Terrain and Lift Status

For more info: see our Snow & Weather Report and call our Snow Phone at 802-253-3600.

Terrain Commentary

Updated November 20, 2020 at 8:51 AM

Our scheduled opening day of the 2020-2021 winter season is Wednesday, November 25.

Our snowmakers have taken full advantage of all available snowmaking windows over the past week, including setting a resort record for the number of snow guns in service at one time last Wednesday. After a solid snowmaking run over the weekend, we experienced a brief warm-up last night but the rain has just changed to snow as of 11am on Monday. Our snowmakers are currently gearing up for another favorable period of cold weather that should last into Wednesday morning.

As always, we plan to open with over 2,000 vertical feet of top-to-bottom skiing and riding serviced by the FourRunner Quad (8am start time on Wednesday). We expect to have Upper Lord, Lord, North Slope, Lower North Slope and Ridgeview open and groomed to kick off the season. This terrain will be for intermediate and advanced ability levels only. There will be no beginner terrain available on Wednesday. Depending on how productive snowmaking operations are over the next day or so, we hope to have additional terrain open for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

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Lift Holds

A primary goal of the Stowe Mountain Operations Team is to keep all lifts running as scheduled. However, at times, conditions arise that are beyond our control, including wind events that effect lift operations.
Why do lifts go on wind hold?
A lift is placed on wind hold because it becomes unsafe to continue to load it with guests. Factors include a combination of high wind velocities and the wind direction. Unsafe conditions include the potential for chairs or cabins to impact towers or to experience problems upon entering terminals and possibility of the cable de-roping.

The Operations staff uses custom forecasting to predict the effects of wind events and tries to cease operations before guest safety is compromised. Weather can change very quickly in the mountains and occasionally the rapid, unexpected closure of lifts may be warranted.

Our lifts are strategically positioned on the mountains so that, at times, the wind direction may effect one lift but not another. During wind events one lift may have to close while another can continue to run. Wind speeds may also vary with elevation; during this type of storm, lower lifts may typically continue to operate while summit lifts cannot.

What happens when a lift is placed on wind hold?
After a qualified lift technician places the lift on wind hold, the public stops loading the lift. The lift runs until all passengers have unloaded (this may take some time since the lift will likely be running slowly). Guests are then redirected to lifts that are still in service. On certain lifts, chairs or cabins may then be placed into storage to prevent damage from swing impacts.

How does a wind hold end?
Once the lift has stopped, a qualified lift technician will reevaluate every 30 minutes, or sooner, to see if it can be safely reopened. As soon as conditions improve and the lift can run, staff will load the lift to perform a safety evaluation. Once this line check has been successfully performed, the lift will reopen to the public.

When a wind hold extends late into the afternoon, with little or no forecasted abatement, a lift may close for the day. Fortunately, this does not happen often.