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Eaglecrest prepares for ski season
Published: 11/29/2012 20:10:00
Before a ski area can open to skiers and riders, there are a lot of preparations to be made.

Crews at Eaglecrest Ski Area have been busy getting ready for months according to Manager Matt Lillard: "Before the season opens, we look at the outside world and what's up on the mountain in the mountain operations realm. There's really three things we look at. One is getting the lifts ready, and that involves testing out all the systems and the safety systems and putting pads back on chairs and getting all the lift operators in.

And then we also start to look at our grooming fleet and how we're going to end up grooming the mountain and pushing the snow around. And that happens really all summer, but we really start putting the push on and putting the final touches as far as putting tracks back on the snow cats and getting them up on the hill to start track packing snow; which we try and do as soon as the snow comes in and we try to layer it in and fill in divots and start to pack it down. Unfortunately this year, the way snow is falling, we haven't really got the chance to get up there too much yet because we need a little bit more snow and denser wetter thicker snow. We've gotten a lot of light fluffy stuff, but it hasn't fallen the way we needed it to quite yet.

And then finally we look at filling in with snow-making where we can, which we're doing right now pretty aggressively. And we've made some snow at the base of Ptarmigan to fill in some holes there, and we've moved over to the porcupine area where we're looking to open some top to bottom runs on the Porcupine with snow-making."

The Porcupine beginners chairlift will be open this weekend thanks to cold temperatures allowing for snow making around the clock for the past few weeks.

Other chairlifts on the mountain have also undergone some summer service, Hooter has been converted to electric drive, and the Black Bear is sporting all new chairs.

The ski rental and service facility have also been in full swing working on customers skis and preparing and testing the entire rental equipment fleet for the season.

Jeffra Clough, Director of the Eaglecrest Snowsports School told us that the Ski and Snowsports school also have a lot of preparations to make. "We've had our instructors back for two weeks now doing training, we did a couple of days of indoor training two weeks ago, and last Sunday we were able to get out on the snow and get some training done. Just getting everybody back on their skies and their boards and start thinking about teaching, start getting their brains going in order to make sure that when we have guests and the mountain is open that they're ready to go" she said.

By: Mikko Wilson -