Fortune Friday

Posted on January 20th, 2023


Happy Belated New Year!


I can’t believe it’s January 20th already! Things have been pretty wild around here – it’s been a few weeks since my last post, but I am glad to share a few updates and thoughts, especially now that we’re past yet another challenging storm cycle that dropped a ton of snow and ice.


We have received 308’’ of snow so far this season and 151’’ so far this month. For comparison, our typical/average snowfall for any given season (start-to-finish) is ~250’’. The base at Heavenly is 134”. For context, the last big/comparable snowfall season we had was back in 2016-2017 when we had 564’’. I am sure many of you have ridden Sky Express and have seen the white marks on the trees. That was the base depth in the spring of 2017, and we are only a couple of feet below that right now… we aren’t even half way through the season!


With these strong back-to-back storms and atmospheric river events, we’ve had some great powder days, and we have had a number of challenges along with it. Our mountain has been hit with power outages, rime ice, road closures, wind holds, parking challenges, and rain at lower elevations. It’s literally like opening the mountain for the first day of the season storm after storm, and we simply can’t operate lifts when the wind is beyond the operating thresholds. This makes for complex and sometimes dangerous conditions that require a ton of work, focus, and dedication from our team here, and support from others, too. I want to really shine a spotlight on the Heavenly team for showing up every day, no matter what the challenges were. They continued to dig out and work through the issues, problem solve together as one team, and focus on how to get the mountain open safely for all of us.  Without them, we would not be positioned for the incredible second half of the season that we are poised to have. I am so grateful.


I also want to thank all of our guests and our friends and neighbors here in the community for understanding the different challenges that come with storm cycles like this. You were patient, supportive, and kind – on behalf of the Heavenly team, thank you so much.


You can always count on updates via Fortune Friday, and when we are experiencing operational challenges, we remain committed to providing transparency and communication along the way. Please remember that you can also get real-time updates via our Mountain Operations team’s Twitter account (, our EpicMix app (Epic Mix Alerts section), or by texting ‘UPDATES’ to 530-302-2751.


While we are not expecting any storms for the next little bit, we do have a chance of increasing east/northeast winds over the next few days. The east wind can affect lift operations the same if not more than the prevailing southwest winds, so please keep an eye on real-time updates from the resources I shared above. Regardless, we are looking forward to a stretch of high pressure and generally better weather, which will allow us to continue to dig out, get some rest, and get ready for the second half of ski + ride season…and what a second half we are set up for!  With this kind of a base, the terrain at Heavenly is world class and we have over three months of skiing and riding ahead.


Plus, we re-opened our sightseeing this week and we will be opening snow tubing at the top of the Gondola this weekend.


I have other big news for this weekend! Long time Heavenly Snowmaking Manager and Senior Snow Surfaces Manager, Barrett Burghard, is returning to Heavenly as Director of Mountain Operations. Barrett has been at Park City for the past six years in the same role he is coming home to. We will profile Barrett in an upcoming Fortune Friday, but I wanted to share this news as it’s a pretty big deal for us. Welcome home, Barrett!


Thanks again and I hope to see you out on the slopes,