Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post tonight to wish you all a very 
Happy and Prosperous New Year!

...and to share some pictures from today. 

Nothing says EPIC SKI/SNOWBOARD DAY like..




Some action shots from the VAULT terrain park, 


and the PIGGY BANK beginner terrain park,

It was another day in Paradise, 
See you bright and early tomorrow morning at the Brim.



Saturday, December 28, 2013

A WEEK in review

Sometimes the bright side is shadowed by one's outlook.

I try to avoid using the at the Brim blog as a channel to broadcast our woes; however, from time to time I think it is appropriate and responsible to provide my readers with a glimpse inside our operations. I think this is one of the things that sets our business apart from others and, as a not-for-profit club (fully open to the public), we understand exactly who our stakeholders are and why operational transparency is important. 

We are not unlike other businesses, we have our challenges and learn from them and we always strive to make operational decisions in the best interests of the mass of our membership, guests and our business as a whole.  

I would like to take this opportunity to review the events of past week –in the wake of the worst ice storm to hit Ontario in 15 years.

With our decision to close on Saturday, December 21, due to the first freezing rain event, our maintenance crew, including myself spent the day grooming safe pathways to our chairlifts and then painstakingly climbing towers and chipping ice off of the sheave assemblies and the carriers themselves. 

We did this on Saturday, knowing full well that more was coming; however, in anticipation of re-opening as soon as possible, it was important to stay ahead of the storm's effects. 

Our maintenance staff finished late into the evening with more freezing rain beginning to fall.
We made the call Saturday evening to not open on Sunday morning as a result of the forecast and this proved to be the right decision - as all of you know a high percentage of the GTA was without power or experiencing roving outages and the freezing rain had once again built up heavily on all of our equipment…including all 250 plus chair lift carriers (chairs). 

We began to repeat the process of carefully clearing ice from the lifts working steadily throughout the day, with more freezing rain falling until 7 p.m. when the power to our property and all surrounding areas was lost. This left us unable to continue until power was restored. We decided to regroup at 6 a.m. Monday morning to continue our efforts. 

Overnight, the temperature dropped considerably, bonding the ice even harder to the metal carriers. A number of us worked steadily at the top and bottom of the lifts, stopping each chair in the station to chip, hammer and brush more than an 1” of ice off each carrier. Yes, we were late getting the lifts running for 9 a.m; however, it was not for a lack of effort. I am very proud of the efforts of all of the staff involved...we have a dedicated hard working team here at Brimacombe. 

Some members and guests have suggested that closing completely would have been understandable in these conditions and we are very grateful for the patience and understanding we have received all week.

I posted one photo earlier in the week, but here are a few more to help illustrate;

Ice accumulation on one of 62 carriers on our Main street quad after Sunday's freezing rain event (after chipping Saturday's clear)

A shot of the fence surrounding the Main Street unload station.

On Boxing Day, the sun was shining, the conditions were stellar and at approximately 12:40 p.m., without warning, our power was lost. This left us with three fully loaded chairlifts down, two chalets without power and a facility full of people. 

Our maintenance staff quickly dropped what they were doing (chipping ice off other lifts) and proceeded to fire up each lift's evacuation drive engines and engage them to slowly run the lifts to off load the passengers. Hydro One contacted me to inform me that they would have the power restored in approximately one hour...and true to their word, they did. 

As we always do after events like these, we re-preformed the operational safety checks required of the lifts each day and re-opened to the public. Unfortunately, our West Chair required a little more attention and did not return to operation that day. A number of people had decided to leave for the day, but again, most understood and very few were upset.

Power inconsistencies can cause all kinds of interesting side effects. Nothing that cannot be overcome, but sometimes they leave us in a position where we forget what life was like before the magic of things like the internet and electronic payment systems such as debit and visa. 

The Boxing Day outage caused a failure of our internet access, in turn this limited our abilities to accept "plastic" forms of payment...and let's be honest, who carries cash anymore? We believe in backup systems and redundancy within reason and were able to distribute our mobile handheld payment devices to the busiest areas and run with dial up access in others...while some areas like our food services were left to the "traditional" form of payment....remember? Cash only? We do have an ATM on site in our East Chalet and it remained functional during this bump in the road. By 10 a.m. the following day (Dec 27) we were able to restore the network and carry on "payment as usual". 

As I went to sleep last night, I felt a sense of relief - we had weathered the storm - or so I thought! At 3:30 a.m. this morning my phone rang, our power was out. 

With no indication on the Hydro One outage app of a restoration time, it was anyone's guess. We waited patiently until closer to our reporting time of 6 a.m. in anticipation of a restoration. With no power we cannot update our "snow line" telephone information system...nor do we have on-site access to the internet. Our websites (classic and mobile) were updated off-site prior to 6 a.m. with the only information we knew....no power, and recent info showing a restoration time of 2 p.m. this afternoon. 

On a morning like today, many understandably assume we are open and do not call ahead (not that calling would have been any use this morning) or check our website for the most recent updates. We decided to close off access to gates 1, 2 and 3 and allow people to drive into gate 4 where we met and explained our situation. 

Luckily, just after 8:40 a.m. the power was restored and Hydro One was able to confirm that it was a permanent restoration...allowing us to swing back into operation mode and get things rolling! 

 But let's focus our OUTLOOK on the BRIGHT SIDE!

This has been one of the BEST season start ups we have seen in YEARS! We have pumped approximately 16 MILLION US gallons of water through our SNOW making system and onto the hill and it is not even January! This is a result of the weather of course, but has only been made possible by our snow making pond expansion project that we completed this past summer. 

We have two terrain parks open with more features being added in the very near future to the Vault, which opened almost a month ahead of the last two seasons in part due to our decision to relocate to terrain that improved our speed of snow production.  

We are opening new terrain at a rapid rate...well ahead of recent years. 
The BRIGHT SIDE is evident, join us tomorrow to EXPERIENCE it!

It was another day in paradise,


Brimacombe is a proud supporter of:


Friday, December 27, 2013

Stop and take a look.

No matter the rush, there is always time to stop and take a look at the pretty things in life.

The recent ice storm has left its lingering reminders, we have been faced with some challenges over the past few days and I would like to personally thank everyone for their patience and understanding. Yesterday's early afternoon power outage came without warning and put the brakes on our operations for just over an hour. A special thanks to Brian from Hydro One for the call to let me know they were on it and would have us restored in a very short time.
The outage had a ripple effect on some of our other systems, including the loss of our Internet and network until mid morning today. This caused some slow downs at out point of sales however we managed to continue processing payments and getting you all onto the slopes with little to no delay.

For the most part, the hurdles have been invisible to the patron and I have heard rave reviews about the snow conditions. It is absolutely beautiful out here with icy crystals and new fallen snow in the trees...much prettier than any view you will see on TV. Come on out and join us for some "down time" at the Brim.

TRAINING season for the Brimacombe Ski Racing Club has begun.

Boxing Day delivered approximately 4" of FRESH POWDER SNOW to the slopes AT THE BRIM

Pro Patroller Gord G heading the carve his GROOVE.

Check out our new lines at Slopeside Skis and Boards
One location only, at the BASE of Brimacombe (via gate 4)

STELLAR snow conditions


 and BEAUTIFUL vistas! 

The PACE Penguin Children’s Ski Safety Program aims 
to help keep little penguins safe during downhill sports at ski resorts across the country.

Developed with tremendous support from the Canadian Ski Patrol System
(Central Zone), PACE promotes a positive and safe experience for young
skiers and their families.

PACE outlines simple and easy steps parents, children and fellow skiers/snowboarders can take to encourage a safe, fun-filled day for everyone on the slopes. 
Parents, kids and other skiers will find the program simple to follow.

PACE Penguin wants today’s little penguins
to grow into safe, dedicated lifelong skiers
and snowboarders!



Thanks to the efforts of our snow making and grooming crew we will be opening the following terrain tomorrow (Dec 28, 2013)

Upper half of Tower
Promenade (complete run)

If you have not hit the slopes yet this season, you are missing out!
Join us tomorrow for another day in paradise!



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Glass boughs along the Brim.

The sun shone brightly from transparent blue skies. The air was sharp but refreshing. The snow was like a fine carpet of moss over rolling hills. The tree boughs sparkled brightly like crystal chandeliers as far as the eye could see. 

Today was another day in paradise at the Brim.

Not only does an atmosphere like this make for a perfect ski or snowboarding day, it makes for a perfect snow making day. After finally clearing the equipment of ice yesterday the crew fired up the system around 2:30pm and we were back in production.

Robyn the elf on a shelf 

We are pleased to announce that we are adding even more runs for Boxing Day! 

BEN'S BUMP plus PROMENADE (the top half) and CLUBHOUSE RUN will be OPEN and serviced by the West and West Chalet. 

We are pushing for even more terrain by Friday!

50% off published weekend and holiday rates 
on Boxing Day!

For a list of operational hours for December, Please visit,

It was another day in paradise,



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