Well, the first snowmaking push in the Midwest is officially in the books, and with over twelve different ski resorts firing up the guns this week, there is a lot to digest.
1) Weather Predicting is a Not An Exact Science
Throwing out predictions ten days before a weather pattern moves in is riskier than barefooting across a floor full of Legos, but it's what makes the preseason so exciting. Of course, we were nervous about making such bold predictions, but we did get to be on snow this week - which means we weren't entirely wrong.
This past week provided a good reminder that Mother Nature is a fickle beast and predicting more than a couple of days out is hype building at best. Regardless, we will continue watching the weather, webcams & make bold predictions because it keeps that fire stoked.
2) The Midwest Is Hungry and Now They're Ready
Even with short snowmaking windows, we saw over a dozen resorts fire up their systems to make snow. Although only one ski resort converted those sessions into a skiing/riding opportunity, it provided an excellent testing period for the other resorts. As a result, ski resorts were able to shake off the rust, figure out any glitches in the system, and train newer staff during this past week. This means ski resorts are prepared for when we see a deeper stretch of colder weather.
Seeing this many resorts fire up their systems this early shows how dedicated the Midwest is to opening as early as possible. Trust us, every resort wants to be on snow as much as we do, but only Mother Nature can determine when they can open. The good news is that the Midwest is hungry, and they are now ready with this testing period.
3) Tyrol Basin Isn't Messing Around
A couple of weeks ago, we were able to chat with the Owner of Tyrol Basin, Nate McGree, and he wanted us to know he is fully committed to winning our bracket. Tyrol has always had an aggressive attitude toward snowmaking, but this week's effort takes it to another level.
With extended forecast temperatures in the 60's and this week's colder weather quickly turning questionable, Tyrol held their ground, stuck to their guns (literally), and gave it 100%. They placed twenty-nine guns on a single run and went to work making as much snow as they could. Despite only having about eighteen hours of snowmaking time, they covered nearly an entire run. The management even discussed possibly running Chair-A but opted not to because they didn't have quite enough snow to have skiers/riders unload with skis and boards on.
Despite not counting as an official "opening," this was an extremely impressive showing by Tyrol Basin and begs the question, can they do it again in the next couple of weeks? Only time will tell, but we are certainly going to keep a close eye on them.
Next Weekend's Weather is Looking More Promising
It's still a bit too early to call, but starting next Friday (November 12th), temperatures look to be diving back into snowmaking territory. We will keep you up to date as we edge a little closer, so be sure to like our social media pages (links below) and check out our guide at midwestskiers.com/resortguide.
For now, we will wait patiently, watch ski videos, and prep the gear because winter is just around the corner.
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