"Like a fine wine or Brady Bunch re-run, Stratton Mountain seems to get better with age. After experiencing one of the snowiest winters in recent history, the resort couldn't be more excited for the 2008-2009 ski season," says Stratton's Will Riseley.
So, said Riseley, Stratton has been busy with terrain, equipment, and the calendar.
The resort has two new intermediate trails in the Sunbowl area, located to skiers right off of Sunriser Supertrail. The trails will be treated as glades this season, with no snowmaking.
The largest off-season glade project has been the creation of natural terrain features (jumps, rails, banks, rollers etc.) in the Emerald Forest glade. "This process, originally used in the Test Pilot glade, utilizes logs, felled trees, rocks, and other naturally occurring obstacles to create organic counterparts to features normally found in terrain parks," Riseley explained.
Stratton's longest and most innovative glade, Test Pilot, also is receiving some attention this off-season as some of the more densely treed areas are being thinned out to create better lines and more space to rip. All of the harvested timber then will be used to create features within the glade.
"Easy Street will be a newly launched, 3-mile-long, family friendly trail that starts at the summit and winds down to the base through Mike's Way, West Meadow, Drifter Link, and Old Log Road. Mountain Patrol will be stationed along the route as a reminder that this trail is designed for an easy-does-it style of skiing and riding. The route delivers big-time views of the surrounding area and will cater to families, beginners and everyone looking to take it easy," Riseley said.
There's lots of terrain park news too. Suntanner will no longer host a terrain park but will instead have a Boarder-X course on its lower reaches. Tyrolienne will be the beginner/intermediate park and will play host to a Saturday night, under the lights, series of events. East Byrneside and Old Smoothie will be the intermediate/advanced parks and will be updated with newer features for 2008-09. An 18-foot Superpipe will be built on Sunriser Supertrail in the Sunbowl area by MLK day or before if conditions permit. Betwixt/Beeline will be a rail/jib park with multiple lines designed for all abilities of park riders.
Stratton is rolling out two new Prinoth groomers, and has spent $500,000 on 40 new low energy tower guns, installation of a more efficient pump that uses 30 percent less energy, and a new 1,700 cfm compressor which is 20 percent to 30 percent more energy efficient.
The resort also is adding a series of amateur snowboard and freeskiing events to be held Saturday nights under the lights Dec. 27, Jan. 17, and Feb. 7.