Being a ski resort/amusement park is a ton of work between creating new activities and making important changes that help improve our slopes and overall building. Each year we have a shut down, that is our version of “Spring Cleaning.” This is where we can get our buildings, attractions, etc. looking and feeling in tip-top shape. This year (2019), our big focus is how we can improve our slopes for a better ski/snowboard season.
We interviewed Clarke Chambers, Ski Patrol Director/Winter sports Coordinator on what him and his team were doing to make improvements to the slope. He described each thing with enthusiasm and passion.
Q: What is the first and biggest step to improving our mountain?
A: We are hiring fresh faces and experienced minds onto the team! Each person will have a very important role to play in helping maintain the slopes.
Q: The Smoky Mountains are prone to having a substantial amount of rain. What are we doing to prevent snow loss on the slopes?
A: Every rainfall we had during the 2018-2019 ski/snowboard season would cause us to lose A LOT of our freshly made snow. We decided a change was needed, so our team dug in some better drains, and even put in some drain pipes to keep the flow of water away from our slope trails.
Q: How is the rain affecting our ability to make better snow?
A: Putting better drains in the slope will also help keep an excess of mud from seeping into our ponds where we pull water to make our snow. To coincide with better drainage, we’ve decided to also put in filters to possibly make the snow a lot cleaner.
Q: Could you explain how the usage of fencing will help improve the slopes?
A: Another big improvement we are making to the slopes is putting braces on our posts where we hang our red fencing. (Many people don’t know this, and Clarke even helped by explaining this process.) Snow gets very heavy and out of control. Our fencing isn’t just to help keep our guests from going out of bounds. Its main job is to help keep the snow in a certain area. Snow gets very heavy, however, and we’ve had many posts ‘break like toothpicks.’ Putting these braces up will hopefully help with the weight of the snow.