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Laurel Mountain Lease
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Updated 24 days ago
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28 days ago

Can anyone confirm what the lease status is with Laurel Mountain? I had heard 7S “re-upped” until year 2028, but it would be nice to have OFFICIAL confirmation from either 7S or the DCNR.

28 days ago

There is no official announcement that I know of but it is my understanding that a lease agreement has been made. In other words, maybe. We will just have to wait until the State and 7S makes an announcement. I hope the announcement comes with an additional $5 to 6 million to match what the State has set aside for Denton Hill. I’ll not hold my breath.

26 days ago

I checked the Support facebook page and there was nothing there. Oh…I see, Chris Plumber post IS the announcement. I was expecting a link to something official….. I wonder if there is any dollar commitments to expand snow making? How difficult would it be to expand snow making onto Dream Highway and connecting trails?

24 days ago

Maybe there will be a more elaborate announcement coming, maybe not. There never was snowmaking on that side of the mountain so cost will be significant. Right now there is no water recapture from melt on most of the mountain. Expansion of snowmaking ponds are a problem due to no clay in the soil so lining ponds will add expense. 

24 days ago

So are you saying that the snowmaking ponds don’t store the water? And the water just infiltrates into the ground? And they can’t store enough water to feed the sno making system? Clay is not that expensive to buy. It is available and in demand to address the need for storm water management facilities. Pelletized bentonite clay is also available in bag form. Snow making ponds should be at the bottom of the mountain so they can collect snow melt. But they are usually inter-connected so the water can be moved around. I think one of the keys to success for LM is to get snow making on Dream Highway and and adjacent trails. If 7S has signed a long term lease, maybe there are plans to address this? Regardless, I look forward to skiing LM for many years to come.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
24 days ago

snowsmith wrote:

So are you saying that the snowmaking ponds don’t store the water? And the water just infiltrates into the ground? And they can’t store enough water to feed the sno making system? Clay is not that expensive to buy. It is available and in demand to address the need for storm water management facilities. Pelletized bentonite clay is also available in bag form. Snow making ponds should be at the bottom of the mountain so they can collect snow melt. But they are usually inter-connected so the water can be moved around. I think one of the keys to success for LM is to get snow making on Dream Highway and and adjacent trails. If 7S has signed a long term lease, maybe there are plans to address this? Regardless, I look forward to skiing LM for many years to come.

Don’t know the snowmaking infrastructure for LM, but the flip side of having snowmaking pond(s) at the base of a mountain is that pumping is required to get the water to the slopes.  Meaning higher costs for electricity.

Jiminy Peak has a snowmaking pond up on the ridge.  Right next to the big windmill used to generate power.

24 days ago

snowsmith wrote:

So are you saying that the snowmaking ponds don’t store the water? And the water just infiltrates into the ground? And they can’t store enough water to feed the sno making system? Clay is not that expensive to buy. It is available and in demand to address the need for storm water management facilities. Pelletized bentonite clay is also available in bag form. Snow making ponds should be at the bottom of the mountain so they can collect snow melt. But they are usually inter-connected so the water can be moved around. I think one of the keys to success for LM is to get snow making on Dream Highway and and adjacent trails. If 7S has signed a long term lease, maybe there are plans to address this? Regardless, I look forward to skiing LM for many years to come.

I was solely addressing your question about additional snowmaking and the expense to do so. Although one pond is reported to have some leaking, they all hold water. SE Group (Snow Engineering) along with Seven Springs were the design consultants. They know what it takes. Both have been around for a long time. The snowmaking ponds were expanded during the recent rebuild.  As I understand the design parameters, there is enough holding capacity to cover the snowmaking trails 3 times over. To keep that kind of buffer more holding capacity is needed to expand snowmaking.

In addition to the main ponds at the top of the mountain there are two spring fed ponds that also catch some run off from the left side of the mountain. These are located near Midway Cabin almost at the bottom of Broadway and Deer Path, the traverse  back to the chair. The very bottom of the mountain is at Lower Wildcat which is right against both Wildcat Creek and Mellon’s Rolling Rock Farms, no room there and even if there were, I doubt that the Mellon Foundation would approve. There were thoughts to place a pond at the base of the old Quad but again, right up against the property line. These issue explain why there are no catch ponds at the bottom of the mountain.

As for your comment about Dream Highway and snowmaking, I agree that it is vital to Laurel’s long term success. I too hope there are plans to address these issues.

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