Opening Done. Onto Expansion!

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Another opening day weekend is done and it was awesome to welcome you all to Granite Peak again or maybe for the first time! No matter how many opening days I’ve done they always give me goosebumps, jitters, and of course a little anxiety.  Now our focus shifts to expanding terrain.

I was so excited to see so many kids here on opening day. I drove in to check on a few things at 6:15am, and yes, there was one young man already waiting. I think his mom was in the parking lot sleeping! By 7am I think he had about 10 others behind him. And by 7:30 there were 30 eager opening day kids.

Wednesday was our busiest opening day in quite some time, if ever? I’m not sure how counts prior to the gates being put in were estimated. I’ve only been here for a few years but some veterans such as Rodney, Vicki and Pattie all stated they were amazed at the turnout. Either way it was fun!

Ski resorts don’t really get a “soft” opening. We jump right in and OTJ training is immediate! Things were far from perfect this weekend and we will continue to improve just like your skiing & riding will throughout the season.

What are we doing this week?

Expanding terrain with a whole lot of pushing. A lot. If you were here over the weekend you probably noticed the continued snowmaking throughout the day and into the night.

I’m aggressive in opening. I want to get trails open quickly. Rodney, our Director of Mountain Ops is more conservative. He likes lots of snow. I like a lot of snow too, but will push to open a trail quicker than he might. It’s the marketing side of me. We find a happy compromise every time but I will say he knows his snow.  Elk and Slalom will both be open as Rod was the one in the winch cat doing the work on both trails!  The man is a Legend and knows this mountain better than anyone!

This is what was open this weekend:

Next weekend this is what you should expect to be open:

We’ll be adding Sundance, Mystery, Elk, Aspen, the Summit Trail and maybe even Slalom. Woodspur, & High Traverse are also possibilities.

This is where snowmaking has been already and will continue to go:

Last night the guys started making snow on WhiteWolf, Carver, and Superstition. We will continue on these trails and will add:

The lower East and a few smaller sections in the middle plus White Lightning next.

With the expansion we’ll add the Blitzen Triple, or “the 3-man,” as my son and so many others call it. A great lift with the Mid-station for beginners to get off and for experts to “Yo-Yo” trails like Woodspur and Sundance. This will help lines and will also expand the terrain available to beginners.

We will continue to work with our team on loading procedures at Comet. Comet is not the easiest lift to load and guests also need to work with us, but we will be better. I’ll admit we had some struggles Friday and Saturday, but Saturday afternoon I saw improvements and then on Sunday it was even better. A couple things that I noticed…

The area where we queue up guests, or our maze, was not as flat as I would have liked until Sunday. The maze area is unfortunately on a sloped area of earth that makes it difficult to level without any grade. Many of you were lined up sideways which is not our intention at all and it really hurts our ability to get butts in seats. Our groomers have been focused on the terrain, which left us little time to really dial this in. Peter (Snow Surfaces Director) worked on this Saturday night and this week we will continue to widen out that load area with snow and groomer work.  Please when we call you out stay in your groups after you pass the gates it really helps.

Thanks for your patience here. We will get it dialed in for this weekend.

What happened to Comet?

Also the Comet Lift was down for 60 mins on Saturday and our lift maintenance team did a great job in fixing the situation after a sheave alignment bolt broke. In each tower there are vertical and horizontal bolts connected to a ​​sensor that help make sure the sheave trains are level, keeping the haul rope in place and safe.

They are inside the towers. When one faults the sensor goes off and alerts our team. Our lift maintenance manager Matt went to the Tower after the alarm went off and an emergency break was applied and two young girls informed him that something fell. A gentleman Chase had picked up the bolt and he gave it to Matt. At that point we made the decision to unload the lift and fix the issue immediately. The team had to climb the tower, remove the broken piece and install a new one. Matt said one hour and it was almost to the second. We shut it down at 10am and were back loading by 11am. I spoke to many people and I can’t say how impressed I was with everyone’s understanding. Your patience goes a long way to fueling our efforts; thank you.

The Cranberry Jam to the Rescue

Saturday was a tough day for me personally. We had a snowmaking hose blow off a hydrant that caused some headaches right at 7:30am and then the Comet mechanical. These are things that weren’t preventable and nobody’s fault sometimes things just go awry but that’s why we have teams to fix these things! To make matters worse the Buckeyes (my team) lost to Michigan and then Wisconsin (my second team) couldn’t finish off Minnesota! Ugh!!!

My spirits were lifted as I went out and watched my son and 50 other kids compete in the first ever (definitely not the last) Cranberry Jam on lower Aspen. Ry, Chris, and the rest of the Park Rangers did an awesome job putting together a beautiful, clean venue with an array of custom features suitable for all abilities. We had 50 turkey legs out there and gave away a ton of product. The kids were incredible and it was so fun!

Speaking of Ronan, (above) he’ll be back with his “Ronan Report” soon! He’s been on the snow everyday 9am – 6pm. He truly is my little snow reporter! He fills me in on all the details going on. If you are ever on the chairlift with him I’m sure he’ll tell you everything you need to know! Very proud of this young man as he’s nailing 360s already after perfecting the 180 at the end of last season. Granite Peak is place where skiers of all ages can flourish.

Congratulations as well to Jon and Jolie – if you are on our Facebook Page we shared a video of an engagement that occurred atop the ski hill.  It was beautiful and Jon did it right.  They met here 3 years ago and the reaction to the proposal is exactly what one would hope for when you propose.  Of course she said YES!

Lastly, next weekend we should be the safest ski resort in the Midwest! We are welcoming a ton of ski patrollers from the Central Division of the National Ski Patrol for training and education! These men and women are the most dedicated crew I’ve ever met and I look forward to welcoming them to Granite Peak!

Thanks again for a great weekend and reading our blog. I hope to see you back this weekend we are open 9am – 9pm Friday – Sunday.


P.S. A few asked about Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals so here is one! Save 20% off Christmas Week Lift Tickets – available now through December 5th.


  1. Greg Diekroeger on December 1, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Shout out to the entire Crew at Granite Peak this past weekend. Pretty amazing that we were able to ski before December. The hard work and dedication was evident and we appreciate everyone’s efforts. See you this weekend. Cheers!

    • Greg Fisher on December 1, 2021 at 7:11 pm

      Thanks Greg! Look forward to having you back and each week I’m confident it will continue to get better and better through the month!

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