Winter Season Opening
November 24th, 2014 in Yesterday
This time of year High Camp weather is just impossible to predict and it has always been so. We never really know if High Camp will open with snow, although it usually does. We also never know how far we will be driving guests in and where the transfer point will be signifying mid mountain.
There have been years when logging is still active and we have to just be flexible and fit in to the logging schedule and plowing. Logging has determined mid mountain more years than not. There was one year when they logged within a mile of High Camp and we snowmobiled guests in that super short distance. Other years the logging company has cleared the road clear up to Last Chance and we have snowmobiled our guests in just 2 1/2 miles. Well there is no logging this year so we are on our own.
Weather is another variable that we have no control over. When the snow comes suddenly overnight you can no longer drive all the way in to High Camp…and the distance you can drive is uncertain. I remember one year when overnight we got 3 feet of snow. That year was challenging since even though we had a snowmobile planted low down on the road ..the snow was too deep! It was before we had our Piston Bully Groomer and we ended up snowshoeing up to create a path for the snowmobile.
And every year there is a story. High Camp opening 2014:
2 feet of heavy snow overnight and no snowmobile stationed low so we can access camp. What to do? EASY! Eric, our new mountain manager and old staff favorite, will just ski up and get a snowmobile and drive it down. He is fast so no problem…right? Eric arrived Sunday around 2:30 super confident this access problem could be solved easily. He plowed the suburban up the S road and made it through the deep wet snow to our regular mid mountain near the beaver ponds about 4 miles up. Then he slapped on his skis and called me saying “now for the fun part”…it was 3:30 pm. The next phone text came around 5…he had only made it to above Last Chance! and of course it was dark. The snow was much deeper than expected! At 6 I got another text that said he was doing fine, but might spend the night at High Camp rather than come down with the snowmobile depending how he felt. My communication with him at 7:15 (I was a little worried, I must admit) was: “I am doing great! Wonderful ski up! I am snowmobiling down as soon as I dig out the snowmobile.” I cooked up a pizza to have ready upon his return (much better than the 2 pound can of chili that is up there gathering dust on the shelf). Eric shows up with a big smile on his face at 9:15 pm… an epic adventure which he relished. High Camp is now ready with snow and access for our opening this Wednesday.