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Spirit Mountain 2019/20

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BWD reports that Spirit has been blowing snow 24/7 since Monday - I don't ever recall this early a start....perhaps we'll have the luxury of a bit more open terrain by opening day?

Russ

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Spirit is still blowing snow as I write this and their website says they expect to have nordic trails open Nov 14th and alpine Nov 22nd (F-S-S). 

Giants Ridge webcam is looking pretty good too with some pretty big piles of man-made snow. Nov 29th opening.

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It's a beautiful sight tonight...temps in the teens and clouds of snow blowing over 4pipe from top to bottom.

Looks like they started on Bindle Stiff & ScissorBill and now moved to 4pipe and maybe Gandy and the bigair park. Also, already grooming out the nordic trails. Looks like they have more guns this year.

And this morning...

I know "any cat can make cord", but thank god for man made snow or it would be a very short season around here!

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Nordic trails opened today.

They also groomed out 4 alpine runs full width; 4pipe, ScissorBill,  Bindle Stiff and Sky Hooker. Gandy is still bare. I guess they moved the guns all the way over to the park. Probably won't be much snow-making between now and opening day (next Friday) with the forecast warm-up.

We had 1 inch of snow here yesterday and was the first measurable snow we've had. The river froze over last week and was thick enough in my bay to get out skate sailing on black ice before the snowfall:)

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40°F yesterday and rained all night. More of the same in the forecast for the next several days. :mad: Sets us up for the familiar ice base we've become accustomed to over the last several years.

On the bright side it's nature's Zamboni resurfacing the river ice for skate sailing. :biggthump

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Friday, November 22, 2019. Spirit Mt opening day:

It rained hard Wednesday night . It was cold enough to blow a little additional snow last night,  but I was still anticipating conditions would be mostly icy hard.

3 runs open; 4pipe, ScissorBill and BindleStiff, groomed full width. Of these,  4pipe was the one that had guns blowing snow last night, so might have the nicest snow. I arrived as the first 50 or so folks were clamoring for those first chairs, so I took my time so as to get out of sync with that crowd in hopes of having a few clear runs.

4pipe had an icy groom with some areas of fresh granular over a hard icy base--not too bad. On my 2nd run I started down ScissorBill, which had an impenetrable icy groom, so I cut back over to 4pipe. Just 3 runs and done today. On my 3rd run 2 skiers came up from behind, one on either side. As I turned away from the first one, I almost got clipped by the 2nd one passing on my backside. I took that as a sign, and I didn't need much, as conditions weren't great.

At least I got to do a few turns on my new XC. Perfect size turns for a crowded and icy hill--not too big, not too small, but just right!

Looked promising from the chair on the 1st ride up:

280248749_Spiritopeningday112219.jpg.01bd5752fed88291748acda2ba85d85e.jpg

Some tracks on a section with softer snow:

IMG_3889.jpg.21c39aba417b82f53efa0e9830e93b47.jpg

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Yippee! After a depressing week or two of rain and melting, winter returns.:1luvu: NE winds are producing bursts of heavy lake effect snow at Spirit right now and looks like it will continue to enhance the total snowfall from the approaching storm.:biggthump NE winds are forecast to continue through the night.

Hope to get out on Friday. Kind of sticky wet snow, but should be better than last week.

*even though the snow was sticking to everything, it was actually light and fluffy. About 9" total here.

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The lower lot was getting full when I arrived at opening today. With the snowcross event this weekend, all skiers must use the lower (Grand Ave) access. There were a lot of XC skiers around too, so not as many alpiners on the slopes as the full parking lot suggested. 

Still just the same 3 runs open, but after 10" of snow, conditions were pretty nice with a 1st or 2nd day soft groom feel. I only made about 5 runs and went home as soon as lines started forming at the bottom for the Express lift. Recovering from a wonderfully over indulgent T-day, I felt the need to pace myself and save some for the big snow this weekend.:biggthump

Let's hope the wind doesn't affect operations tomorrow. I'm thinking it might be less crowded in the evening tomorrow during the height of the storm. I wonder if the night lights might help visibility in blizzard conditions?❄️:eplus2:❄️

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On 11/29/2019 at 3:45 PM, bigwavedave said:

Let's hope the wind doesn't affect operations tomorrow. 

Spirit closed today...might have to hike up later. Not much snow yet.

7PM *white out conditions and Lake Superior is coming up the river!*

On the bright side, Spirit might open at noon tomorrow. We'll see...

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22 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

Spirit closed today...might have to hike up later. Not much snow yet.

7PM *white out conditions and Lake Superior is coming up the river!*

On the bright side, Spirit might open at noon tomorrow. We'll see...

...and Spirit is closed again today! There was a big snow storm in Duluth:eek: I know it's hard, but this is supposed to be their business. Everyplace else (Giants, Indianhead) is already running this morning:confused:

Yup, I'll just keep quoting myself until they open:smashfrea

They promise to be open tomorrow. Might have to hike up the hill to get a ride today.

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@bigwavedave if it's any consolation, conditions at buck were not great for alpine snowboarding. there was snow on top of icy cord. plus it was hard to see in flat light.

better if on skis.

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2 hours ago, bobble said:

@bigwavedave if it's any consolation, conditions at buck were not great for alpine snowboarding. there was snow on top of icy cord. plus it was hard to see in flat light.

better if on skis.

Thanks, though I don't know if that makes me feel any better. Although, it would have been pretty soft for a carving board if they had opened today. I was sinking in deep even where they had run the groomer. There's a lot of new snow, more terrain should be open and I'm pretty sure we won't be able carve deep enough to find the ice base. They expect to open tomorrow, although I'll probably have to walk up there as I have chest high drifts across the 100' access road to my house!  Wished I had my snowshoes on my walk up to the hill this morning.

 

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Still just the same 3 runs open. I'm still snowed in so I walked up to the hill early with the Nitro Squash and then walked partway up before the lifts started running to take a free run. The groom had set up firm but started to break down a bit as it got carved up. There was about 8" of pow on the sides of the runs. That was fun for about the first two runs. School's out today, so it started to get crowded. There was a long line for lift tickets when I left.

A beautiful day!! :1luvu:

IMG_3936.jpg.e55cd78ec96b8834614c3795618640f4.jpg

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16 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

Still just the same 3 runs open. I'm still snowed in so I walked up to the hill early and then walked partway up before the lifts started running to take a free run. The groom had set up firm but started to break down a bit as it got carved up. There was about 8" of pow on the sides of the runs. That was fun for about the first two runs. School's out today, so it started to get crowded. There was a long line for lift tickets when I left.

A beautiful day!! :1luvu:

IMG_3936.jpg.e55cd78ec96b8834614c3795618640f4.jpg

you walked from tiny house?

post-1112-141842400955_thumb.jpg

 

can't remember... how far is that?

 

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On 12/3/2019 at 6:58 AM, bobble said:

you walked from tiny house?

can't remember... how far is that?

 

:biggthumpYes, walk from tiny house ~1/2 mile~ a 15 min uphill trudge with gear.

Finally got dug out late yesterday. Checked the webcam and saw that crowds had departed, so drove up with carving sticks for the last ½ hour of night riding.:biggthump

image.png

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Wow!! 3rd day on snow and the best yet. Still just 3 runs open, but they've been making snow on Double Jaw and Sky Hooker since last night and should be able to blow snow through tomorrow.  DoubleJaw looks almost ready. Best snow on 4Pipe and ScissorBill.

Drove to the top to get my free 1st track before the lift started up.:1luvu:Tracks of the 185 8rw...

IMG_3945.jpg.51f0129e29ffc48f7bd2220b16819b05.jpg

Ran into Jane. She was pretty excited about receiving a new Coiler BXFR yesterday. Maybe Ken will post a pic in the porn section...of the board.

@rwmaron I know what you did last night! 

 

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@bigwavedave uhhh… WTF, over?

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/12/06/dnt-spirit-mountain-to-ask-duluth-for-235k-to-stay-afloat-after-canceled-snocross

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I didn't realize how dire the situation was. Jane is on the board of directors and was at the city meeting. It sounds like all the local businesses (hotels etc) really depend on this event and support the city bailing out Spirit. Seems to me the snowmobile organizers should share some of the financial risk since they were the ones to cancel due to...snow:eek::smashfrea But apparently they get their dough up front:confused::nono:

@bobble I guess I'd better get out there as much as I can just in case.

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Yes, I got to taste that lovely cord last evening. The hill wasn’t open to the public but C lift was running so Ski Patrol could run our toboggan refresher on Bindle Stiff and DSAC could set gates on Scissor Bill. 

Sweet!!!

 

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12 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

I didn't realize how dire the situation was. Jane is on the board of directors and was at the city meeting. It sounds like all the local businesses (hotels etc) really depend on this event and support the city bailing out Spirit. Seems to me the snowmobile organizers should share some of the financial risk since they were the ones to cancel due to...snow:eek::smashfrea But apparently they get their dough up front:confused::nono:

@bobble I guess I'd better get out there as much as I can just in case.

 

Dear Vail Resorts,

Can you help us make payroll next week?

Thanks!

Spirit Mountain

 

 

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13 hours ago, bobble said:

 

Dear Vail Resorts,

Can you help us make payroll next week?

Thanks!

Spirit Mountain

 

 

I suppose that might be one way to go, but I hope we don't have to go there.˄

I went out for a few runs this morning. Beautiful snow, but flat light and lots of people. Still blowing snow and no new terrain open. ScissorBill was closed for ski racers, so things were very crowded from the start with just 4pipe and BindleStiff open. Rode for 1½hrs.

Looked like some of the office administrative employees were actually out working on the hill today. Hope they can pull it off and keep the hill open this winter.

*7pm* went back to the hill for the last ½hr as crowds thinned and lights on. Took a few cautious runs (seems to be more crazy riders out at night) then caught the very last chair up and had a great last run on an empty hill!:biggthump

 

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Warm winds blew in overnight and brought the temps up to about 40°. Flat light and possibly slushy snow and then checking the webcam to see it very crowded again today, makes me decide to do something else today.

I suspect announcing the possibility of having to lock the doors next week has ironically turned out to be great marketing to get everyone out before the end.  I wouldn't be surprised if they're breaking attendance records for this time of year!

On the bright side, we're expecting 6-12" of snow overnight. Might have to hike up tomorrow.:biggthump

 

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Went for a hike up the hill with the powder board this morning . Half way up, a mountain ops guy on a snowmobile stopped and gave me a ride to the top!:biggthump First ride ever on a snowmobile for me. One hand gripping the bar under the seat and the other trying to keep the wind from ripping the board out of my other hand.:eek:  Fastest ride I've ever had up the hill.

About 6" new snow. Started with freezing rain last night and formed a thin crust on the lumpy, un-groomed base. Snow guns are still going full force on DoubleJaw and SkyHooker and likely the park. 

IMG_3958.jpg.bc2b476064e3a879f1ef8cabb309e88a.jpg

Should be nice on Thursday when they open at noon❄️:ices_ange❄️Should have more terrain open.

 

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