systems in fear that the snow that's accumulating will freeze topside of cable. So for obviously reasons we are cycling the Eclipse and Platter lift systems in order to prevent icing from occurring.

    Who knew it was going to end up being 38 degrees by noon today!!!

    Here at TENNEY, we are always better safe than sorry! 

    - Sam
  • TENNEY - Progress Update

    Eclipse / Chair Pad / installation

    Sounds and looks simple enough but after going through this exercise these past few weeks... What a job and a half... Very labor intense and monotonous work when you have to do the same thing over and over 128 times!

    After taking all these pads off, transporting them, thawing then out, washing them, then bringing them back over to the lift only to find out they have to be warm in order to be pliable enough to to slide onto each chair, then re-lace and tie the perfect knot... What a task!

    Anyways the TEAM today battled the elements this morning and got about 35 chairs done. Hopefully this task will be completed by Tuesday so we can get this off our list!

    The next task, which isn't a priority for the Eclipse yet, is all the advertising space we are in the process of offering on the back of each chair and each tower. A simple way to generate some revenue without putting up huge expenses.

    - Sam
  • edited January 2016
    I notice that Tenney is not list on SnoCountry.com.  Have they actually opened? (Hermitage not listed either.)
  • Strategically speaking, this is the week to get open.  Cold temps, snow falling and more on the way.  Got my fingers crossed for Tenney.
  • edited January 2016

    TENNEY - Progress Update

    Tubing Park / Demo Tubes arrive

    One step closer at the Tubing Park... Demo tubes arrived Monday whilst we prepare and test groom the park...

    TubePro from Canada was kind enough to send us a few samples with removable bottoms that allow us to control the speed of the tubes throughout the day.

    I didn't realize but it makes sense,,, the more you tube down the groomed tubing trail the faster / slipperier it becomes. So because we can't groom trails during the day back to normal conditions per insurance / liability reasons, we simply modify the bottom of each tube with a slightly abrasive pliable plastic external adapter... I'll post some more pictures of that today.

    A quick funny war story today; As easy as it may seem, and as smart as we all thought we TEAM TENNEY were up here - I still had to call and ask where you place the valve stem on the inner tube. The team debated on this for 15 minutes before calling Cheryl Keith and Neil and got their expert direction! Sometimes Scientist and Physicist just over think the simplest things - of course it was all in the name of safety! 


    - Sam
  • TENNEY - Progress Update

    Main Lodge / Heating and Plumbing

    What a nightmare.

    This week half of TEAM TENNEY has been systematically going around the entire Lodge and re-soldering all the plumping joints that have bursted / separated from an improper shut down 5 years ago.

    The system today was pressurized both on hot and cold water loops and it is now ready to receive its new 800btu furnace...

    The lodge has two systems, a main forced hot water system that feeds baseboard heaters and a forced hot air propane system that does a third of the lodge down stairs.

    Heat and hot water is obviously needed in a ski lodge... Expected finishing date of end of next week however bathrooms and downstairs lodge are heated and ready to go...

    One noted change we made was we added 7 zones with 7 smart thermostats... In addition to 3 main drainage points in case lodge needs to be shut down and put into a deep freeze - these 3 points will allow for a gravity drainage process as well as support an air pressure blow out method as well.

    Doing it right and once the first time...

    - Sam
  • TENNEY - Progress Update

    Tubing Park / Snow Making

    Well as we all know, spring like conditions restricts us from making conventional snow via the FanGuns,,, so being the problem solvers that we are - we decided to mechanically move existing snow from piles we have in our parking lots...

    After spending a day, we gathered three big piles like the one in this clip - plan it to let it soften up a bit then spread / from it over the tubing slope...

    This should give TENNEY enough snow to at least get the Tubing Park up by school vacation...

    We are very fortunate here at TENNEY to be able to cost effectively move snow like this and make things happen...

    Hopefully it will get cold enough a few nights to be able to blast a nice covering over this snow and or maybe Mother Nature will give us a surprise other than sunshine and spring like conditions...

    - Sam
  • TENNEY - Progress Update

    Well it was border line cold today and we thought we would test the Wet Bulb chart out and make some snow and see how tight the tolerances are when it comes to all the variables balancing out...

    And guess what... The chart actually works because when the temp went up one degree, the snow stopped and it started misting...

    I'm sure the experts know and been through all this but my team is going through these exercises to understand exactly what it takes and the real time affects... Nothing like trial and error!!!

    At TENNEY, we care and want to understand 100% what it really takes to make the perfect product which this season we all lack - snow!

    Ok, we'll be back tomorrow with another post on snow making down at the tubing park...

    - Sam
  • I have wonder if making snow is out of the question for the ski slopes this season. 
  • Presidents week is coming. I would think that would push things into motion if they are hoping to do more to have something ready.
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