Dec 1, 2016 | Marmot, Winter 2016

Snowmaking in the Forecast

Mount Washington Alpine Resort continues to expand its snowmaking plan for the 2016–17 season.

Resort crews installed water infrastructure in Easy Acres last fall before placing more snow guns in the area as they continue to test the technology.

“We’re still playing with it,” said Don Sharpe, Director of Business Operations and Marketing.“This year we’re starting to [cover] our beginners’ terrain.”

The Resort tested a few snow guns last year to see how they would behave, and the new locations are an extension of that work.

Resort Director of Operations George Trousdell has been studying proposals from three snowmaking equipment manufacturers and developing plans.

“There are a number of options, and since we are committed to designing and installing a state-of-the-art system which achieves maximum production and energy efficiency in this particularly difficult climate, we want to make sure we put the right snow guns in the right places,” Trousdell said.

“For this season we will continue our test by installing new equipment, which will be enough to cover the tubing hill area and our basic beginner terrain.“

The underground work and prep for  installation of these new snowmaking machines is going at a furious pace,” explained  Peter Gibson, Resort General Manager “While October was an incredibly tough month to work outside due to the weather, our crews are working hard to get things  finished in time for opening.”

“We will learn a lot from this new technology, and we will be able to expand on the overall system next summer.”

“Wind, humidity and terrain all make a difference,” Sharpe said when talking about how snow is made. Snow guns use a mix of compressed air and water to make snow. “We want to make sure we have the right equipment doing the right work for us.”

Peter Gibson, Resort General Manager, saw snow guns in action during a trip to Park City, Utah, last summer. “It was 98 degrees Fahrenheit out, so they weren’t making snow,” he said, but the Snow Logic wands were impressive to watch.

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