AlpineZone Challenge 2004 – Troy Ketcham of Windham Mountain

The AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge was designed to provide a method for our forum members to get official answers to skiing-related questions directly from a ski area representative. Troy KetchamEvent Manager of Windham Mountain in Windham, New York, took the AlpineZone Ski Area Challenge and provided the following responses on 8/11/2004:

Are there any terrain expansion plans for the 2004-2005 ski season? If so, what types of trails will be added?
This season the Jib Park will be fullly lit for night skiing and riding as well as the addition of a ParkBulley, which should greatly increase the quality of our terrain parks
Are there any infrastructure improvements/upgrades planned, e.g. lifts, snowmaking, base/summit facilities, etc.?
Yes, new for ’04/’05 Windham Mountain will be replacing a number of snowmaking guns with new totally automated guns from York. These snowguns will have the ability to turn themselves on automatically when weather conditions permit, and can be completely controlled from a computer in the base area. That means more snow. We will also be installing more of the popular HKD Flood System guns, new tower guns on Wheelchair and Whistler, and we will be adding snow making to Lower Wipeout, bringing our making our man made coverage abilities up to 98% of our terrain.
Do you have any plans to open a forum or chat room on your website? Do you read web forums like If so, do you ever want to reply to posts about Windham or other ski areas?
As of right now there are no plans to open a forum or a chat room, but maybe in the future. A great way for people to receive info is through our electronic newsletters where you select the type of news you want to get.

One section we do have on the website that instructors have access to is Notes from the Coach or Coaches Corner as it is often referred to. Coaches from our many yearlong ski and snowboard programs have access to the message board, where they can post information about their programs, from competition results, to helpful tips. Check it out at

As for me reading web forums? Not until this interaction with have I paid too much attention to them, but now I find myself reading what people have to say on an almost daily basis.
Does Windham Mountain have a “sibling” mountain in the East? If yes, please explain what qualities the mountain shares with Windham.
Yes, Windham Mountain has three sister mountains all located in Pennsylvania: Ski Roundtop, Whitetail Mountain, and Liberty Mountain, all owned by Snowtime Inc. I think the main quality that we all share is attention to service and detail. We try to make each and every skier/rider visit as enjoyable as possible by catering to your every need. From valet parking for your car, to ski valet we offer it all. To learn more about our programs check out
Looking at the trail map – are there plans for a connecting trail from the Why Not Triple peak to the Whirlwind Quad peak?
That’s the most popular question to be asked since I started here. And the answer is yes and no, we would love to be able to connect to the two peaks but we do not currently own the land in-between A-Lift and G-Lift to do so. Hopefully, sometime in the near future this dream will become a reality.
I took a photo of the Windham Elementary School with the mountain clearly in the background. Are there any ties so to speak between the schools and the mountain like a ski class? It must be distracting for the kids to have a ski area in the school’s “backyard”. I know it would have been for me.
Yes there are a number of “ties” between the Windham-Ashland-Jewitt (WAJ) School District and Windham Mountain. The main tie is a program called Ski Tuesdays, which is a 7-week long program where students of WAJ get to come to Windham Mountain for a ski or snowboard lesson on Tuesday’s. The program runs in two-hour intervals and goes by age groups with younger students starting at around 8am and all the way through high school students at the end of the day. The program has been a huge success and been running for over 10 years. It starts at just $25 for the 7-week program and gives kids a chance to experience the great skiing and riding in their back yard. If a WAJ student wants a little more time on the snow Windham Mountain offers students a season pass at a discount. Windham Mountain also offers students the Night Club Card. A discounted night season pass specifically marketed to students in all the local schools, but open to everyone. Another program Windham Mountain offers WAJ students and their parents is a chance to ski or ride for free during Windham Mountain Community Days. Community days take place every December and allows WAJ students to go snow tubing for free on a Friday night at Mt. Top Adventure Tubing Park, and ski or ride for free on the following Sunday at Windham Mountain.
Windham did have an early ski program where you could ride up as early as 7:00 AM. Will that be offered this season?
Yes, “First Tracks” will be offered again this season. A program dedicated to the early risers, it’s your chance to get at some of the best snow on the mountain. The program is free with a season pass, and just $15 with the purchase of a regular ticket. You can get on the lifts an hour early (7am instead of 8am), help ski patrol open the mountain, and beat everyone else to the fresh stuff. Reservations are required at least a day in advance, available weekends and holidays only, and you must be ready to go by 6:30am. For more info or to make a reservation contact Jefferson at (518) 734-4300 x1112 or (800) 754-9463 x1112.
Any plans to name trails that don’t start with “W”?
No, but a few have slipped through the cracks, The Pipe, Chute, and Old Wolverine. Remember them for the next time you come to Windham, it’s a popular Lift Line Trivia Question.
Could you tell us a little bit about volunteering to assist handicap skiers at Windham and where one could get more information on Windham’s excellent adaptive skiing program?
Individuals interested in volunteering for the Adaptive Sports Foundation’s ski or snowboard instructor program need to be at least an intermediate skier or rider. The ASF will train the volunteer in ski/snowboard teaching and disability knowledge. Depending on the level of commitment (6 to 16 days of teaching and 2-9 days of training), the volunteer receives various skiing/riding privileges as well as discounts at the ski area for themselves and their families. For more information, please contact Frank WIlliamson at 518-734-5070 or
Windham gets high marks for their not too steep mogul trail for learning to ski moguls. I have also noticed that popular double diamond mogul trails like Wheelchair are sometimes groomed perfectly flat during the middle of the ski season. What is the rationale for grooming out popular mogul trails like Wheelchair during the middle of the ski season?
Thanks to our excellent grooming and snowmaking staff our man made moguls on designated intermediate trails give almost all skier abilities the chance to try mogul skiing without the risk of being on a steep trail. With a little practice there you’ll be rippin the bumps on Upper Wheelchair and Wedel no time.

The main rational for grooming a popular mogul trail like Wheelchair is simply weather. If we have a warm day and the moguls are warmed too much and then that night the temperature drops way below freezing, the moguls get so hard they become “bulletproof”. This makes them not only difficult to ski, but also a safety hazard. By grooming them flat we can blow fresh snow on top and skiers can use Wheelchair’s perfect fall line to start new bumps. I’m glad you asked the question because we also get asked why we don’t groom it flat every night. It’s an on going argument between mogul skiers and non-mogul skiers.

To view forum comments on this Challenge and the Challenge Results, please visit the following page: width=