Fortune Friday

Posted on February 10, 2023

Hello everyone, 

Since my last post, we’ve had a lot of sun, beautiful bluebird days, and some incredible skiing. It has been a welcome break from atmospheric rivers, ice, and wild winds. We’ve also gotten some more snow, which resulted in two incredible powder days (with more than a foot of snow on both occasions) over the past couple of weeks. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say it again – this is a truly special season. With 344 inches of snow (and counting), plus a 121-inch base, the mountain is skiing at its best each day. 

This much snow can often times lead to some different terrain decisions, though. For instance, we’ve gotten some feedback about our decision to partially groom Little Dipper (under the Comet Express lift). As a whole, we do not groom much in upper Nevada. And, when we have as much snow as we do plus a deep base, we want to take advantage of it and groom more. Little Dipper is a wide run, and we feel there is plenty of width to have both groomed and ungroomed sections. A run like Little Dipper is in a great area and is wide enough to try to make all parties happy – whether you’re a bump lover or prefer groomers. With this much snow, we can groom runs that we can’t always count on, so we may try something and see how it goes. One thing is for sure, the bumps always come back! 

On that note, I want to send big kudos to our awesome grooming team. After spending the first half of the season digging out, they have been able to groom Ellie’s, Liz’s, and other runs that haven’t been fully groomed in a bit because of the storms. Grooming these runs – among others – makes for a really diverse skiing and riding experience. Through all of the storms, our grooming team stepped up to help dig out, and it is great to have them back to doing what they do best. We are lucky to have them! 

I also wanted to highlight an exciting event that is on the horizon. Sam Adams is bringing their Air and Après event to Heavenly in a few weeks! Join us on World Cup at California Lodge on March 4 at 6:30pm for an incredible chance to see professional skiers + riders, Olympians, and X-Games athletes right here on our mountain. 

Finally, we are coming up on our last big holiday period of the season – Presidents Day weekend (Feb. 17-20) and California Ski Week (Feb. 20-24). I wanted to remind everyone that we will be busy. Make sure to get here early and check current conditions and parking status via, the lift + terrain status page on our website, or via text alerts by texting ‘UPDATES’ to (530) 302-2751.  We highly recommend arriving early to ensure parking (and carpool if possible); if you are unable to find a spot, we generally see things free up a bit around noon.  

Last – but not least – I’d like to introduce you to our new Director of Mountain Operations, Barrett Burghard. As I mentioned in my last post, Barrett started at Heavenly in 1987 as a snowmaker and spent several decades with us before moving to Park City... now, he is back in South Lake and we couldn’t be happier! Read more about him and his journey back to us below. 

See you on the slopes, 


Barrett Burghard Family Portrait

Team Member Spotlight/Q&A: Barrett Burghard

Q: Hi Barrett! Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Heavenly, and how long you’ve been here? 

A: My role here at Heavenly includes overseeing Terrain Parks, Snowmaking, Vehicle Maintenance, Grooming and anything else Mountain Operations needs support with. I started working at Heavenly in 1987 as a snowmaker! I moved to Park City Mountain Resort in 2016 and just returned back to Soutth Lake Tahoe a few weeks ago. 

Q: Why the move back to Heavenly? 

A: The position was open and I knew the team could use some help. I felt I could really make a difference by returning to Heavenly. Also, I have known Tom and other mountain leadership for a long time and was excited for the opportunity to work with them again. 

Q: What inspired your career path? 

A: The mountains and my love of skiing inspired my career path. I was between jobs in the late 80s and a roommate told me Heavenly had a position open in snowmaking. I immediately fell in love with snowmaking (still the best job I have ever had) and at the time, they were planning a big expansion of the system that summer, so I stuck around. That was over 35 years ago and I still love working in the mountains. My parents were not too happy about this after putting me through college and getting my degree in Business Administration, but it was the best decision I ever made. 

Q: What are some of the responsibilities you have that might surprise people? 

A: I love working on things – my father was raised on a farm and could always work on and fix just about anything. Therefore, you will find me out working on pumps, compressors, snowmaking guns and anything else I can get my hands on. 

Q: What do you love most about your job? And about Heavenly? 

A: I love working with all of our teams. There are a lot of long-time employees here across all different departments. There is an abundance of knowledge and experience to continue to learn from. I also love working with snow, whether it is making it, moving it around, or seeing it made into terrain features. I also love the views of the lake and the community of South Lake Tahoe. The employees at Heavenly are great across all departments and I am overwhelmed of how welcoming everyone has been on my return to Heavenly. 

Q: What unique or special skills are needed to do your job? 

A: The ability to make decisions quickly and with integrity. Knowing that every day brings new challenges and opportunities and we can always come up with new solutions and ways of doing things to improve. 

Q: What or who inspires you most? 

A: My wife, Kristin. She has stood by me through these last 35 years of being in the ski business, and has always been willing to move to different locations and put her career second to mine. She is also a fighter and a breast cancer survivor. My mom and dad are also inspirational to me. 

Q: What has been your favorite part of this ski and ride season? 

A: All of the snow! Park City had a great beginning to the ski season and I really enjoyed skiing all of that fresh powder. Heavenly has also had a great season, and it has been so fun to ski the mountain again this winter and see all of my old teammates! 

Q: Do you have a favorite run at Heavenly? 

A: East Bowl and Gunbarrel, of course.  I have spent a lot of time on those two runs! I’ve made snow on them, skied them, and gotten some of the best runs of my life on the best machine-made snow on this planet.