Did I mention that the chairlift rides were quite refreshing?
Did I mention that the chairlift rides were quite refreshing?
From the Duluth News Tribune, January 13, 2012:
Spirit Mountain seeks to build Grand Avenue chalet and ski lift
Spirit Mountain has some big and expensive projects on tap this year, including the construction of a new bottom-of-the-mountain Grand Avenue chalet and the replacement the ski hill’s largest lift.
But the improvements will depend on winning Duluth City Council approval Tuesday for nearly $7 million in general obligation bonds. Councilors learned more about the project during a Thursday night committee-of-the-whole meeting.
Several council members spoke enthusiastically about the plans Thursday.
“I’ve always said Spirit Mountain was built backwards,” said Councilor Jay Fosle. “I’m hugely in favor of this.”
Currently, Spirit Mountain’s main chalet is located at the top of the mountain, with access primarily from the Proctor area.
Renee Mattson, Spirit Mountain’s executive director, predicted the chalet will spur additional investments.
“We believe this will be a catalyst for further development in West Duluth,” she said. “This is the first domino to fall.”
Fosle agreed, saying, “That corridor is going to open up like you wouldn’t believe.”
The proposed new chalet would operate year-round, as would the adjacent new lift, which would carry hikers, bicyclists and bicycles up the mountain when skiing is no longer an option. Mattson said Spirit Mountain’s current four-person lift is 28 years old and is due for replacement.
The new chalet would be about 12,000 square feet, and should be ready for action by November. The new lift also is expected to be installed and operational by the start of the next ski season.
Passage of a resolution supporting the bond request appears likely, as the measure remains on a consent agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting. That means no one has picked it out as a discussion item.
The $6.975 million in bonds would be backed by the city, but they would be paid off without using any general fund money, said Chief Administrative Officer David Montgomery. He said plans call for the bonds to be paid using an annual dedication of $500,000 from tourism taxes, with the balance coming from Spirit Mountain’s operating revenues for the next 20 years.
Mattson said Spirit Mountain has been making strides toward becoming more of a year-round attraction, with the recent development of an Adventure Park, including features such as the Timber Twister, a zipline and a miniature golf course. Those additions have led to the creation of 12 full-time jobs. Mattson predicted the proposed new chalet and other improvements being planned will lead to yet another 10 to 12 new full-time positions.
Dan O’Neill, a member of the Spirit Mountain Board of Directors, said plans to offer bikes and possibly kayaks for rent also are in the works as part of the new chalet development.
Flat light at the 9am start, but for a change it quickly improved. Juggler Joe (#13) is now open, but it needs a few more groomer runs to smooth out the ridges and soft spots. Likewise Bindle Stiff (#9) where some new snow was (surprisingly) blown in....generally good conditions once the light got better, though it wasn't too hard to find the hard stuff underneath.
In what may be a crushing blow to the hardbooter community, I heard a rumor this morning that Spirit is going to forego putting up a half-pipe this year. Oh well, there's always the tubing park.
Guess the $80K cost can't be justified this late in the season.
We did a couple of pretty sketchy runs on Four Pipe and Sky Hooker after work today. Hit a lot of crusty spots and MLK Day traffic. The chairlift rides were again challenging with a 25MPH N breeze.
Saturday and Sunday had great conditions, great weather and relatively low traffic. Did acquire a decent bruise on my left thigh after finding an icy trench parallel to the fall line on the middle part of four pipe on Saturday.
Unfortunately, Spirit's running out of time and Snomax to build the pipe this season. Jane's rather disappointed since that's her favorite. According to the experts on things like that, laying a foundation with earth for the pipe at Spirit would not work well for a number of reasons (erosion, maintenance, quicker melting,..,etc.)
Pretty good groom right now
A bit of fresh powder this evening and not much of a crowd. The chairlift rides had become a bit of a challenge by 7PM. Fresh snowmaking on Sky Hooker should help.
I have patrol duty both Saturday and Sunday; planning to get some rides in early before the action heats up.......
Working tonight, Saturday and Sunday.
Possible short evening session Sunday night.
Jane 'll be riding over the weekend
I'm planning an epic session for Tuesday afternoon
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Flat light early on.....bigwavedave found the 180 Kessler a bit much when you can't pick out the details, so he switched to the mini (SL) Kessler; after some tweaking with his stance, he's decided that this one is a keeper:
A bit later in the morning, we hooked up with the most impressive soft boot carver I've ever seen....Alec rides an Arbor Roundhouse with an 18/18 duck stance and carves it hard both regular and switch:
Still later we encountered Martha and her friend Jolene (on skis)....despite her best efforts to conceal her real identity, the gorgeous Prior deck, TD2s, and Deeluxe Lemans were a dead giveaway:
The light improved later in the day - less busy than a usual Saturday - groom held up well.....nice!
Last edited by rwmaron; January 24th, 2012 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Photo edits....
A great day! Near perfect groom and lack of typical weekend crowd more than made up for a cold start and flat-ish light. Rode til I could hardly walk. What an addictive sport...left, right, rhythm change, repeat to bottom, take a breath, get up and do it again til you can't anymore...Ahhh...what fun!
Wish I could have been there today. Had to work
We're going to try getting out for an evening
session after 6PM tomorrow. About an inch
of snow forecast
Same flattish light and thin crowd as yesterday; groom was equal or better and it was 22 degrees warmer today at 9am than yesterday.......
I'm working nights for a couple of days this week, so planning to get out Tuesday during the day.
Plan to come up Tuesday AM, with this new snow and a sunny forecast for tomorrow, it should be better than better.
First powder day (sort of) with 1-3 inches.
Got out 6-7:30PM last night after work good carving.
(freezing mist on the goggles added to the enchantment)
Very little traffic on Four-pipe
Started to become crusty by the end.
We're planning another evening session after 6PM today
If work permits.
I'm planning to be there Tuesday afternoon
I'm supposed to work until 7am and may try to catch a little sleep before heading out, so mid to late morning for me.
Just a 'heads-up' that the GSSP (grade school ski program) goes into full swing this week; let's all be careful around the little people!
Surprisingly icy this evening - not much of a storm. Looks like it had been a busy day on Four-Pipe and quite sketched-out. Lots of people sitting around on Sky Hooker and Bindle Stiff for an extra challenge.
Tonight's grooming and a sunny day tomorrow should help.
Sunny, moderate temperature, nice firm groom - bigwavedave on the mega Kessler early in the day:
I've come to appreciate the qualities of titanal (thanks to BlueB):
Fourpipe at 12:30 pm (I'm not kidding.....):
Yeah, yeah, it's a Kessler......Ken's bright lime green Prior is pretty cool too!
Planning to get out at least one morning this weekend.
We're planning an early evening session Friday.
I'm also aiming at first chair Saturday.
Great conditions this evening with the fresh snow and a great crowd for College Night.
I'm anticipating superb groom tomorrow AM.
Thinking of coming up Sunday, early, the forecast looks nice. Anybody else planning to come out and play?
Looks good for me for a couple of hours.
Cold (2F with a light breeze), bright sun, and hard groom at the start; even Bigwavedave spent some time on the ground early on until he got things dialed in. The day only reinforced for me the qualities of a metal board, even though it's 25 cm wide. Ken made the most of Friday's snow by making today his third day in a row! I left at 11:30 while both of them were still at it. Light traffic even then.
Russ, Ken...Gort, Klaatu barada nikto?
Spring conditions? Anybody been out? Thinking of coming up on Sunday, everyone should be inside watching the big game leaving lots of room to carve. Anyone else?
Found these custom gopro camera-mount inserts on my board (I suppose they could also be used for hengle plates).
The Gopro rear-view-cam:
May he see his shadow
Jane, Russ and I were out for the evening session
yesterday. It was surprisingly good despite thawing
during the afternoon - maybe a bit crusty at the
We're planning to go out again tonight, and
I'm planning First Chair Saturday and Sunday.
(we've almost talked Jane into a metal
board and hardboots!)
The only problem I see with the the Gopro rear-view-cam is the board it's mounted on.....do you know anyone who will be able to even come close to keeping up with you?
I'm planning to get out on Sunday - haven't quite firmed up the time yet.
Paging JOlson (it's February)........
Dave could aim it up the hill while he's
waiting for us at the bottom.
We did a half dozen runs tonight, mostly on
Sky Hooker and Bindle Stiff. The groom was okay,
but warm conditions brought out heavy, treacherous traffic with impassible
groups of slow skiers and boarders and others coming up full bore from behind.
We're gonna skip College Night tomorrow.
I'm planing to be on 1st chair Sunday morning and ride til I can't walk or til it gets too crowded. Thanks for the heads-up
JoeD, will you be there on Sunday as well?
JOlson must be waiting for the MardiGras pool crossing?
Is the snow getting slushy during the day with these warm temps? I'm bringing the ATV just in case.
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