Arrowhead preps for season amid warmer temperatures

  • A group of children tubing at Arrowhead in 2020. Courtesy of Arrowhead Recreation Area

  • Snow guns coat the Arrowhead Recreation Area in anticipation of the season’s opening in 2018. Glynis Hart / Eagle Times

The Eagle Times
Published: 1/8/2022 1:30:58 PM
Modified: 1/8/2022 1:30:07 PM

The Arrowhead Recreation Area will likely have to push back the opening of its ski and snow tubing season at least another week due to less than cooperative weather so far this winter.

Though Arrowhead has not made an official announcement, Assistant Director Spencer Allen said he does not expect the slopes to be ready for skiing and tubing by Saturday, Jan. 8, as previously hoped.

“Generally we usually try to lay down between nine to 12 inches as far as man-made snow is concerned,” Allen said. “That is with exception to the extreme top and bottom sections, which we usually blow a little thicker at the beginning of the season so that we don’t have to readdress it [later].”

Arrowhead initially began making snow around Dec. 19, with the hope to have enough coverage to open the season on New Year’s Eve. However, in addition to an overall lack of snowfall this winter, warmer temperatures have severely limited the opportunities to make snow, Allen said.

According to Allen, the ideal periods to make snow are when the temperatures are below freezing.

With that in mind, seven of the last 13 days of December had temperature highs in the mid-to high 30s.

The current 10-day forecast appears more promising overall for snow-making, with significantly colder night temperatures during the stretch and relatively fewer days with temperatures above the freezing point.

However, the current week indicates a split of colder days and warmer ones, which limits the opportunities to make snow, according to Allen.

“Basically we are going to be making snow into Tuesday evening, but then we are going to be having storminess and warmer weather coming through on the days after that,” Allen said. “So Saturday morning will probably be our next opportunity to make snow.”

This winter’s snow accumulation so far, 11.8 inches, is the lowest in Claremont since 2018, which only had two snowfalls in December with accumulation totaling less than one inch.

During the 2018-2019 winter Arrowhead did not open until near the end of January due to similarly high temperatures throughout December and January, according to Allen.

In contrast, in December 2017, Claremont had eight snowfalls with a total accumulation of 26 inches and in December 2019 Claremont had nine snowfalls totaling 17 inches in accumulation.

In December 2020, Claremont only had one snowfall. It dropped a local record-breaking 41 inches.

On a positive note, Allen said the volunteer pool this year “is shaping up pretty well,” which has not always been the case in previous years.

Arrowhead will always welcome more volunteers and some areas of the non-profit recreation operation need more help, Allen said. The program currently has a good pool of ski instructors and volunteers to run the ski operation but would like an individual to oversee the scheduling. The concessions team is generally well-staffed though Arrowhead has looked to expand those operations to include food-runners and table bussing, so volunteers are still sought.

The tubing operation needs more volunteers, according to Allen, who is also looking for hill groomers and people to help run the ski rental services.

There are volunteer positions for people as young as 12 years old, as well as opportunities for individuals or groups to earn community service, Allen said.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities at Arrowhead, visit their website at arrowheadnh.com/secondary/volunteer.php.

To get updates about Arrowhead’s opening date plan, visit their main website or Facebook page.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.




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