While we don't operate to the public there is still a lot of work
and logistics that go behind operating Polar Peak. Here is a glance
at what we do all year,
As the summer season is in high gear we begin our planning for
the winter. Our main focus is on capital improvements, and creating
an operating budget. During this time we also make hayrolls out
of the hay that is grown on the lower slopes and Polar Run. We
feed this hay to our livestock.
As summer draws to a close on-hill work begins. We start with
cleaning up the base area, finish mowing as much as we can. During
this time we also paint lift towers and the buildings
Painting continues and we give the hill the initial "once
over" mowing with the bush hog. If the hay is good we may
try to get a second cutting to give to the livestock. Weed wacking
begins around the Summit Express, and final finish mowing takes
place around the base area. We take our trail mower and mow the
upper terrain then use the finish mower on the lower terrain.
We try to mow as much of the skiable acres down to 3" by
Veteran's Day, this allows us to provide skiing and riding on
as little as 6" of snow. During this time we also string
the rope, put the ropetow drive in place (and ensure the lift
is good to go), assemble the lighting, and if conditions are favorable
give the snowmaking system a test run, after all at this point
the ski season is less than a month away, and in good years the
season can begin as early as November 5th.
Last minute preparations continue as the ski season approaches.
If we are already skiing we work out the kinks as we go. Final
touch ups, repairs, and maintenance to equipment are done during
this time period. With natural snow we are able to open as soon
as possible, otherwise we begin snowmaking in Mid December if
there is a good window of opportunity to open around the holiday.
Work shifts from preparation to daily operations for skiing and
riding by Mid December.
- April: We operate every day that we possibly can on the best
conditions possible. We work to groom the hill, pack down the
snow, and when needed we make snow. We also pay special attention
to maintenance of the lift and the equipment. Once we are in the
groove the time flies by, and we find ourselves skiing and riding
more than working.
early April we begin late season skiing operations, where we cover
what snow we have remaining so that we can enjoy runs until June,
and some times until July! In late April most of the equipment
is taken down and put in storage and the hill is left to grow
in so that we can harvest the hay. The only area maintained for
skiing at this point is the Lower Glade slope. We maintain the
base area throughout the summer, this allows us to cut back on
fuel consumption and allows us more time to work on the hill in
- August: Things are quiet, we do routine maintenance as needed
and mow and manicure the base area, making it look presentable.
We also use this time to work on the base area buildings if needed.
the past 5 years we have put a lot of effort into making Polar
Peak "Greener". The following actions have allowed us
to cut our energy consumption by over 75%:
Installation of a new drive on the Summit Express (which uses
significantly less fuel)
of different specialty snow guns in the snowmaking process
night lighting (which allows us to use fewer lights and greatly
reduces ligh pollution)
of a more efficient air compressor for snowmaking
of old pumps with 3 new energy efficient pumps
of weather monitoring technology to aid in pin point snowmaking
and surface grooming operations
of organic snow preservation techniques to extend the season
and most use per amount of snow
also are working on a solar project to offset some of our energy