A few photographs of the work taking place over at WestMont Ridge.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
The 2012-13 season has been, by many measures, a fantastic success. HoliMont will officially end its season on April 14th; our 111th day of skiing and snowboarding. Considering it never really started to “get warm” until this past week, HoliMont was able to keep the majority of the area open much longer into the season than was originally expected, which helped keep the excitement level of the Members and their guests elevated for a long period of time.
The end of the season is an interesting time at a ski area. As things begin to slow down and the crowds start to thin out it gives everyone with a vested interest in the area to reflect on the highlights of the season.
For HoliMont, celebrating its 50th Anniversary, it was an entertaining, fun-filled season. The Club wasted no time and unveiled The Exhibition Express lift during Fall Fest in October. The lift was HoliMont’s first high speed detachable quad chairlift and it became an instant hit.
The Membership Social Committee put together and threw a gala that will go down in HoliMont history as one of the most extravagant social functions to ever take place at the Club. The Chalet was packed with both past and present HoliMont Members who showed up dressed to the nines and ready to party. Between the food, speeches from HoliMont Presidents, The Party Squad brass band entertainment, and the grand finale fireworks display it was a celebration worthy of a Club that has showcased impressive longevity.
The gala was by no means the sole highlight of the season though. Both the American and Canadian break weeks were well attended and featured some very solid skiing conditions and plenty of fun for everyone who was here.
Barely a weekend went by that didn’t included an après ski party, which considering the great lineup of bands that were on the calendar throughout the season, made every weekend something to look forward to. The après parties are always a hit on Saturday afternoons as they allow Members to kick back and talk about their day out on the slopes with their nearest and dearest friends.
Between the Racing Program and the HoliMont FLITE Team, there were plenty of competitions that took place this season. Watching these young, up-and-coming athletes stoke their competitive fire week-in and week-out was a treat for many and HoliMont is looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for every one of them.
Midway through February, HoliMont hosted an auction were it was able to sell off 17 real estate lots, which provided enough revenue to start the infrastructure of the Club’s long awaited WestMont Ridge development project. The infrastructure development is scheduled to begin later on this spring.
As the season commenced into March it was looking like HoliMont would end up having a solid season, one that was much better than the previous year, but nothing in terms of snowfall that was overly noteworthy. And then March 19th came about. At a time where, typically, people are starting to wear less layers out on the slopes we suddenly received a nearly four-day stretch of consistent lake effect snow. When it was all over Ellicottville had accumulated nearly 2 feet of very pristine powder, which ultimately reenergized nearly every ski enthusiast out there. As we all know, powder days are cherished in Western New York and every skier and snowboarder out on the slopes was elated to say the least. And just like that, winter was back on!
On Saturday March 30th HoliMont had a great day on the slopes. The annual Pond Skimming competition took place that day where 25 brave souls took to the challenge of trying to glide overtop of 100 feet of very chilly water. Some were successful, some didn’t carry enough speed and slowly sank, and some (much to the delight of the crowd) went out in a blaze of glory; throwing water everywhere as they rag-dolled into the pond. Also taking place that day was the second day of the Acrobag Tour at HoliMont. The 50’ x 50’ airbag was a hit with people of all ages during its three-day visit to the Club and with any luck it’s an event that we will be able to build on in the future.
HoliMont would like to thank everyone who has walked through our doors this season. Members and guests alike have made this season one to remember. It’s been a pleasure seeing you all here and we sincerely hope that you enjoyed the 2012-13 season as much as we here at HoliMont did. Have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you back next year. Follow HoliMont on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more news throughout the summer.
At 7:25am on February 2nd, down in Punxsutawney, PA, the famous Punxsutawney Phil emerged out of his quarters under a very overcast sky and failed to see his shadow, which supposedly set things in motion for an early spring, rather than the extra 6 weeks of winter that the skiers and snowboarders of Ellicottville prefer.
Well, we have now passed the six-week mark and winter has yet to step aside and allow spring to come through the door. Quite honestly, we here at HoliMont couldn’t be happier. Considering we are now nearing the end of March, the amount of snow left on the slopes is considerable (for anyone who has yet to strike last season from their memory, HoliMont was shutting down at this time last season) and the condition of the snow on the slopes is superb.
The weekend of March 16th and 17th was an enjoyable one for everyone at the Club. The Jim Barker Memorial Club Championship Race took place on Saturday and HoliMont Members of all ages took to the slopes to test their speed against one another and see who was the fastest, most technical skier at the ’Mont. Given HoliMont’s strong racing program it was a sight to watch some of the more competitive adults try to best one another’s times. But it was the sight of the younger racers making their way around the gates that a lot of the crowd was there to see. These young racers are the future of the Club and as such it was great to see their love for the sport showcased in an event that has very deep roots in the HoliMont community. Club Championships used to be called just that but last year HoliMont lost longtime Member Jim Barker. Jim was a fun, loving, energetic man who gave his heart and soul in everything that he did. In the wintertime much of this heart and soul was devoted to the HoiMont Racing Program and the Club Championships was one of his favorite events so in his remembrance the Racing Program dedicated the Club Championships to him. Jim would’ve been thrilled with what he saw last Saturday.
Also on Saturday, there was a slopestyle contest that the Terrain Park Crew put together. It’s always fun to watch kids rip through the park but that fun gets stepped up a couple notches as soon as a section of the park is closed down for them, people are cheering them on from the chairlift above and music is pumping through the park. The kids who came out for the competition showed off their skills by jibbing, sliding and spinning their way through a series of rails, boxes, and jumps. More importantly, they all had fun, which is the whole reason for being out on the slopes in the first place.
Moving forward, on March 30th, HoliMont will be holding its annual Pond Skimming event. There is a lot of pent up excitement for this event, as it had to be canceled last year due to the fact that the ski area was forced to close before the scheduled Pond Skimming date. This season there should be plenty of thrills and (potentially) lots of spills in this Member’s only “Las Vegas” themed event. The spectacle starts at noon in front of the Main Chalet and the first 30 Members who sign up and show up in appropriately themed costumes, will get to vie for pond skimming bragging rights (or they will get a chilly bath).
Nordic Gods smiled on HoliMont’s Annual Free Heel Fling, an “International” Telemark event, which took place on March 8th. More than 60 free heeling skiers from Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, and New York enjoyed the sunny slopes, clinics, camaraderie and a fun tele race. The telemark committee wants to thank all who participated in the event, donated their time and contributed to the raffle and wonderful pot luck lunch. Here is a re-cap of the day.
Gear Up and the City Garage were on hand to supply rental and demo equipment to experienced skiers and new comers. Eight people freed their heels for the first time, including the youngest participate, an eleven year old girl from Ohio. HoliMont’s certified Nordic instructor led clinics throughout the day for all ability levels. Our guest instructor was Jay Nation from Seven Springs, PA. He is a level 3 instructor and a PSIA Nordic Development Team member.
Race coordinator Rick Barry, put a new twist on the classic tele race. The Tele Raid, took skiers to caches all over the mountain, then to a race course with gates, trees and an uphill finish. Prizes were awarded for the fastest male (Jeff Maceachern) and female (Sean Miller). Metal Telemark skier trophies designed by Clark Duffin of HoliMont Snowsports were awarded to the winners of the race and also to the youngest and the most enthusiastic tele skiers. Next year’s festival will be on Friday March 7th, 2014. Mark your calendars, you won’t want to miss it. ”Free Heel Fling” is fast becoming the largest telemark event in Western New York.
Local businesses who donated gift certificates and prizes for the après raffle include Alexandra’s, A New Beginning Massage and Spa, Bike and Bean, The Birdwalk, Cadillac Jacks, Coffee Culture, Dekdebrun’s Ski Shop, The Depot, Earth Arts, E-Ville Spirits, Hampshire Mills of Salamanca, Just Riding Along Bike Shop in Bradford, PA, Katy’s, Kazoo II, Nature’s Remedy, Oasis Day Spa, The Red Door Ski Shop, Subway, Tangled Twigs, Tim and Bonnie’s Pizza, Tops, Watson’s Chocolate, Village Wine Rack, Wingate by Wyndham, Winery of Ellicottville, and Zippo. Other sponsors include Al Mahar, Mike Hughes, Gear Up, and HoliMont, Inc.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Congratulations to 15 of our Trainees who passed their Snowsports Teaching and Skiing Exam the weekend of March 9th. Trainees work with our Level III Trainers and coaches throughout the season. They attend clinics each weekend, and have the chance to demonstrate their teaching skills to their peers, as well as to the examiners at the end of the season. Our newest instructors and junior instructors are: Morgan Byrne, Nathan Byrne, Ellie Ferrara, Lindsey Maclay, Kayla McNamara, Rory O’Connor, Hope Pietrocarlo, Brigham Pratt ,Carolyn Rider, Wes Rider, Dean Snelson, Sebby Turner, Courtney Wilday and Liam White.
Those who wish to become professional ski and snowboard instructors have a rigorous path to follow in attaining certification. All our candidates attend our 8:30 clinics, and have completed a minimum of 50 hours of combined in-house training and actual on-hill teaching in order to be eligible to take the Level I skiing or riding exam. This season, 10 of our instructors achieved Level I PSIA Skiing certification. Tia Krebs, Jim Quinn, Cassandra Tarbell, Mike Sweeney, Alexa Pietrowski, and Katarina Ulsrud in the Alpine Division; Chelsea Marucci, Lynn Neeson, Jackie Novkov, and Cody VanGorder received certification in the Adaptive Division of Professional Ski Instructors of America.We also had successful candidates for the PSIA/AASI Children’s Specialist Exam which is a nationally recognized certificate based program. The exam combines knowledge of snowboarding and Alpine skiing and Telemark skiing. Brian Smith successfully completed Children’s Specialist I at Holiday Valley on March 5. Wendy Frank, Snowsports Director at HoliMont, Jane Robinson, former Children’s Director at HoliMont, Ron Kubicki, Snowsports Director at Holiday Valley, Rich Rumfola, Children’s Director at Holiday Valley, and Debbie Goslin, Snowsports Director at Kissing Bridge completed their Children’s Specialist 2 exam at HoliMont on March 7. Congratulations to all for all their hard work. Pictured are L to R First row: Tia Krebs, Cassandra Tarbell, Katarina Ulsrud, Alexa Pietrowski, Wendy Frank. Back row: Brian Smith, Jim Quinn, Mike Sweeney.
L to R – Rich Rumfola, Wendy Frank, “Griz” Caudle, Examiner, Debbie Goslin, Jane Robinson, Ron Kubicki
It is fairly well known that, unlike our neighbors over at Holiday Valley, the slopes of HoliMont close down every afternoon at 4:30pm. There are a variety of reasons why HoliMont does not have night skiing but every so often the slopes of HoliMont do light up at night and on those special occasions, it is a sight worth seeing.
Friday, March 8th, was one of those occasions. That night, during the weekly Friday Night Fish Fry at the Chalet, over a hundred HoliMont Members of all ages gathered together at the base of the Exhibition Express lift in order to participate in the torch light parade that (weather pending) generally kicks off the Mardi Gras weekend.
It was a perfect night for a parade and the spectators, both in and outside of the Chalet, were treated to an astounding sight as the HoliMont Safety Patrol, headed up by Safety Manager Justin Latimer, led the long line of torch-wielding Members from the top of HoliMont, down Exhibition and to the base of the Chalet.
The parade was over in approximately 10 minutes but in that short timespan memories were created, friends were made, and some lucky Members got to do what nobody else gets to do; ski the slopes of HoliMont at night.