Visitor reviews for Mount Washington Ski Resort
February 19, 2011
Don Sharpe from Canada
Anybody writing critical assessments about the resort on this website should consider approaching any of the mountain managers to discuss the situation face to face. We are open to feedback and at the end of the day; we're a business that wants to ensure customer satisfaction. In light of recent comments, please be aware that customer satisfaction needs to be balanced with the safety for our guests and our staff.
We will try to address some of the concerns that have been written over the past few days. If you have any additional questions feel free to come talk to our Patrol Director or us “management types” so we can provide you with an answer in person. You may not always like what you hear but we are always prepared to talk. And for future reference with regard to responding to comments through this website, we won't be writing any more responses.
Very few resorts get the quantity of snow that we receive in such a short time period. On top of the intense snowfall, we often receive heavy winds during these cycles, which forces lift delays or closure, which did occur last week with the Eagle Chair.
Please be assured that we have a highly trained, very experienced and certified avalanche crew. The main focus for this crew is guest and employee safety. If one person poaches terrain during our avy control (and it has happened many times in the past), it causes huge delays in the opening. This is the main reason we do not open the front side of the Boom during avy control and also why we control access off the top of the Eagle when blasting is happening.
Despite what many think, other resorts also have closures after storm cycles. We were in touch with Whistler/Blackcomb in the middle of the latest storm cycle and they were also experiencing delays with chairs like the Harmony and Peak. It's easy to be critical and say things like “just get it done” but the reality of the situation isn't as easy as some are expressing on this site.
In bounds avalanches can and do result in injuries and fatalities.
Check out these stories;
Our newer policies with respect to access gates and rope placements has significantly reduced the number of dangerous rescues that we needed to perform compared to previous seasons. Most of the criticisms of our new measures are coming from those or you who consider yourselves “core skiers” who know what they're doing. But it must be realized that not every skier on the mountain is “core” or knowledgeable so we cannot cater to just a small number of skiers and boarders. Our safety measures ensure that we can handle all of our customer traffic and unfortunately for some, this will introduce a small level of inconvenience.
The bottom line is that we are not going to jeopardize the safety of our staff or our customers so a few people can get fresh lines ahead of others. Our goal is, and always has been, to get the Boom open for 9:30 am. If conditions do not permit it to be open by that time, so be it. We are willing to take the pressure (and criticism) while we balance safety and timing while not hurting people.
I hope this helps you understand why we do what we do and how it happens. To reiterate; talk to us, we will listen and take your feedback into consideration. We can't always act on things right away but we appreciate legitimate and constructive feedback that can assist us to improve the way we do business.
The conditions have never been better so get up here and enjoy the snow!
Director, Business Operations
Mount Washington Alpine Resort
February 19, 2011
Stop the Insanity from Canada
Is the mountain perfect? No, but most of the complainers on this site have to take a serious chill pill and start riding all of the lines on the Eagle and Sunrise Chair before whinging about the Boom. Should it open earlier sometimes? Maybe but it opened by 10am yesterday and it was the day of the year, maybe the last ten years.
Think of the snowload and wind. Even with and earlier start and more staff it won't make a big difference. When the weather hits this place, it hits hard. I've waited for half the day for the Harmony and Peak to open at WB and they have loads of staff and a chopper at their disposal...and deep - pow comparing Wash to Big White and Silver Star?? That's funny, go to Big White and Silver Star and ride their lines that don't fill in because their snowpack is small. I would rather wait for the Boom to open thank you very much.
One last thing with the snow reporting comments: if anything this place has been under-reporting for the better part of two to three years. I haven't seen too many lies to speak of, what day did they report 10cms of snow after a melt/rain/freeze?? I have the records and don't see it? I know from a source that the snow report is done by patrol (not marketing) at 5:30am and then marketing updates the current conditions (visibility and weather only) at 8:45am. The only updates after that are done to the marketing hype blurb, that's it.
Just go out and ski and enjoy the place people, the mountain is fine.
[Editor's note: text edited to try and maintain relevance]
February 18, 2011
Logic from Canada
Get your facts straight. The Boom was closed on Monday because of the 70km/hr SE winds blowing across the lift line. You are right though about the rest of it at Mount Washington.
February 17, 2011
Gnaaaaar from Canada
Skied Heroine yesterday with the buds, then hiked Cougar and Tele. Skiing out a patroller, skied up and asked us about our gear and safety and plans, then said thanks for using the gates and not ducking ropes and skied away. I think if you have the gear, smarts and a buddy they'll leave you alone. Also, don't duck their ropes I guess.
Seems like others are pretty informed but I, for one, like the staggered openings. Locals know how to ride fresh lines from nine till noon!
February 17, 2011
deep-pow from Canada
Have to agree with the recent posters about the inability to manage snow fall. Boom should be open on time without excuses most days unless extreme weather. Poor handling of the mountain for whatever reason. Same for the Eagle. I am all for safety and avalanche control. True, big mountains know how to get the skiers/boarders out on the slopes on time. The big boys in BC get in, get out, get the day started. You think Whistler, Big White, Silver Star etc. screw around trying to get lifts open by noon? Here, we wait until late morning or so before we can get into the snow. We shouldn't have to travel to these other mountains when we have what we have here.
And what's up with not being able to dig out chair lifts by 9am? When heavy snowfall is expected then expect to dig out early. "We don't have enough staff today". You knew snow was coming, call in more shovellers. "But the bus can't get up in time" Then get the bus leaving town earlier. Coordinate with a plow truck so the bus can follow one up on a sanded road. It's not rocket science. I stood in line this season for 75 minutes to get the yellow chair opened and the blue never did open that day.
And what's with the website being regularly completely inaccurate? Be honest. If it snows 10cm, then rains, then freezes overnight, don't tell us 1st thing the next morning that there is 10cm of new snow. It just ticks off people like me that keep dropping over $2,000 on family passes year after year. We are you bread and butter. And the update times on the snow report? Bogus. I enquired and apparently the snow fall report is done 1x/day, at the crack of dawn. Maybe they update wind conditions or something throughout the day, I don't know. I do know that the update may say 11am, 3pm, 9pm but it's not correct. Sort of makes you feel like you're being fooled doesn't it? If only they were upfront and honest with us.
This mountain puts it forward that it is a big time mountain but everything about it seems to say small time mountain. We have such huge potential here if only it was tapped into correctly. Ownership doesn't not seem tuned in to the pulse of the mountain.
I will say that changing the night skiing last year to start at 3:30 rather than 4:30 was a top notch decision. Wish there was more of that going on. And making it a cheap add-on to a day pass was also a great idea to increase night usage (makes no $ difference to me as a season pass holder).
Seems like we need a professional management team experienced in efficient ski resort operation. How many day passes per season? Bill an extra dollar and pay to get it done.
February 17, 2011
Jordan scott from Canada
I completely agree with the last comment, I spent over a G for my pass and I am getting tired of going up the hill only to find the whole West Basin, Powder Face and Backside roped off after an evening of 8cm fresh. I know the staff are underpaid and the lift people do what they are told but, come on, The Boomerang has been open @&$# all this year and we have had so much snow. I understand when it snows 40 cm overnight but the last few days was under 10 and it still was not running till near noon. Before you book to come out to Mount Washington read the weather report, 'cause if it snows more than 15cm only half the mt will open, might as well wait till noon cause the 'noonerang' might open.
February 16, 2011
Shredzalot from Canada
Mount Washington is a great mountain.
The employees and management do a fantastic job.
To all of those people complaining about expanding and blah blah blah, remember when the Boom wasn't even there and I'm pretty sure the gold glades is so old as well (yes, sarcassim), Expansion costs money people and with you all running away complaining it doesn't bring it in. Oh and the avalanche comments, avalanches are extremely high right now because of La Nina and has nothing to do with Mount Washington operations, they are doing the best they can just like every other ski resort this season. I don't want to turn this into some long winded speech like other people so I'll leave it at this, just enjoy our awesome local mountain in all its glory if not go be a snob in Whistler!
Mount Washington, keep up the great work and keep all your staff!
February 16, 2011
the captain from Canada
Mount Washington has been useless in their ability to open the backside during the last storm cycle. The patrol are doing the best they can but do not have the manpower to perform the required task. Management, specifically operations, have got to realise that part of the job is client satisfaction. it is becoming increasingly obvious that management (operations) does not care about the quality of experience they provide on the hill. It has been an absolute disaster this week: three of four days and no backside. This resort is very sensitive to wind and temperature fluctuations and if the avalanche control cannot be done efficiently then all the fresh is wasted, which continuously happens week in week out. Time for money or better brains in the avi control dept, get more manpower and get the backside open when the snow is still decent. It's midweek, pass-holders only using the hill. Who cares about them. You should be ashamed of yourselves. What was the point of putting that lift in if you won't provide the resources to open it. I wonder if anyone in operations actually skis or rides, it does not appear so.
Just another whiner who is sick and tired of your useless attitudes.
February 15, 2011
captain pow pow from Canada
Today was the perfect example of how not to run a ski hill that wants to have real terrain for real skiers.
7 cm reported at 6:00am, I estimate 7-10 cm falling per hour, which means that if the control and cutting aren't being done at light up then the boom will not open and the next day we will have 60 cm and it will be even harder to control and get open before the snow gets either wind blown or turns to mash potatoes with a 1-2 degree uptick in temperature. It is critical to get the skiers on the terrain to act as "control" when the snow is falling. So what happens - late on the control, no boom and tomorrow will be a gong show to get the backside open. I don't blame patrol, they are working with the resources they have. I blame management, who do not seem to care about the skier experience and our desire for terrain and quality snow and will not spend the money on man power to provide the experience that the snow gods are giving us. Any other ski resort would have had the backside open at 9:30 am this morning and would have had skiers ripping, to great joy, all the backside terrain and stabilizing the new snow.
So now we have massive snow loading and a bombfest that will go on for hours until they manage to rip every slope over 30 degrees. The saddest thing about today is it happens almost every time it snows, and the mountain continues to act as if this snowing thing is some kind of novelty. Could have been the best day of the year back there, but no one cares about me, you or the guy who drove 3 hours from Victoria.
It is a great hill with many great employees, but the lack of competition seems to have made the operations department the laughing stock of the industry.
[Editor's note: text edited to maintain the relevance of expressed opinion]
February 12, 2011
holesmasher from Canada
This resort has very strict backcountry access. The days of the good ol' boys on patrol, like Niko and John, are gone. If you guys see someone that has cut the rope, slayed a line and hucked a massive air and stomped and they have all the gear, use your good sense and let them walk. These so called gates and ropes everywhere make sense and there is alotta idiots out there but they cut off all of the sickest lines on the mtn.how do we ride the sick stuff now without losing our pass?