Status of the Ski Bowl Improvements.
Overview. The improvement and reopening of the JHSB are guided by the Operation Agreement with the California Department of Parks and Recreation and an environmental impact disclosure document, the 2006 Mitigated Negative Declaration, that describes the project and its potential effect. The planned improvements include replacing the main Squaw Poma Lift with a chair lift; improving the lodge, rest rooms, and onsite storage facility; providing a safe reliable source of potable water and septic system, constructing a new maintenance building; relocating the generators and fuel storage tanks, bringing electrical service to the area; refurbishing or replacing the Rainbow Poma lift; refurbishing the Bunny Slope lift; acquiring a snow grooming machine; improving access to the area and all public facilities; cleaning the area of debris; and managing the vegetation to allow the use of the slopes with lesser amounts of snow.
Recently the EPRD established the Ski Hill Committee as a standing committee with four subcommittees for events, the improvement and development of support facilities, the development of on-hill uses and facilities, and the continued refinement of the Business Plan. The public is encouraged to get involved with the Ski Bowl improvement effort through one of the subcommittees. If interested contact, the Ski Hill Committee chair, John Rowden at (530) 319 0109 or email@example.com.
Chairlift. A used chairlift was purchased from Squaw Valley in 2012 for $25,000 and an engineering report for the chairlift was completed by Michael Stephenson, P.E. from Carson City for $26,000. In 2013, the base towers were installed by Bob Hickman owner of Chalet View Lodge as a donation. Associated materials cost $3,900. Much more work is needed including a complete, detail survey, the removal of the Poma towers, and the construction of the remainder of the lift.
The Groomer. In 2013 a grooming machine was donated by Stover Mountain near Chester. Transport of the machine was donated by Ben Fulchi of Beckwourth and stored free of charge at the Nakoma Golf Resort. In 2015 needed repairs and maintenance were needed to the PistenBully PB260 were made by Kassbohrer All Terrain Vehicle of Reno Nevada at a cost of $11,000. It was transported to and from Reno at a cost of $1000. Jeb Ellermeyer, Sales and Operations Manager for Kassbohrer, the maker of PistenBully, discounted parts and labor which included the replacement of a windshield and track. Jeb learned to ski at the Ski Bowl.
New Well. The Mitigated Negative Declaration identified the need to replace the spring fed water. In 2013, a well was drilled and opened, and will provide safe potable water for the lodge and restrooms. The well was developed at a cost of $21,900. Additional labor related to closing the old water system and installing new water conveyance was donated by Bob Hickman, Dan Gallagher of Nakoma Golf Resort, and Mike Kelly owner of Moon’s Restaurant in Quincy, CA.
Refurbishing the Old Maintenance Building. In 2015, the Old Maintenance Building was remodeled to house the grooming machine until the new Maintenance Building is built. Eventually the building will be used for storing ski patrol equipment, signs, snow fence and other equipment. The building was refurbished by Wesfab of Portola under contract with EPRD and volunteers led by EPRD project manager Glenn Bardet. The improvement design was donated by Tom Connolly of Snowy Mountain Engineering. The materials, trusses, and the panel garage door were purchased from Longfellows from Delleker, Diamond Truss from Grass Valley, and Thompson Garage Doors from Reno. The construction contract and the materials contracts were awarded through bidding processes.
To save money, siding demolition, roofing, painting, the installation of the panel door, and the site cleanup was completed by the EPRD project manager Glenn Bardet and a group of volunteers including Max Breedlove, Geoff Newsted, Pat Frutenicht, Jeff Frutenicht, Don Fregulia Jr., J.D. Defenbau, Curtis Cross, Mike Kelly, Don Fregulia Sr., Tom Connolly, Drew Bardet, John Rowden, John Sheehan, Pete Bartells, Ben Bardet, Mitchell Bardet, and Dan Revelino.
Most of the costs for the building improvements and the well were covered by funds from a $65,000 grant from the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation Prop 40 program.
Last Winter. As for events and fund raising over the last winter, the warm weather took its toll. Two of the three annual Long Board Races scheduled for the Ski Bowl were cancelled as well as the annual Sno Ball event. The only Long Board Race that was held was hosted at the Mt. Rose Ski Area.
Pizza Throwdown. Undaunted, the Plumas Ski Club volunteered to improve the restrooms and bring them up to code to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. To help this effort, the Ski Club sponsored a fund raising event in May, the first annual Pizza Throwdown. The Throwdown organized by Susan DeLano of the Brewing Lair, featured pizzas from local restaurants-Moon’s Restaurant, American Valley Bakery from Quincy; Blairsden restaurants- Cuccia’s and Longboards, and the Chalet View Restaurant located in Maybe. Event goers were the judges. Moon’s and American Valley Bakery tied and shared the honor of hosting a special ceramic plate proclaiming their status of best pizza. The event also included Cribbage and Corn Hole tournament. Beer was donated by local breweries Brewing Liar and Eureka Peak Brewery and Reno breweries, Great Basin Brewing and Under the Rose Brewing. Brewing Lair also donated soda. Carroll Clark donated his D.J. talents providing a fun array of music. Four hundred pounds of ice were donated by Leonard’s Market in Portola. The event raised $3000 for the Ski Club.
Clearing the Bunny Hill. Also, in late May and early June, The Woods Fire and Emergency Services company donated time, machinery and fuel to clear brush from the Bunny Hill behind the lodge. The clearing will allow the area to be used by skiers and tubers with minimal amounts of snow.
This Summer. EPRD will be recruiting sponsors to take on the tasks of raising funds and improving the Lodge and improving the pressure of the water system.
EPRD intends to work on the chairlift with the removal of vegetation to facilitate the final surveys. Vegetation will also be removed to increase the area available for winter use. EPRD will also work to remove the cable and towers from the old Poma lift.
The successful Lost Sierra Hoe Down will be back at the Ski Bowl September 24 through September 27. Last year’s event brought raised over $6000 for Ski Bowl improvements.
Next Winter. It was hoped that the area would be opened this winter, however weather and the lack of sufficient funding has forced the EPRD to develop and open the Ski Bowl in stages. If it snows in 2016, the EPRD will use the groomer to help open the area for the Long Board Races, tubing, limited alpine skiing, and cross country skiing.
Long Term Plan. EPRD will continue to work to attract volunteers and funding to establish a continuous electrical supply, purchase a new generator for lift operations, the chairlift, portable surface lifts, and the new maintenance building to permanently house the groomer and the generator.
The continuing drought and unseasonably warm weather is forcing the EPRD to examine how the Ski Bowl improvements can be developed and operated with and without snow. The EPRD Ski Hill Committee intends to update the business plan and begin discussions with the California State Department of Parks and Recreation to revise the Operation Agreement to adjust to the erratic weather patterns.