There is less joy on Mount Joy

By Geoff Lee

February 23, 2017 12:00 AM

A LITTLE DAMP The T-bar shed at Mount Joy Snow Resort had a river run through it forcing the hill to close last weekend. The low spot also collected melt water during late spring sking in 2016 when these skiers held on to the T-bar. The resort expects to be open this Saturday and Sunday. FILE LLS PHOTO

A river ran through it.
Unseasonably warm weather and a suspect culvert literally washed out skiing at Mount Joy Snow Resort last weekend.
“Our T-bar building was flooded and a small creek was running across the bottom of the hill,” said resort president, Ray Tatro on Feb. 21.
“I think a culvert must have opened up on the north side of the road that runs east-west.”
Tatro thinks the culvert may have jammed up earlier.
“It’s been pretty extreme weather in February,” he said with snow guns ready to fire up all week to re-open this weekend.
“We need the —9 C (temperatures), especially, if the humidity is below 90 per cent.”
The washout forced the postponement of the Optimist Kids day event set for last Sunday to a later day.
More winterish weather is in the forecast, with Mount Joy’s annual Slush Cup weekend ahead in mid March.
Tatro says nuts and good riddance to last week’s summertime weather conditions that he calls unusual.
“That said, though, there generally is a winter thaw for a week or more every year —this was past normal,” he said with it still fresh in his mind.
He said last Saturday they made some adjustments so water flow would be accommodated.
“We put a six inch culvert in and put snow over it, but we thought it still wasn’t going to be adequate to open the hill,” he said noting they were unable to stop the water
“It didn’t matter where the water was coming from, we can’t dam it up anyway.”
Their lease won’t allow for unauthorized earthworks.
Tatro said they knew the forecast called for cooler weather that would take care of the flooding.
Despite that week of warm weather, the hill maintained its base,  although everything was melting quickly.
“We’ve got a lot of our base snow and the bottom we groomed it really well on Saturday morning, but you couldn’t get across the river to it,” recalled Tatro.
“There was snow forecast for today (Feb. 21) and tomorrow, but now there’s nothing for the week,” he said.
“Better than ever, we can fight the weather, but we can’t if it’s right in the face.
“Our intentions are to make snow all this week to be open.”

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