Operations Update 1.23.15

Category: Operations Blog

Woo hoo! We have officially surpassed 22 feet of snow this season and saw 10” in the past 24 hours. Best part? It’s STILL snowing. We’re loving the white stuff flying around! Let’s discuss a few things today that you might have questions on:

Alpine Meadows Road Closure

It is crucial to remember that safety is our top priority. Our teams must close the road during storm cycles like this to perform avalanche control on the road. Afterwards, a plow must come through and clean up debris off the road, so it is a process. This morning a few cars needed to be jumped, which tacked on an additional 15-20 min. 

Wintry Weather

All morning and afternoon we were tracking high winds on the ridges. For some time, we were able to leave open lifts on the upper elevations, but wind moved in and started slowly started shutting them down. This wet dense weather has actually caused the NOAA remote data sensors to be rimed. Ever seen what rime ice looks like? See below: it’s thick and dense and causes sensors to not collect and report data. Our lifts have a wind barometer to measure wind at each lift since it varies from every location. Those barometers were reading winds over 70 mph, which is why many began to close down today. The silver lining in this whole equation is that high winds means we’re getting snow and it’s been dumping ALL DAY! 

Rime ice on Emigrant chairlift from December 25, 2015. Photo from Director of Lift Maintenance, Chris Woo.