"Phasing" into Winter
Team Snowmageddon is ready and itching to get out to fire up "Phase One" of our snowmaking system.... all we need is a little help from our friend, Mother Nature, to send cold weather our way. We've been keeping our eyes glued to a variety of different weather forecasts and it looks there is a possibilty that we can fire up Monday/Tuesday night. Though it's raining at the moment (rain is still good!) I keep hearing that it could possibly turn over to white later in the day (fingers crossed... our sister resort, Jiminy Peak is getting dumped on right now!)
Every year, we invest more and more into our snowmaking system to maxmize it and up the efficiency. Since 2010, when we were purchased by the Fairbank Group, we've increased our inventory of energy efficient tower guns by over 300%... that's huge! We now have about 475 guns that are permanetly in place on the hill, where as just 5/6 years ago we had a fraction of that. Snowmaking is already a tought job, but it was even more labor intensive when we (they) had to move guns on the hill as we switched from Phase to Phase.
What is a Phase anyway? It isn't a free for all on the hill when it comes to making snow. We (as in our Operations team) literally spend hours looking and analyzing spreadsheets which could make your eyes bleed. These plans have every trail, what system (upper or lower) it's on, how many guns there are, how much air and water can be used, etc. I used to be heavily involved in the early planning stages of snowmaking, and it's more of a puzzle then anything. How can we maximize our system the best? It's not as easy as deciding to blow on a particular trail than anotherl; it's dependant on how much air/water is being used, how much air/water the guns on the trail use, what systems are running, etc. We've gotten so good at it, and with the addition of the sun guns that we have aquired over the years, have gone from 7 Phases to 5 Phases. We now have the ability to be at just about 100% by early January.
The picture above highlights Phase 1, and where are Snowmaddegon team will spend the first days of snowmaking once cold weather arrives. With just 2-3 productive nights of snowmaking, we'll be skiing and riding in no time!
In the meantime, think cold and snow!