ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN
Bristol Mountain is the premier ski resort in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York that offers 1200’ of vertical, 2 high speed quads, and state-of-the-art snowmaking.
Our 1200’ vertical rise allows Bristol Mountain to reign as the highest vertical between the Adirondack/Laurentian Mountains of the east and the Rocky Mountains of the west. There are 138 acres of total skiable terrain, including 3 km of Nordic trails. Views from the summit and the 35 slopes and trails are breathtaking and provide a variety of inclines for every skier and snowboarder from beginner to expert. During our night operating season, 96% of our trails have lighting. To assure our skiers and snowboarders of the best possible snow conditions, Bristol Mountain is proud of its state-of-the-art snowmaking system which covers 100% of the terrain. Open since 1964, our steadfast philosophy is to provide a fun, family environment for a memorable experience for all ages and many generations to come.
Bristol Mountain is located at 5662 Route 64, Canandaigua, NY 14424.
GPS Coordinates – N 42° 44.732’, W 077° 24.093’
Bristol Mountain is serviced by a total of six lifts, two of which are high-speed detachable quads, one fixed grip quad, one fixed grip triple, one fixed grip double chair, and a Magic Carpet conveyor lift.
Our newest lift, the Galaxy Express high-speed detachable quad, was installed in 2009 in the Galaxy area. This is a full mountain lift that allows skiers and snowboarders to access intermediate to advanced level terrain and transports passengers at a rate of 2,000 per hour to the summit in little over four minutes.
The Comet Express high-speed detachable was installed at the base of Lower Rocket in 1999. The Comet Express is a full mountain lift servicing green, blue, black, and double black terrain and transports guests at the rate of 2,000 passengers per hour to the summit in little over four minutes.
The Lunar Launch conveyor lift was installed in 2008 and services our beginner’s area, the Launching Pad, located at the base of the mountain. This Magic Carpet rises 60 feet and comfortably transports skiers and snowboarders to the top of the Launching Pad slope at a rate of 1,500 passengers per hour.
The Morning Star fixed grip quad is a mid-mountain lift, which was installed on the Morning Star slope in 2000. This lift services the beginner to intermediate terrain located on the southern, upper-portion of the mountain. This lift has a vertical rise of approximately 600 feet, and an hourly capacity of 2,000 passengers with an eight minute ride.
The Rocket fixed grip triple provides access from Lower Rocket to the summit in approximately 12 minutes. The Rocket Triple is a full mountain lift with an hourly capacity of 1,800 passengers. Skiers and snowboarders may access intermediate to advanced level terrain from this lift.
The Sunset fixed grip double was relocated and refurbished in 1992. This lift is located at the base of the mountain rising just under 400 feet to the top of the Sunset slope. The Sunset lift services beginner terrain at an uphill capacity of 1,200 passengers per hour.
Bristol Mountain has installing new snowmaking technology for over a decade. With a vertical rise of 1200’ and 35 slopes and trails, there are over 25 miles of underground snowmaking pipe and more than 300 hydrants. Snowmaking covers 100% of the total skiable terrain. We build an average snow base depth that averages between two to four feet and manufacture 95% of our snow base each winter operating season. We have adopted a standard to produce the best type of snow conditions to assure the best quality and amount of snow with the given climate.
Our snowmaking process begins in the Pump and Compressor Building. We have four state-of-the-art computers which monitor and manage seven outdoor weather stations, air and water flows to the guns, temperatures of the incoming water, power meters, etc. Sensors monitor the snowmaking water sources, flows on air and water, and heat exchangers remove unwanted units of energy or BTU's (British Thermal Unit) from the compressed air. Our manmade snow is made from two types of guns: air-water guns and fan guns.
We have 174 tower-mounted and 36 sled-mounted air-water guns. The air-water guns are manufactured by Ratnik Industries located in Victor, New York. The guns are connected to hoses which are connected to hydrants that are attached to the underground air/water main piping that is routed to the Pump and Compressor Building. One pipeline carries the water and the other transports the air. Each air-water gun outputs 15-60 gallons of water a minute. The water is atomized in the barrel by the compressed air and when the tiny water droplets enter the atmosphere, they freeze into crystals before falling to the ground to form snow.
Fan guns are an alternative to the traditional air-water guns. Bristol Mountain has 120 tower-mounted fan guns and 23 carriage-mounted fan guns which are comprised of Areco and Hedco equipment. Fifty-four of the tower-mounted fan guns are radio frequency and/or fiber controlled and can be remotely operated from the Control Room or manually operated by snowmakers at the hydrant station. In automatic mode, the guns adapt to changing humidity, air temperature, and wind as required. Each tower-mounted fan gun can output 18-110 gallons of water per minute. During the summer of 2015, an additional 23 HKD low energy air-water guns have been installed on Lower Universe and a portion of Upper Universe.
More relevant to our skiers and snowboarders is the amount of "quality" snow a ski area can make at one time, which is the only true measure of how fast an area can open new terrain or refresh surfaces during the course of the season. Water is the raw material from which snow is made and water supply is a very critical element in how much snow a ski area is able to produce. Bristol Mountain draws water from three ponds.
Our goal is to open the winter operating season around Thanksgiving. With this in mind, Dan Fuller, General Manager, and Paul Trippi, Mountain Manager, monitor the forecasts and temperatures daily starting in mid-November. Generally, we start making snow when the forecast looks favorable for an extended length of time along with retaining the snow that has been made. Our snowmaking technology allows us to open from summit to base in a relatively short period of time with favorable weather conditions.
Bristol Mountain’s fleet of grooming vehicles consists of five Prinoth snowcats and one Zaugg groomer. Our groomers are on the mountain shortly after the mountain closes for the day or evening, and after ski patrol has inspected and cleared all terrain for grooming. When all of our 35 slopes and trails are open, five groomers will spend up to approximately eight hours or more each evening on the mountain. There are instances throughout the season when overnight grooming may produce poorer conditions and it is better not to groom.
Many skiers and snowboarders enjoy the ease of a corduroy-carpeted snow surface, however, many of our guests like the challenge of skiing or snowboarding through a more natural or mogul environment. To satisfy both, we provide a groomed surface on the majority of our trails but also allow bumps to build on a couple of trails throughout the season.
From mid-December through mid-March, the sky over Bristol Mountain is illuminated with more than 350 high-pressure sodium lights to provide night skiing and snowboarding, from 4pm-closing, on 96% of our slopes (there are no lights on Challenger and Lower Universe).
The Bristol Mountain management and staff have embraced the role as the environmental stewards of the Bristol Hills. In our daily resort operations, we seek to enhance our conservation, whether in energy consumption, water consumption, or our recycling programs. We encourage our guests to assist in these efforts; together we can make a significant and positive impact with all our environmental initiatives.
As we approach our mountain and base area improvements, we explore all opportunities whereby we may create a more enjoyable experience for our guests while maintaining the natural beauty that surrounds us. In future years as growth occurs, we must maintain a clear focus on these efforts for all of us (staff, community, and guests) to live, work, and play at the mountain every day.
Adventure Capital of the Finger Lakes
From spring through the fall, Bristol Mountain is the scenic destination for weddings, the Highlander Cycle Tour, special events, Fall Sky Rides and our very popular Fall Festival (second Sunday in October). In addition we are very proud of our other popular attractions. In 2014, with the addition of Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures, Bristol Mountain transitioned to a year round attraction for adventure enthusiasts. Since 2000, we have owned and operated Roseland Waterpark, located in historic Canandaigua, NY, a short drive North of Bristol Mountain. Roseland Waterpark is the perfect place to cool off and have fun from the end of June through Labor Day. In 2015, we opened Roseland Wake Park, the only Cable Wake Park system in the Northeast. It features a five tower system with a variety of water features plus the Lil Bro, a two tower learning system, where we will teach wake boarding, wake skating, knee boarding and water skiing.