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Behind the scenes; Nationals at BMOM
RUMFORD- As most of us impatiently await the arrival of snow to accommodate all our outdoor winter plans, the maintenance crews at Black Mountain of Maine (BMOM) had no choice but to make their own to cover the trails for the National Nordic Skiing Championships.
If one had a chance to get to BMOM, they would most certainly agree that the mountain took on a transformation. The place was hopping and looked like something one would see on television with buses and tents filled with ski paraphernalia. The professional-look of the trails with the start/finish area being the size of the Falcon football field, the gates and dividers brightly colored to direct contestants properly, and of course the red-jacketed Chisholm Ski Club dotting the mountain.
During the day observing the national event taking place at our little mountain, I took the opportunity to talk with Jay Jallette, Lift Supervisor for BMOM. He and his crew were working to relocate snow to the T-bar for the afternoon high school team.
As hundreds of people roamed around in participation, volunteering or watching the weeks' national event unfold, the maintenance crews were still focused on preparing the mountain for the local sports team and public use.
“We're making due with what we've got. Everyone's been very patient with us and we really appreciate it. We've been at this since 7 a.m. and we're just about finished with load number 30. We're just about to go to the top of the mountain.”
Looking off to the side, was the T-bar with the packed trail of snow. “We really need to be sure there are no bare spots. If someone's ski gets caught on bare ground, with the way the T-bar works, they could get ripped right off. We want to be sure everyone has a safe ride to the top,” said Jallette.
As the snow was placed in all the right places, comment was made that once it had been put in place and groomed, it was there to stay.
“The conditions really are ideal,” noted volunteer Paul Jones. “They're packed really well and the contestants are enjoying the terrain.”
If you didn't catch Bill Green's Outdoors on Monday, January 10, visit www.wcsh6.com for the complete story on Rumford's hosting of the National Nordic Championships.
Jay Jallette, Lift Supervisor, directs the bucket operator for the next load of snow to be relocated under the T-bar. (Times photo by Cherri Crockett)
With the absence of snowfall, the maintenance crews were busy relocating snow under the T-bar to ensure skiers weren't being snagged by dirt and rocks. (Times photo by Cherri Crockett)