Busy week…Monday meet with our Ski Patrol to set up the winter schedule and do our annual Chair Evac Refresher, Tuesday work on our pole mounted snow-making machines, Wed its on to grooming machines, Thursday its Kids Junior Racing Coaches meeting, Friday its chair lift terminal lubrications, chair repositioning and grip slip testing. Have you bought your Season Pass yet ? The cold stuff is coming.
Applications and checks arrived from two more families yesterday, we have indications that three more families will be signing up…..this gets us past the half way point in the $2500 we need raise so we will have the total funding for liability and workers comp. If the pledges come through we will still be $1200 short. All of the pass funds, including from the March sale, are in an escrow account so we can make full refunds if we cant proceed. All pre season prep activity is being carried out by our owner who has always worked as a volunteer so we can continue the prep activities. We will have to make a final decision in a few weeks because it just isnt safe to run a snowmaking operation by yourself. This whole dilemma came about because of a major insurance change last winter-something that we had no control over and had nothing to do with our safety record-which is perfect. So keep the faith we are doing everything we can do.
The 90 day long range forecast tells us that the snows will come starting around November 15 with good on and off snowfalls frequently between then and January 1st. Long range forecasts have to be taken with a bit of caution but these forecasts are definitely better than we were seeing the last two years. We are getting interest in our need for additional season pass sales but we still have a way to go. Preliminary estimates based on initial response is that we are 40% of goal with $1500 still needed. Season Pass applications may be downloaded from our web site camp10skiandsnowboard.com
More work on our West Side “Blue” T Bar…..greasing the T Bar drive terminal requires a grease gun and a “grease monkey” who can climb into crazy places and is a bit on the crazy side (who me?) the journey of greasing about 40 grease fittings throughout the ski lift gets completed when all of the ones in hard to reach places are done. This was followed by using about one gallon of casteroil cable lubricant to coat the 2400 feet of cable on the T Bar. Then 18 safety circuit switches were checked/repaired. Last stop in the process is hanging the T’s. Next up- the chair lift.
We are still short on the number of season pass sales we need in order to assure coverage of our various insurance policies that must be in place before we can open. Even though we had an good renewal rate (83% vs industry average of 55%) we still have not raised enough capital for reinsurance. We are about $2500 short or the equivalent of 17 more season passes being sold. We are going to extend the pre October 1st prices in the hopes we can get some more support….waiting till the snow flies will be too late. In the event of worse case scenario all pass sales will be refunded. In the meantime we will continue to prep for season opening.
Members of the Little Switzerland Ski Patrol at their OEC Refresher yesterday. Once a year all members of the National Ski Patrol (29,000) have participate in what is called an annual “refresher”. The refreshers are designed to practice and improve skills related to the care of those we help when needed. This year the Camp 10 Patrol members will be doing their refreshers at various locations through Wisconsin and Michigan. Gren, who is also a patroller, did his annual refresher with the Little Switzerland Patrol. Pat participated with Cascade Mnt Patrol, Brad with the Pine Mnt Patrol and our other patrollers are still setting up their schedules but in the end each of the Camp 10 Patrollers will have spent a full day in refreshing emergency first aid skills, a half day in refreshing advanced CPR skills, plus some practice refresher time on chairlift evacuation procedures. All patrollers at all patrols go through the same refresher process. They are all volunteers. They all have the same objective of being there if you need us. They represent all walks of life and have the common denominators of loving the sport and caring about people. You too could become a member of the National Ski Patrol
In order to provide more skiing snowboarding opportunities we need to add additional Ski Patrollers. We will be holding an informational meeting for people who would like to learn more about what is involved in becoming a member of the National Ski Patrol as an Alpine Patroller. If you have an interest contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry is installing a new breaker switch as part of our Snowdallion Run Snowmaking expansion. Three pole mounted airless snowmakers have now been fully installed and tested on Snowdallion. These will be supplemented with ground units from our fleet.
I thought I could get more work done if I could cut down the commute time to the ski area but my wife said no.
Got a friend who doesn’t know how to ski and something seems to stop them from trying ? They dont have time…or they think its just to expensive to try….they think they should have tried when they were a kid but now they are to “old”. Well we’ve got good news for them (and you as their friend). We’ve got a brand new program coming this winter that will take care of all of the “I can’ts”. You go to work on rekindling a little bit of interest and we’ll do our thing by providing something that will get them into one of the most FUN things of winter. This is the year…this is the time…the FUN season on white starts soon.
UW Green Bay Ski Team returned to Camp 10 Ski Area Saturday for part of their annual early season training running our slopes.
Lindsey Vonn Olympic Gold Medalist Ski Racer got her start at a small Midwestern ski area similar to Camp 10 Ski Area.
Mowing is sorta like riding a roller coaster…except you’ve got to hang on. All of the rain this year resulted in some weeds almost six feet deep and all the slopes have to be mowed before snowmaking starts.
Fall officially starts on Sept 22 but we are already thinking November when the white stuff is flying from the snowguns. But we need NINE more before then. Nine more what? We need nine more season pass sales for a green light. Season Passes take a price jump on October 1st. Go to camp10skiandsnowboard.com to download a season pass application.
A Camp 10 adult lift ticket was about $7 back in 1979 when we purchased the place. In todays dollars (accounting for inflation) thats about the same as $23.50. But in 1979 the area had 2 T Bars and a rope tow, one grooming machine, lifts driven by gasoline engines (ugh), and a septic system that amounted to a large hole in the ground. Today that ticket is $34. That extra $11 can be related to the addition of a chair lift, conversion of all the other lifts to commercial electric power, addition of a snowmaking system, proper septic system, major upgrades to grooming equipment, addition of lights for night skiing (though thats been limited to special occasions). Its been an adventure
Just spent three days at the Midwest Ski Areas Association annual meeting. This meeting was held at the Devils Head Ski Area with about 400 attendees representing ski areas throughout the Midwest Your representative was able to attend quite a few technical sessions as part of a continuous education program that covered almost all aspects of ski area operations and guest services. It all helps us try to do a better job of seeing that our customers -you and your families- really have a FUN time when zoooming around on our great slopes.
This picture was taken on April 27th…and boy was it a temptation to do a last spring fling. What a circus of a winter! But we’ll be even more prepared for next winter as we are adding more snowmaking machines, more improvements to both of our grooming machines, and increasing the number of ski lifts from 3 (chairlift, red T Bar & rope tow) to 4 as our Blue T Bar comes back into service (which opens up three of the best runs). About 80 days till the most fun time of the year kicks off with the roar of snowmaking machines….its coming soon.
We were younger then….Gren and Eileen were at Aspen in 1977 with the Mid America Ski Club. They took groups on ski trips all over the West, Midwest, and Europe. Gren skied at over 150 different ski areas before their purchase of Camp 10 Ski Area in 1979.
Most of you think ski lifts, groomers, and snowmakers are the big important things at ski areas…and they are ! But we have an old Ford 8N Tractor that is the very very important jewel of the operation. The Ford 8N Tractor enables 80% of our summer maintenance, it makes possible mowing all of the ski slopes (except Gretchens Gulp). And its the machine that gets all of our snowmaking machines positioned for the start of snowmaking. Well even great tools need maintenance and this year we needed to install all new brakes and seals …the brakes are especially needed when driving down the ski slopes to mow the grass and weeds…the weeds are 5 foot deep in places thanks to all of the rain. And a very special thanks to Brad for his hours of volunteer labor on the tractor rebuild! Brad is also one of our ski patrollers who puts in a lot of volunteer time in the winter looking out for all of our great customers whos dollars keep the place humming.
More good stuff on the Blue T Bar….it opens up four more runs this winter. The skiing will be great but lugging those ladders around is a bit of a drag.
As part of our maintenance process we do an awful lot of greasing wheels and bearings on all of our ski lift towers. After climbing up on one of our Blue T Bar towers to grease some sheave bearings we heard some strange peeps. Carefully looking over the backside of the tower arm we found these little guys. We greased the bearings and got out of there pretty quick so Mama bird could resume her duties.
Two new high density foam filled tires for our LMC2100 Groomer….and you thought your $120 tires were expensive….these puppies checked in at about seven and a half season passes. But it addresses a problem and its another step towards better grooming.
January 30 2015
West Side Blue T Bar Opens This Weekend.
The Blue T Bar will resume alternate operations to open up 4 additional runs and trails. The addition of the West side runs to the Chair Lift runs, beginner area tow, and East Side T Bar provides a wide variety of great runs.
January 05 2015
Saturday was a boomer as everyone was anticipating a cold day on Sunday. Well, Sunday was cold
(it would have been ok but the wind made it a bit tough)
Even at that we had a number of season pass holders out and some new visitors.
So it eas still a good close out of Christmas Week.
Temperature Monday morning at 7 am was minus 23 with a minus 45 wind chill.
We now go to our weekend operation where we will be open weekends (Sat & Sun) from 9:30- 4:00 pm.
January 02 2015
A family group that has been part of the Camp 10 fabric since 1979. They represent part of what I really love about owning the place… watching families grow up and being a small part of their lives. Every year they come out from Washington DC and share some laughs and good times.
January 01 2015
Jan 1st started off the year for us with a good turnout and some really good ski conditions.
December 31 2014
At Camp 10 Ski Area our customers come first in everything we do yet as this year winds down I’d also like to acknowledge another very important group that helps make this whole thing possible….our employees. Each year I’ve been blessed with a good crew and its happened once again this year. We all enjoy helping all of you have a great day.
Happy New Year and come ski (or snowboard ) with us again in 2015.
Wishing you the best in 2015
December 29 2014
December 29 2014
This means that you want to add an extra layer (several thin layers are better than one extra thick one) ditto on the socks….sometimes folks try to wear two layers of extra thick socks and that can actually make you colder by restricting circulation in your feet when stuffed into a ski boot. How’s that for a bunch of pleasant info? We should be seeing a tad more sunshine and minimal winds today which always makes the day a bit more special. Hay Packer fans….we won a bye…lets hope the extra time helps Rogers leg and the rest of the Packers crew gets all rested and ready
December 27 2014
Wow, we’re two days into holiday week and really having fun greeting old friends and making new ones! We’ve had families in from as far south as Naples FL, as far east as Washington DC, and scads of places in between. We are seeing Pass Perks families from some of our “sister” ski areas. Plus we are meeting a number of locals for the first time at Camp 10. The snow conditions received a nice boost with about 7 inches of snow in the past 18 hours (this was on top of our 9 to 30 inch base). Brad, Jason and Gren teamed up for some patrol stuff when needed (all ended well) and in general its been a great way to start holiday week
December 24 2014
Wishing you and yours a very joyful Merry Christmas and happy holidays. I hope all of you are able to relax and just enjoy this special time.
December 13 2014
Picked up replacement kitchen deep fryer, ordered a ring and pinion gear for the Spryte Groomer from California, the oil leak in the LMC2100 required a bit of gymnastics and about 8 hrs. work but its done, and we did get some more snow so keep up the snow base. Oh yeah, also ordered a new intercom for one of the ski lifts. All in all, it was a good day!
December 22 2014
Lets see, we need to get a new kitchen deep fryer, a ring and pinion gear for the Spryte Groomer, fix an oil leak on the LMC2100, get a new intercome set for one of the lifts, and of course we need to continue the snow dances. We ran training sessions for the new lift operators Sunday afternoon where they rotated through all the lift stations which will be a big help for the busy Christmas week.
We are going to be open daily Dec 26 through Jan 4th.
The refurbished wood burning furnace is working great (thanks Chris) and does a good job of supplementing our high efficiency LP furnace.
All in all a wonderful start to what looks like a fun season for all of us.
December 16 2014
December 13 2014
December 11 2014
Sunday the 14th is looking very questionable.
The forecast for Sunday is 38-40 degrees with rain throughout the day.
Skiing in those conditions would result in quite a bit of iceing as the Sunday night temps dropped below freezing.
December 10 2014
We will be wrapping up some of the smaller things this week like the final tweeks on the rope tow, chair lift brake tests, another grooming session, and clearing up the last of the things to make the lodge look more like a ski lodge than a maintenance building (it will happen!).
Thanks to members of the King family the wood burning furnace will be back in use to supplement our high efficiency LP Furnace for a bit more lodge comfort. Corry and Keiths work on the small groomer has made a major improvement (this is stuff above and beyond the major transmission rebuild) so all is looking well. We’ve got some new employees this year and they had the first phase of training last Friday with another training session planned for Friday the 12th.
The overwhelming reason that we are here is to provide you, our guests, a fun enjoyable day whether your out at the area on your own, with friends, or with family, we want you to have a great time.
Our mission statement has always been quite simple ” We take care of our customers and they will take care of us.” we have certainly seen this demonstrated more than ever over the past year where we have had our biggest growth in season pass holders and an unbelievable amount of project help from many passholders and community members.
Kudos to all- we’ll do our best to help make you proud of Wisconsins biggest little ski area.
December 5 2014
After much weeping and wailing and pacing the floor we have decided to stay with the original plan of opening on Saturday Dec 13.
With the snowmaking of the past two days and what’s happening tonight it would be a very difficult time crunch to have every thing as it should be by Dec 6th.
We tried hard but close only counts in horseshoes and we want all of our loyal customers to have the best experience possible, so start planning for Dec 13th.
December 4 2014
Our new snowmaking crew did very well and the system ran without a hitch.
Couple more things to do and we’ll be able to kick off the season.
Still shooting for Saturday.
November 2014- Season Pass Holder Update
Each Camp 10 Season Pass Holder may use a 50% discount coupon for Granite Peak.
The coupon may be used anytime after Jan 1st and must be presented with the Camp 10 current season laminated photo id pass. The Granite Peak ticket personnel will also punch a designated area on your season pass. This perk is a one time perk whereas all of the other perks are multiple usage.
The current season pass sale price is now $160 . The regular season pass price of $185 goes into effect on December 1st
We’ve discovered that using Facebook is a very quick way of getting information out to our skiers and snowboarders.
Find us by going to Facebook/camp10skiarea. Once you’ve found us click on a “Like” button and that automatically gets you the updates and news as we post them.
Thanks again to the wonderful help and support from our Season Pass Holders!
All of our customers are important to us but the season pass holders are that extra special group that makes much of what we do possible.
July 2014 Season Pass Holder Newsletter
Wow, the year of strange weather continues- was up at the ski area a week or so back and it almost got cold enough (38F Tomahawk) one night to make snow.
We’ve started depositing all of your wonderful season pass checks and that reminds me to once again thank all of you for your fine support. You don’t know how much of a stress relief it is to know that we have enough funds in July to cover those big insurance bills that come due in November/December. It puts me in the position to concentrate on making things better instead of worrying about can we or how will we. Can’t thank all of you enough and we’ll certainly do our best to show it with actions.
And as for actions- we did have a surplus of about $5000 from last winter- and that was a very pleasant surprise considering the extreme cold. Those monies plus an additional $2000 from a tax refund all went back into the operation: About $2500 into a completely refurbished Ford 391 engine for our heavy duty Packmaster Groomer, $1500 into a snowmaking machine motor rebuild by L&S Electric, $1000 into a transmission rebuild for our smaller Spryte Groomer, and $1500 for new wiring/new main motor shaft bearing/new rollback detector Morse clutch/, new e brake hydraulic cylinder/new service brake pads/new emergency brake pads, and $500 for concrete repairs on our red T Bar. All of the monies spent went for the purchase of parts and materials…my labor was donated and the labor from our mechanic & electrician gets paid out of cash flow this winter.
We feel that the work on the groomers was particularly important: the grooming technique continued to improve but then in mid February we lost both grooming machines so the actions/expenditures now are to correct those problems and give us better equipment than we had to begin with. Most of the work in the Chair Lift drive terminal was to improve reliability (which has been good) and complete some key maintenance items. The chair lift work also allowed us to eliminate some idiosyncrasies and get our new maintenance (Matt) really up to snuff on the fairly complex safety circuit system.
We are also doing selective logging with Packaging Corporation of America. (Dean and his crew are paying particular attention to the aesthetics of the ski area). The funds from this work is going towards paying off some heavy credit card funding we had to use in the two winters before this one (not losses on operations but expenditures for upgrades and improvements that couldn’t be funded from operations). All of this puts us in a stronger position going forward.
The ski patrol has been busy with some fund raising stuff and as a result we hope to be in the position of having four fully equipped rescue toboggan strategically located by each lift and in their own weatherized containers. The toboggans were donated by the Olympia Patrol last fall but we have to provide backboards and trauma kits plus build the shelters.
A few of our season pass holders suggested setting up a volunteer day where volunteers could lend a hand with some things like painting and lodge prep. We will pick a date in September and let everyone know for those that might want to help.
Speaking of help…we will be looking for some ski instructors. Ski Instructors actually get paid of all things! I’m thinking that if we could have a half dozen instructors we could have a fairly loose informal schedule that gives us coverage and isn’t burdensome for anyone. We currently have three of our high school gals who are going to be doing a tiny tots program, plus one employee who also pinch hits as an instructor. When there is a lesson the pay ranges from $9 to $20 for the lesson. Qualifications – should be a good intermediate level skier with good communication skills. We’ve got some teaching videos, we’ll have an on snow teaching clinic or two, plus this year we have a Level 3 PSIA instructor who has volunteered to meet with the instructor group for some instructor coaching.
National Ski Patrol: If anyone has an interest- will be running a course this winter at Camp 10 most likely from 3-4:30 each Saturday during ski season, plus there would be some at home studying and some over the internet assignments. Costs (to NSP are about $150 for the course fee (NSP), books and materials. Contact Gren if interested/need more info etc. This year Patrick Cork has transferred to our patrol from Bruel, and Barb Young should have completed her summer course and received qualifications bringing our patrol up to eleven patrollers. We can take up to four more.
Employees: We will be needing approximately 10 ski lift operators – so if you know of anyone have them contact Gren(they need to be 17+ years of age).
Hope you are all having a G r e a t summer!
Pres/GM Camp 10 Ski Area