Thursday, December 30, 2010

Great day at the mountain.

Tuesday was my first time to the mountain this season and I couldn't have asked for a better day.  The sun was out the whole time and the temperature was cold but not freezing.  I went down every trail that was open (all but a few at this point) and the conditions were outstanding!  They had their new snow guns running at full force the entire time I was there.  It was great to see a few of WB's students at the mountain, let me know what you guys thought of the mountain.  Attached is a quick clip of the guns blowing snow all over the terrain park.  That big jump is being built up quick!

video

Monday, December 27, 2010

Well, a lack of snow is not an issue!

I hope everyone is staying safe during this storm (and helping their parents with some shoveling).  I know some of you were getting some new gear or accessories for Christmas and you probably can't wait to use it!  We're only 11 days away from our first trip and the Wachusett just got dumped with 14 inches of new powder.  That now gives them 30-46 inches of base depth!

I received a call on Christmas Eve that our lift badges were all printed up so I'll be heading up there tomorrow to pick them up and of course, get in my first runs of the season.  If anyone happens to be heading up there tomorrow, let me know so we can get a run in together.

While we're on the subject, if your hitting the trails this vacation, let us know where and how it went by responding to this post!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Welcome!

Let it snow, let it snow!  If you've even glanced at anything weather related on tv or online, you already know that snow at one point was covering a good quarter of our country over the last couple of days.  This is great news for a select few but I think if you're reading this blog, you're either one of the few or your child is.  Locally, we're looking at snow showers all day today, tomorrow, and again possible on Sunday.  If you have plans to get some snow activities in over vacation, I think you'll be in great shape.



As far as Wachusett goes, they are going strong with their newly acquired snow makers when Mother Nature isn't providing the white stuff.  They have 17 trails open with only a half dozen left - two of which they are working on now and hoping to have open very shortly.  It is pretty cold right now: 19 degrees at 3pm!  Well that's enough of the snow report, let's get onto a things that everyone should know whether it's your first time to the mountain or you're a seasoned vet.

1. We are leaving for our first trip on Friday, January 7.  We leave PROMPTLY after school so save your wardrobe changes for the mountain.  We leave outside of the tv studio parking lot which is exactly where students are to be picked up when we get back.  Students that drive themselves to school: park in this parking lot since you get back after dark...don't forget!  Students are allowed to leave their books and school bags in the tv studio before we leave.  Don't forget anything in your locker - you will NOT be able to access the building outside the tv studio.  Parents, the students will call you when we are about 20 minutes or so from the school on the way back just as a heads-up.

2. Eat a good lunch and think about bringing a snack.  Bottled water isn't a bad idea either to keep yourself hydrated during the trip.  We will be supplying (complimentary) one bottle of water and one snack on the way up - I would still bring something for the trip back.  We're not back to school until around 10:00 so everyone should plan on eating dinner by bringing something to eat (don't leave it on the bus when we get to the mountain) or money for the food they sell at the lodge.  Food at the lodge is typical cafeteria food/price: pizza, chicken fingers, salad, burgers, etc...

3. Don't forget my two most important rules: ski with a buddy and wear a helmet.  No one should be on the trails alone.  Stay with a buddy or a group.  Find out who is at your skill level and have fun!  Wear your helmet.  If a chaperon or myself find you on the mountain without a helmet, you will sit in the lodge.  You don't want to be in the lodge and neither do I so protect that noggin.  There is NO warning for either of these rules and they are enforced at all times, every trip.

4. Last thing for today: the bus driver.  While a tip isn't mandatory, I think a little extra thank you goes a long way.  On the way up, if everyone throws in a buck, the driver should get a nice tip once we arrive safely home.  They work hard and have a lot of responsibility at the wheel so I think a buck isn't too much to ask.

That's it for now but I will be posting several more times before our first trip so I highly recommend that everyone  subscribes to this blog in the upper right portion of this page.  Talk to you soon!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

One more trip...and we get an extra hour!

Great skiing and boarding this past week; the temps were perfect and the conditions were great.  I can't believe that we had our first trip five weeks ago already and we only have one more to go.  Speaking of that one more trip, I'm sure the students already created the buzz so I'll verify the good news: we did get the green light from the bus, the mountain, and of course our principal to leave an hour early for the mountain this Friday!  I'll be putting together permission forms for parents tomorrow.  There will be an announcement at 1:00 pm on Friday during D Block for dismissal.  All students will report to the tv studio at that time.  STUDENTS SHOULD REPORT TO THEIR D BLOCK CLASS.  We will leave promptly for the mountain at that time and arrival back to school will not change.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Ground Hog Says "Keep On Skiing"!

That's right, we've got 6 more weeks of winter if you believe in that sort of thing.  I'll buy into it just to say we have plenty of time left to hit the slopes.  Unfortunately, one thing we don't have much left are trips to Wachusett.  Only two left so lets make the most of them!

While last Friday was a cold one, we did have the mountain to ourselves.  There were hardly any lines at the lift and it was a lot easier to find a seat at the lodge.  The chaperons and I took notice of the breaks that the kids took to warm themselves up, nice job everyone.  I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on dealing with the extra cold last week so feel free to comment.

One last thing: the tip for the driver has been much better the past two weeks...the driver thanks you!

Oh, one more last thing!  How about a photo?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's all about the weather.

Well good old New England has given us skiers and riders a run for our money in the past week!  Quite a few students have approached me in the last two days questioning whether or not it'll be worth going this week.  The answer is ABSOLUTELY!  Don't forget while we're getting weather in the 60's, the mountain is still in the 40's at the highest with even colder overnights.  It dropped down to the 30's again yesterday and we're in the 20's as of right now.  Snow showers ALL DAY tomorrow (Thursday) will give us some fresh powder.  Most important weather of course is on Friday and that's where the warning lies.
We are looking at very cold temps Friday at the mountain.  We're talking mid-teens when we get there feeling like single digits with the wind.  It looks like it could drop down to negative temps before we leave.  Layers, layers, layers!  Some ideas: an extra pair of socks, hand or foot warmers, maybe a scarf and break out the face mask if you have one and haven't used it yet.  Use common sense on the mountain and if you're really cold, particularly your toes and fingers, come into the lodge to warm up.  The chaperons will be double-checking on students to make sure no one is being stubborn about this.
The past three weeks have been awesome so let's continue to have fun and stay safe!

Monday, January 18, 2010

One short Friday and a tip about a tip.

Hope everyone had a great three day weekend!  An extra day of rest after a great night at the mountain is always a plus.  I thought the conditions were terrific Friday and it looked like everyone had a blast once again.  The highlight of my night came when Miss Roy (special thanks to Mr. Collins as well) and myself caught up with a handful of students and managed to get three or four runs in before the night ended.  Somehow last week while checking on lessons and the lodge, I never really got a run in with any students so finding them this week was cool.

Quick note about the tip for the bus driver: I was hoping everyone would pitch in a buck and we could hand the bus driver a $20-$25 tip for the long drive.  Yes, they do get paid but gratuity isn't included so I hope we can step this up a notch!  I'll be collecting on the way UP this week since I think the $8 tip I collected last week might have been partially due to the fact you were all half asleep.

Finally, about this Friday (22nd).  This is of course midterm exam week and everyone is out early due to the half days.  The time we leave on Friday really isn't changing - if anything we may be able to leave right at 2:00 and get a 15-20 minute jump start on the trip.  For those who would like to stay straight through, you can report to the tv studio at the close of school (11:00 I believe).  Feel free to bring a movie to watch, a book to read, or just fill up that iPod and stare at the ceiling.  The school does not want students roaming around the building so you'll have to stay put but there will be computer access as well so I'm sure you can stay entertained doing research on intelligence-enhancing articles.  For those who are leaving, try to get to the school a little before two so if the bus is early, we can get on board.

Until then, good luck to everyone on their midterms/finals!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Warm could mean wet.

Sorry for the late notice but just a quick thought about the weather tomorrow.  It is supposed to be in the high 30's at the mountain tomorrow afternoon.  I know we're getting weather in the forties down in our neck of the woods but don't get fooled into dressing lightly.  It could drop below 30 before we leave and if it's a little warmer during the day, the mountain could be a little wetter than usual.  You still need your layers to stay dry and it's a good time to bring those extra socks!

A lot of students should be bringing home some study material for the big week of midterms next week.  Remember, you cannot access the building when we come back so bring everything you need for the long weekend and leave it in the tv studio.

See you all tomorrow!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Success!

Well, our first trip is in the books!  It was great to see everyone packing snowboards and skis onto the bus right after school while some of the bystanders were looking on in envy.  Conditions at the mountain were great as we had about two inches of fresh powder throughout the night.  Coming down the mountain while it's snowing feels more like a rain hitting you in the face but if you're covered, it's not a problem.  I watched our first time skiers and snowboarders take their first shot at learning how to stop and I have to say they all did an awesome job!  A big thanks to Mr. Rosso and Mrs. Daley for chaperoning and helping me make sure our kids stayed safe.  Kids, it's time for some feedback:

I know several of you purchased a park pass - how was it?  What was your best jump, rail, etc.?
Did anyone stop at the Waffle House?
Did anyone like/dislike the food in the caf?
I want to hear from the beginners.  What do you think about skiing/boarding now that you've tried it?
Bus ride?  Movie?
Anything need to be changed for next week?

The more feedback I get the better so if I need to make changes, I can.  Standby for the next post where I'll explain how to get some pictures up if you have them.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Trip For Me...Finally.

So I finally hit the mountain for the first time this season.  I went up after school today to pick up the badges for everyone and there was no way I wasn't bringing my board.  I got my first run in around 4:00 or so and the sun was just about going down and the lights were coming on.  Temps weren't bad; it was 32 at the base when I got there and 28 when I left a couple of hours later.  The mountain just received 9 inches of fresh snow over the weekend which puts them at depths of over 3 feet!  For the beginners, Indian Summer was in very good shape while Sundowner needed a little more snow.  For intermediates, Ralph's Run was excellent as was Challenger.  For those that are more advanced, Smith Walton will give you a great view and 10th Mountain had the best snow on the mountain.  For those that are hitting the Snow Park and want to know how the jumps and rails were, I have no report.  I can tell you this: there were a handful of rails, a few boxes, and plenty of jumps to keep you happy.  The jumps were built up pretty well but unfortunately they haven't started the half-pipe yet.  Give it some time and they'll have that built up as well.  If you plan on hitting the snow park, you have to pay a separate $5 fee at the main desk and watch a short video at the park (very short).  Anyway, that's enough for the Cray trail report.  3 quick things:

1. Eat well.  Make sure you bring a snack for the ride up (and maybe back).  Something that will give you some good energy for the mountain since some of you will have eaten lunch 3 hours earlier.  Bottled water isn't a bad idea either to keep yourself hydrated before and after.  We're not back to school until 9:30-10:00 so everyone should plan on eating dinner by bringing something to eat or money for the food they sell at the lodge.

2. Ski with a buddy and wear a helmet.  No one should be on the trails alone.  Stay with a buddy or a group.  Find out who is at your skill level and have fun!  Wear your helmet.  If a chaperon or myself find you on the mountain without a helmet, you will sit in the lodge.  You don't want to be in the lodge and neither do I so protect that noggin.

3. Last thing for today: the bus driver.  While a tip isn't mandatory, I think a little extra thank you goes a long way.  On the way back, if everyone throws in a buck, the driver should get 20-25 dollars at the end of the night.

That's it for now, remember to throw out three of your favorite movies on the posting before this one.  LESS THAN 3 DAYS!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Vote Is On!

So our nice roomy coach also comes with a DVD player.  Rather than myself picking out movies, I thought I'd give you guys a chance to vote on what you wanted to see.  Comment to this post with your top 3 movies and we'll go from there.  The movies MUST be PG13 and even at that if it's recommended for mature audiences, it's not happening...so forget about Anchorman.  Hope I haven't spoiled all of your fun; now let the voting begin!