Employee Housing: New Slide Path, Old Ropeline

Last season a large avalanche ripped out a new slide path just south of Niagras in Employee Housing. Shown below with the new slide path, this area has always been known as Employee Housing, but had filled in with trees in the past few decades. Much of this area had been reclaimed through limbing. While some of the timber was quite old, there was also evidence of large slides predating the ski area.

This new ropeline groups Employee Housing and Niagras into one terrain pod

To control access to the new Employee Housing we have put in a ropeline from the top of Angle Point (just around from Gate 7) along the left side of Right Angle, then veering left through the trees toward the right side of Employee Housing, then straight down to 1-5 (Buff) Trail. This is similar to the old ropeline we used to have running the length of Right Angle.

While we do not cherish putting in a new ropeline, this, for now, is the only way to open Right Angle when must keep Niagras closed (due to low snow or Avalanche Control). It isn’t possible to run the ropeline between Employee Housing and Niagras because the two slide paths overlap below Old Faithful.

Why am I telling you all this? Good question.

Because, on a powder day, this new slide path is going to look like the Holy Grail. It would be too tempting to duck the ropeline and try to ski a few turns of the lovely new run. However, we might just be doing avalanche control in there. Or we might have it closed due to low snow conditions. We are hoping that by the time Employee Housing is skiable (right now, you would have to dodge all the downed timber), Niagras will be too. For now, Employee Housing will open and close with Niagras.

We ask everyone to respect this new ropeline as you do all of our closures and signs.

 

4 thoughts on “Employee Housing: New Slide Path, Old Ropeline

  1. Ski

    You should add a gate at the Left Angle side of Employee Housing.  The entrance from Gun Tower and Niagras is rocky and steep.  Not a safe way to enter.  With a gate, you can keep Employee Housing closed while doing avalanche control.  The entrance from Left Angle would open the run to more skiers who are less than perfect coming across the rocks.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Ski. We are currently evaluating the very best way to operate Employee Housing, and your idea is one of the ones being considered. Another is to put a rope line from Angle Point down to the start of the Gap Road with a gate at the top and get rid of the new Employee Housing ropeline altogether. Be patient with us as we make this decision. It’s an important one, and we want to get it right.

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      1. Crystal Skier

        I noticed last week that Gate 8, signed as Left Angle, was the access point to the new slide path (aka 1600 ft of new vertical). Is this right? To make certain I understand the options from Angle Point, it seems that gate 7 allows access to Spook Hill and Autobahn (middle section), gate 8 = Left Angle (Employee Housing), gate 9 = Niagaras and gate 10 = O Meadows (end of Guntower).  Is this right?  I haven’t been able to find a way to the Northway Chair from gate 10, is this right? Then, in order to find Left Angle Trees, you do not enter gate 7 but instead proceed down the Right Angle ridge traverse — with the ropeline on skier’s left.  If I am correct, then the rope line separates Left Angle Trees (skier’s right of the rope) from Employee Housing (skier’s left of the rope).  Then, there is no access to the new slide path (Employee Housing) from Left Angle Trees.  It seems a tad counterintuitive that gate 8 was not named “Employee Housing”.

        Many apologies for the many questions, but given the type of terrain it is important to understand the options. This level of detail also seems to be missing from the maps, your web site, and the internet (although the ol’ CMAC Aerial Guide is still relevant). 

        Ski Patrol does a great job with control and the Blog is extremely helpful.  Cheers!

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      2. You have it right. As it stands right now, the way to access Employee Housing is through Gate 8 (and you must go through Gate 7 to get to Gates 8-10). As I mentioned earlier, we might change that in the future. We are looking for the best way to manage this newly opened terrain during regular operations and avalanche control. Look here for any changes in the future. Thanks for your support at Crystal.

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