Tim Whorl - Ski Roundtop, PA
Submitted on 02/27/2014 - 6:48pm
Tim WhorlRoundtop, PA
Snowmaker since 1987
SAM: FAVORITE TEMPERATURE?Tim: 5 degrees because that was the temperature on the day I learned to ski. Skiing was foreign to me until my older brother joined the Army and was stationed in Colorado Springs. He would tell us about the mountains, chairlifts and how skiing was as simple as "falling down the mountain." On the last day of 1976 I finally got on skis, at Ski Roundtop, and I was hooked.
SAM: WHAT'S YOUR LIFE PHILOSOPHY?Tim: Enthusiasm is caught, not taught.
SAM: WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE GUN RUN?Tim: The first really cold night of snowmaking after weeks of marginal conditions. My career path included working in a lumber mill, general construction, summer stock theater (also the influence of my older brother) and lawn care. It took ten more years to figure out that a snow career was what I wanted.
I first came to the ski area thinking I wanted to be a lift operator as it was the most obvious job to me and I thought it would be the most fun to be around people. When I stopped in to apply for the job, the mountain manager, Eric Flynn, came into the office wearing a paint-spattered shirt and said, "Have you ever made snow before?" I said no, and he asked, "How would you like to learn?" I answered, "Sure...I guess."
A few weeks later Eric called to tell me that I got a spot on the night snowmaking crew, and added, “We're going to make you the crew foreman." I replied, "Wait a minute, I've never made snow before!" Eric said, "That's OK, no one else on the crew has ever made snow, either!" That turned out not to be totally true, as a couple of the guys from the prior year came back, and they helped me get my Sorels under me, if you know what I mean.
The first couple of weeks of snowmaking for me were under marginal conditions, pretty warm for snowmaking. It seemed like all we were doing was painting the ground white, and I thought, "Wow, this is going to be a tough and tedious job." Then one night it finally got cold. I was on my first run of the night down a black diamond called Ramrod, the "Sepp" guns (named for then-GM Sepp Gmuender) were puking snow, and it was piling up. The night seemed especially dark, and I couldn't believe how great it felt to be on the mountain. The feeling is hard to explain. A person just has to come out and experience it to understand.