Snowmaking

It’s still early in the season and the only limited sections of the mountain are open. We’re pretty much confined to the bottom of the hill for now. It’s fine of course, we’re having a blast and still figuring out which muscles are going to get sore first and how long our day can last. We’re way out of skiing shape. The base is at 9000 ft, so we’ll just blame the altitude.

We’ve had several days of snow, but the crews here are still making the white stuff day and night as long as it’s cold enough. the more they can make, the sooner the full mountain will open.

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The machines seem simple, but interesting. Some are huge blowers creating a coflow around a giant atomizer, while others are just big spray nozzles (usually farther up the mountain). Pumping (and resourcing) all the water up the mountain, keeping it from freezing in the hose, icing up the spray tip, etc seems like a non-trivial task. There’s a sizable crew making sure it’s all working and constantly moving it all around. I assume someone has done a cost-benefit analysis and decided it’s all worth the effort.

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Enough snow will fall on it’s own, eventually – we’ve got time.

2 thoughts on “Snowmaking

  • November 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM
    Permalink

    Neat, I wonder if the difference is a plain nozzle doesn’t need electricity for the fan, so easier to hook up in higher or remote areas?

    My Uncle was a maintenance guy during the 1988 Calgary Olympics, and overnight a hose burst and flooded part of a course. Lots or work to repair the snow before event went ahead.

  • November 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM
    Permalink

    “Enough snow will fall on itโ€™s own, eventually”

    You would think so. These days it seems you never know anymore. We got around 53″ a couple weeks ago over the course of a few storms, got all excited, and then… nothing since… we open Dec 7th and will have a great opening with 44″ settled at this point, but boy could we use a refresh at this point. Have fun down there this season! ๐Ÿ™‚

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