Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Families, Friends and Memories

A few years back I began using this phrase "at Seven Oaks we start each season with a single snowflake and end with a thousand memories".

Not only do we have a lot of memories at the end of the ski season but we hope you do to. We want Seven Oaks to be the place where young people as they grow older reflect on all the great times they had and where parents and grandparents not only create memories for their children but have a lot of fond memories themselves. And then there are the memories when friends assemble......much like the email that we received and that I am including with photos in todays blog.

The past two days, I along with my brothers and sisters have spent the afternoons and evenings going thru our mothers house getting it ready to be sold....boy oh boy talk about memories during this process.......and in that process we came upon the box that had all the letters written by Montezuma children at the time of my fathers death, founder and owner of Fun Valley Ski Area. Each of them commented on their memories of Edwin at Fun Valley - how he would always be dressed in his bib overalls, how he would always joke with them, how he would always have time to talk to them.........oh yes.......sweet memories.

Here's hoping that again this season we at Seven Oaks will have started this season with a single snowflake and end with thousands of memories ........good clean memories......for you and ourselves.

Here is the email we received along with her pics.

"My bestfriend Samantha & I visited Seven Oaks during the time I was visiting my mom, dad & sister for Christmas.

We had a blast and the instructors and employees were great! Thank you for the memories!!

Chrissy from Arkansas

Thanks Crissy for taking the time to share via the email. We are glad you had a good time and made some memories.

Happy New Year to All

Be safe .....please be safe .......and .........keep it white......

ps. made lots of new snow again last night and plan on it again tonite!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wow - what a weekend !

Talk about a mixed bag of weather, we certainly had it this past weekend didn't we. The temps just kept rising Friday but the people just kept on coming.......and NO lift lines........that's great. The new triple makes such a difference! Then late in the afternoon the fog starts getting a little thicker and denser and thicker and rollin across the snow til it was tough to see the top of the lift by the end of the night........but it didn't seem to bother the riders and skiers......

Stayed warm all night til about 3 am when the winds switched to the northwest and the temps began to drop. Got on the snow at about 5 am and proceeded to groom for 8 1/2 hours. Did get a lot of comments from people on Saturday that they were amazed at the quality of the snow Saturday in view of the unseasonably warm temps just hours before. If you were at Seven Oaks on Saturday or Sunday you saw how the water was still running out from under the snow. As the temps drop, the water gets squeeezed out and runs at ground level to the bottom.

But wait, there's more.

Temps dropped Saturday evening so we were able to start a couple guns at 7 pm and run all of them for 13 hours....putting a nice fresh white blanket on virtually everything. Chose to not push any of the piles since they were small and the wind had done a good job - - along with Marty and Steve moving the guns regularly --- great job guys ----spreading the snow over all the trails. With the mild temps, sunshine and fresh snow the conditions were fantastic Sunday.

Had a nice lady stop in the lodge to tell me how great the instructors were with her and her family earlier in the day. I know one of the instructors was Dan but not sure who else helped her family. She said she witnessed all the instructors being very patient with people that weren't part of her group. It is great to hear those comments and we DO pass them along to our staff. Thanks a bunch.

We are open this week Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm for the holiday week. Looks like we will make snow again Tuesday night and Thursday night.

My three grandkids that got skis and boots for Christmas got to try them out Friday and my grandson with the new board got to break it in on Sunday. They were all pleased with the new equipment........and my two six year old grand daughters let me know the new skis were "really fast"!

Note to all : have fun but please be smart and safe on New Years Eve........please.

keep it white

Friday, December 26, 2008

Any Christmas Gifts You Can Use on Snow?

For several the annual Christmas hustle and bustle is over or at least almost over. I know some in my family got new skis, boots and snowboards for Christmas and I would guess they will be trying them out this weekend......maybe today. I would guess some of you got new equipment too......and are anxious to try it out.

We open at 10 am this morning and close at 9 pm tonite. Then we have our regular Saturday and Sunday hours this weekend. Weather looks good for all three days.........not so freeeezing cold.....Might get cold enough to make some more snow Saturday night but we also have to watch the humidity to see if it can happen.

Got Central Park and Kenzies Korner opened for today. Today is the first day you can take a "right" when unloading from the new chairlift. That will be a new ride for everyone coming off the Valley View Triple. Let us know what you think about the entrance to both those trails. They are now both longer and a lot more open on the top.

Anybody recognize this guy? Tony has loaded a lot of you on the chairlift over the years and given a lot of pointers as well. Be sure to tell him you saw him on the blog.

Did you see the new look to the blog home page? Now have the entrys sorted by month and year making it easier for you to review.........and a link back to our web home page......thanks to the help of a guy in the Twin Cities walking me thru the process like a good parent teaching his two year old how to tie his shoe! In my next life I might be an IT dude........NOT.

First Late Nite is Saturday, January 10, 2009.

Here is a quick shot of two of the Seven Oaks snowboard instructors on skis.......yep.......skis.....
Remember the lessons at Seven Oaks are always free, so if you have wanted to try but haven't, come on out and we'll help you learn......but if you see these two on skis wanting to teach you...go ahead and ask for a won't hurt our feelings. :) Even the person in the background can't believe his eyes.......

Keep it white....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Closed Dec 24 & 25------Open Dec 26 Friday

Merry Christmas to you!

Snowing as this is written which should make for a wonderful Friday when we reopen after Christmas.

keep it white

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A few photos from today- are you in one?

Looks like the terrain park was popular today!

The new chair is sure popular..........

More tomorrow........
keep it white

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Probably my last comments on the new chair

Just one more time, this time with some more's just sooo exciting for us to make this quantum leap with another chair that it's hard not to keep everyone posted and as pumped as we are.

Here is the "group" from Seven Oaks that had a role in taking the chair down in Montezuma and putting the chair up in Boone. There is one guy, Paul, that is not in the pic and he moved a whole lot of dirt for the in a WHOLE LOT of dirt and another guy Al that did the high voltage wiring. And our Dee on the front row with a bowl........well she served a WHOLE Lot of soup to the crew during the process and it wasn't even her job.......thanks to each of you.

And here is a couple of shots taken on the first ride......

and the guy that knew the installation process like the back of his hand........Todd. This chairlift was the 57th lift he has installed. Wow.......

Finally a picture that shows you why we named this lift "Valley View"

Keep it white.........

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Still making snow today.....

and waiting for the sky to open up and dump on us as well. The gang has been busy getting all the required signs posted on the new chairlift, getting the fence erected at top and bottom, getting the load and unload ramps built and getting the final lights installed and wired. While that is going on lots of snow is still being pushed out, most of the guns are running on tubing so it can be open Friday night, Dee is taking calls and walk ins, two schools are scheduled to be on site tomorrow morning but we'll see if that happens or not based on the "storm" that is supposed to hit us soon with snow.

So as you can see everybody is plenty busy.

Next week we will concentrate on the final two runs.......Central Park and Kenzies Korner.

Haven't talked to Ken to see if he plans on planting more features in the terrain park tomorrow or not.

Got lots of retail merchandise delivered yesterday as well as the Seven Oaks beanies.

Our buddy Todd left for Ohio this morning about 4:30 am........anxious to get home after 43 days of installing a chairlift.

later and keep it white.......

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We Passed the TESTS !

Pretty much snowed the entire day during all the tests that had to be done for the new chairlift with the engineer/inspector but they were all completed on schedule yesterday. What a relief......not to pass as we were very confident it would but more a relief that the hours and hours of work are behind us. Todd, our guy from Ohio, that supervised the installation did a fantastic job......was maticulous with the dimensions and work in general .....and a real pleasure to work with. He is leaving us tomorrow morning to drive back to Ohio.......hoping ahead of the incoming storm. The engineer left at 6:30 this morning to catch his flight back to Spokane.

So.........the chairlift is scheduled to operate this Saturday when we open. Won't that be different to have Two Triples to ride this year!

First school group comes today so everyone is getting ready for them.

We got about 4 to 5 inches yesterday and we continued to run all the guns throughout the snowstorm and all night last night. We are pushing snow now.

keep it white

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today's the Day

The engineer from Spokane Washington arrived yesterday and Today is the Day for the load tests and on site inspections on the additional chairlift.

Snow continues to be made in preparation of operating the new lift this addition to today's forecast for about 4" of natural.

Keep it White

Monday, December 15, 2008

Update but no new pics

Wow what a weekend, where should I about the weather. Tropical temps on Saturday and Saturday night........and then came Sunday. Did you see the big black clouds roll across when the COLD temps came in? What a temp change that was. Held off on the grooming til the temps were dropping which worked out pretty good.......other than I was in the way of the first skiers and riders for the day.....but not for long.

Got all the snow pushed out on tubing so we will finish making snow on the chutes this week to be ready to open tubing for friday night.

The chairlift is ready for the engineer tomorrow. Just a couple of things to button up but it will be ready.......even tho it looks like we will be conducting all the tests during a heavy snow...but hey, you know I like to keep it white.

Got the new hoodies, hoodies with zippers, long sleeve T shirts and sweatshirts in friday night. Will have new Seven Oaks beanies, gloves, goggles etc this coming friday.

All the new staff is doing a GREAT job learning their responsibilities and as always the huge number of employees that returned again this winter makes the start up and running so smooth.

thats it for now.

keep it white

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Drop Zone

After making snow til this morning when the temps rose, it DOES appear there is enough to get the Drop Zone open for this weekend. The snow was being pushed and groomed today.....and ......I think the plan is to get more park features in place for friday night.

Snow tubing is close but not quite there.......need a couple more nights of snowmaking to have enough to form the lanes.......but looks like tonight we will be making more. Stay tuned and we will keep updating the progress on tubing.

keep it white......

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pics taken this morning as the sun was rising

Snow is being made on the tubing hill and on Drop Zone. We'll open Friday night.......see you then.
Keep it White......

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Look what happened Monday 12/8/08

Yep, all the chairs were installed on the additional lift....'s getting closer and closer to being DONE...........inspection is Tuesday December 16 and then the following weekend (on the premise we have snow made) we will be using the lift.

.......and the new Seven Oaks hoodies, zippered hoodies, sweatshirts and long sleeve T shirts look like they will be done and available on Saturday (maybe Friday) in the lodge.

Keep it White

Monday, December 8, 2008

Opening Day is Behind Us

A lot of work was done again before Sunday to get ready to open our winter season on Sunday but it all happened and we had a great crowd on Sunday ........all anxious to get back on the snow.
New clothing will be delivered to the retail shop on this Saturday.

All the chairs are being installed today, which will make it look more like a chairlift than before. A few items remain which will be buttoned up this we should be ready for the engineer to test and inspect a week from tomorrow as scheduled.

Todd, Ken, Joel, Kris, Twigg, Frost, Sleepy and Jody have all been troopers putting in lots of hours and working hard to get the chairlift built. Thanks guys and Thanks Dee for taking such good care of the gang when it was meal time! Plus we have had some great help from contractors Snow, Paul and Al on several occasions during the process.

Hey, did you see the forecast for tonite and tomorrow.......hope the ice doesn't happen but 4 to 8 inches of natural would be sweet.

Keep it White

Friday, December 5, 2008

Valley View Chairlift

Yesterday, the steel cable "haul rope" was successfully spliced for our Valley View Chairlift. Next...... put all the chairs on.

Snowmaking continues......we will start pushing and grooming mid afternoon today. Temps are going to rise to warm to make snow today but we will make more tonite. Again, our emphasis is on having Abbys Alley and the School yard open Sunday for ski and board. Snow tubing will be out a ways but we'll get it.

Friday after Five TONITE.

keep it white

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pics of the ticket/retail area

Here's a little tour of the new path our skiers, shredders and tubers will take this winter.

In this view you can see we now have "two bridges". You will enter the new door by using the left bridge to get your tickets.

Once inside you can either go thru the side door to head to tubing, the chairlifts or rental...(the one on the right in this photo.....

......or into the lodge using this door.

Here are a couple shots of the ticket/retail area.
At this time we think one register will be for snowtubing and season pass holders and the other for day visitors.

Here are a couple shots standing in the original lodge looking at the door that takes you to retail/tickets. Yep, that's the old office with most of the walls removed.

Looking forward to seeing the way the guns are all still ON and blowing snow!

keep it white.....til next time

The Haul Rope Is Being Spliced

While I am not on site, I am told by good authority that the steel haul rope is being spliced even as I type. One more step in the process and one step closer to being finished.

The snow guns are still running today. I know I am repeating myself but the "plan" is to open Sunday with Abbys Alley and the beginner rope for the School Yard ready........and maybe a couple features at the bottom of the drops zone. It's a start and temps look good for snowmaking for the next ten plus days!

Keep it White

ps. I might actually make a second post today with pics of our new ticket area.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turkey is on to WINTER

Haven't made a contribution for a while so it is time for an update......even tho I have no pics.

All the hardware for the chairlift is installed. All the towers have been aligned. Yesterday the guys installed all the counterweight cable. Today, Tuesday, the gang is putting all the haul rope (the large steel cable that carries the chairs) over all the tower sheaves and bull wheels. The gentleman from Missouri that splices the cable is flying into Boone Airport Thursday and will splice the rope on the same day. Then some more small stuff will be installed. On Monday December 15 the engineer from Spokane Washington will fly in and we will do all the tests in his presence.........meaning the following weekend if all goes as planned.....and it probably will......we will be using this lift. Yeah!

Made some snow Sunday night but blew a water line at 11 pm and had to shut down to dig it up and make repairs. Repairs were done yesterday and snowmaking commenced at 4 pm and by 7 pm last night the temps had dropped enough that the guns were maxed out with water......til 7 am this morning when we had to start throttling back and then shutdown about 8 this morning.

Does NOT look like snowmaking temps tonite......but Wednesday night and Thursday during the day and Thursday night and Friday during the day and Friday night.............all look good for continuous snowmaking.

The rails are almost all cleaned up and ready to be put out. Setting another light pole on top today.......moving the final dirt for unloading the new chair today and things are getting wrapped up and ready to open........

.......speaking of opening.....we are TRYING........emphasis on TRYING have Abbys Alley and the School Yard ready for this Sunday, December 7........but check our web or call before you come......cause it isn't for sure yet........then we will concentrate on getting Freeway covered so we can use the new lift and getting at least the bottom of the Drop Zone covered so we can access the park via Abbys Alley ......ASAP.

We'll keep you updated via emails, web, blog and voice mail on our phone system.

We have our Friday after Five this friday night........another Jimmy Buffet night......FUN...

Ordering new clothing today at noon so it should be available in a week or two.

More later....oh yeah, lots of snow flurries in the forecast too.....and KCCI this morning made a slight mention of watching a sizable system that might hit us next Monday.

Keep it white.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Couple comments

Well......the sixth and final tower was set in place yesterday. Today the comm line is being installed that goes from top to bottom for all the safety communications. Getting closer to being FINISHED! Good chance the cable will be installed and spliced the week after Thanksgiving.

Tried to make snow last night but didn't get very cold til about sunrise. Made a little but not much. Looks like Saturday night will be snowmaking temps again.

Keep it White!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Progress in the midst of a snowstorm

Wow, ended up being more than a few flurries Saturday. Think we ended up with about three inches at Seven Oaks. Not enough to open on it's own but sure made things white.........and tough to work in which we did anyway. Maybe it is an indicator as to what this winter is going to be like. Snapped a couple pics during the heavy snow.

Like I said, even though the heavy snow was was coming down, we went ahead and put a few more things up for the chairlift! Got the top bull wheel installed and all the required hardware plus towers one and two. It was just too slick to get the equipment up the hill to set tower three........but that should still happen this week. Worked again Sunday putting the hoops around the towers. The hoops keep the chairs from ever swinging into the towers when the lift is operating.
Have a private party Friday night in the lodge and then a big fundraiser in the lodge Saturday night.
Looks like snowmaking temps again Saturday night after Thanksgiving..........might even get more snow made tomorrow night and maybe Tuesday night........we'll see and I'll let you know via the blog if we do.

Remember to get your date picked for your group's winter outing-------reservations are coming in on a regular basis now.

More later..........keep it white!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Surprise !

It started last night and is still going on this morning. Yep.......making snow! According to the forecast temps won't allow much more snowmaking the next few days but it is a start.

You can see our additional chairlift in the background of photo 2
At Seven Oaks we start each season with a single snowflake and end with a thousand memories!

Keep it White!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It keeps coming together

Quick note - Power room was set in place on top of the gantry today and the counterweight was moved into position. Then the day was filled with lots of other small components being bolted into place. More news tomorrow.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another Chairlift Update

Progress continues........

Monday November 17 - towers 4, 5, and 6 were set in place......see pics

Tuesday November 18 - the holes were dug for the top bull wheel tower and strut

Wednesday November 19 - 30 yards of concrete were poured around the top bull wheel tower and strut..........30 YARDS - thats four concrete truck loads --- BIG....and the last of the concrete pouring for this project!

Tomorrow we plan to set the motor room on top of the gantry and then start setting the last three towers. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A couple quick notes

  • the summer canoe, kayak and tube floats are finished for the year. Paintball continues.
  • this friday night is our November Friday after Five - with wine tasting, cheese sampling and live music
  • last week and thru the weekend, all the tower bases were set in place and concrete poured, just like tower one; another huge block of concrete was poured on Saturday for the corner opposite the counterweight, the top bull wheel new bearings and main shaft were re-installed, tower one was made ready to stand in place......and more.
  • looks like this week tower one will be set in place and bolted; the power room will be lifted on top of the gantry and the counterweight, all 30,000+ pounds of it, will be set in place as well. We'll try to get some new pics this Saturday.
  • staff is getting everything ready for the winter season this week as well. All the new signs for the lifts and park were ordered to be consistent with the new standard.
  • several events taking place at the lodge this week and weekend also.
  • See you friday night!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Work continues

It has been nice to have the rain and wind out of the daily variables for the past couple of days and the forecast I saw has clear skies for the next six or seven days. Great!

Work has continued on the chairlift installation every day this week. A lot of the work done isn't worthy of pictures, ie replacing bearings, new bolts and nuts, new sheave liners, etc.

But yesterday we received the first two tower bases and got tower base number one installed. Here are some photos of yesterdays process. The process consists of digging a hole 4 ft X 6 ft X 8 ft deep; then lowering the 18" diameter steel tube tower base in the hole; line it up per the blueprints

then fill the hole with lots of concrete

and finish with a confirmation of all the angles and dimensions......then put a finish on the concrete.

This process between today (thursday) and tomorrow will be repeated five more times for the five remaining tower bases.
Looks like the week of November 10 we will be setting the towers, installing the top bull wheel and placing the drive house on top of the gantry...........keepin on! Talked to the firm in Missouri that will come on site to splice the steel cable and he is ready when we's all coming together.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Be sure to read the post earlier today

Here are three pics from today's concrete project. Another 13 yards of concrete being poured around the legs of the bottom terminal to lock it into position. Keep checking back for more updates.

Probably won't be more pics til this weekend as we prepare to set the tower bases. They go into EIGHT feet of concrete. The first of the eight foot holes has been dug.

ps. Dee, Ken and Carol have officially relocated to the new offices.