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Laurel Mountain Progress
28 posts from 11 users
Updated 7 years ago
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7 years ago
Has anyone heard of any progress with Laurel Mountain or walked back in to see?
7 years ago
I hiked there this weekend and nothing is happening. The trail has not been mowed since early summer. The last I heard was the design study was to be completed this month and bidding for actual construction was to begin by the end of this year.
7 years ago
I wonder if it will ever open. I don’t know if 7 Springs even wants it open. I heard they are interested in Wisp. I will be walking back in fall. I go back and it brings back good memories.
7 years ago
At this point in the design process, they should have completed at least the "Schematic Design" phase. If they are still in the study phase, the project will NOT open next year.
I kind of dropped the ball here. I was going to try and initiate some communication to some of the polititians who SHOULD BE PUSHING THE PROJECT. Unfortunately, I got very busy and never accomplished anything.
However, I would like to suggest that we start an advocacy organization called "The Friends of Laurel Mountain" or what ever. We can incorporate, be tax exempt, raise money and hopefully raise some hell.Obviously, Seven Springs is not pushing this project…who knows they may be holding it up?
Denis - DCSki Supporter
7 years ago
What is the attitude, official and unofficial, about skinning it? Is it skiable, or overgrown with saplings? I skied there in the late 60s when in grad school in Pittsburgh and liked the terrain much better than 7 Spr., which has only gotten worse. It is really more an amusement park than a ski area.
7 years ago
I saw this posted somewhere, most likely here.

Full Disclaimer, I have no idea who these people are.

Laurel Poaching

in case the link does not work

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss7xjafQLUs

If the Wisp rumor is true, I doubt I will ever ski there.
7 years ago
That video is on one of the Laurel Mountain Facebook pages. I was there last year and it is skiable. There were ski tracks on the slopes. It is a long walk back up and Lower Wildcat is a little grown up. We need to get in shape. If Nut heads won’t turn on power for the lifts, we can walk.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
7 years ago
How do you get there? I went looking a few years ago and couldn’t find it. I know it was via US-30 from my Pittsburgh days but memory of details from some 40 yrs. ago proved insufficient. Finally some local directed me to Laurel State Park which turned out to be near 7 Spr. and not near Laurel Mtn. at all.
7 years ago
Someone directed you to Laurel Hill State Park near 7Springs. Laurel Mountain is located off Laurel Summit Road which intersects Route 30 near the crest of Laurel Mountain on Route 30.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
7 years ago
Originally Posted By: snowsmith
Laurel Mountain is located off Laurel Summit Road which intersects Route 30 near the crest of Laurel Mountain on Route 30.


So do I go uphill on that road? I recall that LM was an Upside down area with the base lodge at the top. Is the Summit road going to take me all the way to that old parking lot & base lodge, or do I need more information? Do I park somewhere and perhaps go through a gate and ski XC on a road to get to the start of the slope? Thanks in advance.
7 years ago
After you make the right off of rte 30 east onto Laurel Summit Rd (at the summit), you will proceed until the pavement ends. At this point, there is a large parking lot to your left and the road back to Laurel Mt is to your right. There is an old little booth that sits on the corner of the road back to LM. These days, the road is always gated. So you would have to park in the main lot there and hike/XC back the road.

Alternatively, you can park at the next lot (warming hut) and there is a trail (I am 99% certain it is called Loop Trail) that takes you to a gated gravel road that goes the whole way back to the resort. Not as straightforward as there is a place where the maintenance area is down to your right that you have to bear left onto a quick section of single track to get to the resort.

And yes, you are correct, when you do get back the gated road to the resort, the lodge is on top and other than a chairlift is the first thing you would see.
7 years ago
Originally Posted By: snowsmith
At this point in the design process, they should have completed at least the "Schematic Design" phase. If they are still in the study phase, the project will NOT open next year.
I kind of dropped the ball here. I was going to try and initiate some communication to some of the politicians who SHOULD BE PUSHING THE PROJECT. Unfortunately, I got very busy and never accomplished anything.
However, I would like to suggest that we start an advocacy organization called "The Friends of Laurel Mountain" or what ever. We can incorporate, be tax exempt, raise money and hopefully raise some hell.Obviously, Seven Springs is not pushing this project…who knows they may be holding it up?


I have long felt that there should be a more formal advocacy group than the posting and e-mail campaigns here. How do you see this group forming and what types of activities can this group do? Who is our target member? Will we be a virtual group or do you see actual meetings and lobbying?

I have proposed before that instead of an advocacy group that is political in nature and could potentially seen as confrontational that we instead form a conservation group through Linn Run State Park (the manager of Linn Run is also responsible for Laurel Mountain State Park) and offer our labor to help clear trails and do other physical chores around the ski area. We could assume the responsibility of fund raising to rehab Midway Cabin, which the State still owns. This way we could be seen as a public partner with Seven Springs and the State Park system. We could still do traditional advocacy but we can also bring labor and a source of alternate funding to the table.

A non-profit already exists, Friends of Linn Run & Forbes State Forest which surrounds both Linn Run and Laurel Mountain SP and contain all the mountain bike/xc/hiking trails on top of the mountain. This group is largely dormant but is a 401c3 organized under the Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation.

There also exists a non-affiliated Laurel Mountain Group that works with the Forbes State Forest manager to do yearly trail and structure maintenance in the Forbes Forest. hey will have their last outing on October 8. hey are organized as a conservation group through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the state agency responsible for state parks and forest. I mention this group to present as a model.

Any other thoughts?
7 years ago
Quote:
After you make the right off of rte 30 east onto Laurel Summit Rd (at the summit)


Denis, you’ll be heading in the opposite direction, so you’ll be taking a left.

Laurel Mtn Google Maps

General direction per their old web site/trail maps: 70 to 219 North to 30 West to Laurel Mtn State Park.
7 years ago
Originally Posted By: JohnL
Quote:
After you make the right off of rte 30 east onto Laurel Summit Rd (at the summit)


Denis, you’ll be heading in the opposite direction, so you’ll be taking a left.

Laurel Mtn Google Maps

General direction per their old web site/trail maps: 70 to 219 North to 30 West to Laurel Mtn State Park.


It’s still a right off of Rt 30 East. It’s a left off of Rt 30 West.

I’ve seen that one used as a trap instruction on a road rally.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
7 years ago
Point noted, thanks to all.

Denis (Member of the N VA contingent who would be coming from the east, though I do have a fondness for the city of Pittsburgh and the Steelers, from my days spent at CMU.)
7 years ago
I have heard that there has been some preliminary work going on at the site for the new lift . I have not been able to confirm this report rockclimber
7 years ago
Originally Posted By: skibum
I have heard that there has been some preliminary work going on at the site for the new lift . I have not been able to confirm this report rockclimber


I saw nothing at the top during a visit last week. I was asking my companions where they think it will be. I’ve heard they are going to realign, not use the existing double chair placement. What do you think?
7 years ago
if there is a new lift it will be more to the skiers right up over dream highway .
7 years ago
I know the way these government projects work. Once a politician makes a committment for the completion of a project, the design team better get their act together and get it done by then…or else. While I think it is a great idea to plant flowers at the Midway cabin, tend to trails, etc. That is not going to get this ski area operation going. Politician respond to their constituents. They really don’t like being embarrassed by the government agencies that are supposed to make them look good. If we are not somewhat confrontational, we’re not going to be effective.

As far as preliminary work for a lift, the only work that could be going on at this point is soil borings for the lift pole foundation design. The disturbance caused by this work should be obvious and the boring locations should have been staked by a surveyor (thus painted stakes should be visible) and should have markings that say something like "Boring B-1" or the like.

I think we need to specifically ask the PA Parks folks "at what milestone is the design and construction documents for the project". Once we know that, we’ll know how far along this project is. At this point the design should be close to the 90% (CD)level if this project is going out for public bidding in the Spring of 2012.
7 years ago
This is from Doug, the Linn Run State Park Manager:



The consultant Moshier Studio’s has sent the final details to the Department of General Services, and we hope to be out to bid this winter. The Construction schedule and details will be worked out, and I would anticipate a press release late winter early spring 2012 detailing the plan.



Douglas E. Finger
Park Manager
Linn Run Laurel Mountain
State Park Complex
724-238-6623
7 years ago
My opinion on 7S involvement in this project is they are merely a consultant at this stage. I don’t believe they are actively pushing the state to get this done ASAP through lobbyists or with financial aid. That opinion is based on conversations with a high ranking 7S rep.

In this climate of government budgetary constraints, I will be shocked, albeit happily shocked, if there is skiing at Laurel for the 2012-13 season. As a matter of fact, my view has changed in that I have a difficult time with the state justifying spending over $6 million to reopen Laurel right now, especially knowing how inefficiently the state will spend that money (e.g. I believe between 15% & 20% of the 6 mil is going to the Dept of General Services just to oversee the project).
7 years ago
My current right to know request for the design documents produced for this project is being delayed until a legal determinations is made whether these documents are a matter of public record. I quote:

….you are hereby notified that your request is under legal review which is necessary to determine whether a requested record is a "public record" for the purposes of the RTKL….

RTKL stands for Right To Know Law. A determination and response is due by November 10, 2011. If the fees to provide me with a copy of these records is in excess of $100.00 then I must prepay the fee before copies are released.

I am modifying my request to a simple overview of the plans to eliminate any detailed engineering reports.
7 years ago
I checked out Moshier Studios website. They appear to be a small architectural firm with no ski resort experience…not an encouraging sign. Hopefully, they had on-board, a subconsultant who specializes in ski resort, snowmaking and lift design.
I would love to be able to review the plans if you could somehow make a copy. I would split the $100 fee with you.
7 years ago
JimK posted this link in the other Laurel thread:

http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2011/10…ens-for-skiing/

What struck me was "at least 2012-2013" until Laurel reopens.

The pace of progress is a joke and reflects poorly on all involved.
7 years ago
Originally Posted By: snowsmith
I checked out Moshier Studios website. They appear to be a small architectural firm with no ski resort experience…not an encouraging sign. …….


Snowsmith,

What did you expect? Its Govt. work, you don’t need experience, you just need to be the low bidder. crazy

In the past three years, construction costs have gone down by 30-40% (maybe more). Most municipalities are taking advantage of this, I’m surprised that the State of PA isn’t.
7 years ago
I have been in the consulting engineering business for 35+ years and typcally, work is awarded based on what we call the QBS system or ‘quality based selection’. What this means is the client evaluates your experience and the experience and qualifications of your staff as it relates to the project. Public notices are usually sent our requesting our qualifications (i.e. RFQ)to provide the services required on the project. Multiple firms usually submit. They then pick the team that has the best qualifications that match the project. However, we also ‘bid’ on projects at times, but qualifications still come into play. This architect seems to have no qualifications what so ever to do this project. Perhaps they contributed to the governers campaign crazy.

Bids from contractor are still coming in well below our estimates. 30% below is not unusual. Contractors are hungry for work and there are many unemployed or under-employed construction workers. They bid low on work just to keep the doors open and the staff employed. I do not see this changing any time soon. Thus, if they ever bid the job, they should get a very competitive price.
7 years ago
Don’t forget this factor in the award process:

"Moshier Studio is certified as a Woman Business Enterprise in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of Maryland."

From their website.
7 years ago
WBE and MBE firms still need to be qualified to do the work. It is possible that they have some subconsultants who do civil, structural and geotechnical engineering for the lift and the snow making infrastructure. I believe 7Springs is providing engineering for the snow making improvements (assume HKD equipment).

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