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East Coast Avalanche!

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#1 Peter

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 11:50 AM

Avalanche at Holiday Valley!

Avalanche on the Wall Slope
The rumors of an avalanche have been flying, so here's the real scoop...The Wall slope avalanched on Saturday afternoon, January 27, 2007. The slope was closed and there were no people injured, and no property was damaged.
The Wall's pitch is 38 degrees, the steepest slope at Holiday Valley and is rated "double black diamond", for experts only. Our snowmaking crews made a very large amount of snow on the Wall on Thursday and Friday. Upon inspection, The Holiday Valley patrol decided not to open the slope on Saturday. We planned to spread the manmade snow down the slope with the groomers Saturday evening.

Just before 1:00, an area approximately 150 feet wide sheared off and slid up to 200 feet down the Wall. A second smaller slide occurred just before 4:00 PM. Again, there were no injuries or damage.

Holiday Valley's grooming crews then moved on to the scene with a winch cat, a groomer on the slope that is anchored by means of a hydraulic winch to an anchor above the slope. Within a couple of hours, the groomer had the right side of the slope smoothed out and the snow knit back together. It was decided to leave the left side of the slope for a few days, at which time the groomer will smooth the remaining debris and push it up the slope. Snowmaking will add base depth, and with one more grooming session, and a thorough inspection the slope will be ready to open.

Many Holiday Valley fans were anxious for the opening of the Wall to be able to say they ski the steepest slope in Western New York! The Wall opened for skiing and snowboarding on Wedneday, Jan. 31. Come on out, but remember the Wall is an experts only, double black diamond rated slope, so ski and ride within your limits! You can check out the Wall by skiing Bobsled or Last Chance, then ride up the SnowPine chairlift.

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#2 SkiBachelor

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:22 PM

I think that's a slide, not an avalanche.

Something like is prone to happen if snow builds up on an edge like that.
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#3 skiisme753

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:38 PM

That's crazy and a lot of snow!

#4 skierdude9450

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 07:52 PM

Four feet of Vermont Powder, blasted and unmaintained on a 38 degree slope is just a disaster waiting to happen. Also, how in the world can you groom that?

"Today's problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." -Albert Einstein

#5 spunkyskier01

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 09:05 PM

i never would have guessed any place in western new york would need a winch cat
Everything is just loop-de-loops and flibertyjibbit

#6 skier691


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Posted 05 February 2007 - 06:00 AM

Yeah... Just waiting for that to happen. The recent cold nights in the east have had the snowmakers going crazy, making big virgin piles. Large slabs happen, this looks to be a big one. And yes, I think any ski hill with a sizeable hill could benifit with a winch cat. To be able to pull more snow up youre steep hills, allowing you to make less snow, to help recover after a weekend/race/event, to aid in the construction of a superpipe, all reasons I wished we had a winch. 2 Midwest areas have them, Perfect North Slopes and Nubs Nob.

#7 Disco

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 07:45 AM

Used to live in E-ville. The ski trails made great MT bike terrain - never looked like much for skiing tho. Don't remeber this particular run, tho.
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#8 afski722

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 05:54 PM

I believe Vail has this happen a few years ago on the bottom of Giant Steps/International, where the slope slide under the weight of huge snowmaking slabs. I believe a snowmaker was injuried in that accident.

Yeah, Nub's bought a winch cat last year and they use on a regular basis. They used to to construct the Superpipe, plus groom Scarface & Chute nightly. They sure needed it this past weekend when they were trying to groom out 2 feet of lake effect.

#9 Lift Kid

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 07:00 PM

I know it is way :offtopic: but I am not really sure how the cable on a winch cat works. What is it attached to?

#10 mikest2

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 07:29 PM

View PostLift Kid, on Feb 5 2007, 07:00 PM, said:

I know it is way :offtopic: but I am not really sure how the cable on a winch cat works. What is it attached to?

An anchor, this can be a permanent anchor or a snowcat. Not a good idea to use lift towers or trees.

#11 skier2

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 01:56 PM

Ar scarface and chute really that steep? I thought they could be groomed normally. I guess not.

#12 snowdude

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 05:50 PM

I used to ski out of Ellicottville too. I seem to remember that same thing happening a few years back, not as big as this though.

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