Snowmaking and Expansion Continues

Friday, December 8, 2017

Isn’t it great when things go as planned?

When we first conceived of the idea of West Lake, we had a feeling it would be a game changer, but to actually see everything up and running has really been awe-inspiring for all of us here at Mount Snow. Even now as I drive in each morning, I am blown away by not only the amount of snow we’re making each night but how quickly new trails seem to open all over the mountain.

From the first day of the season back on November 11 you could tell things were going to be different and this truly was going to be a November to remember. Not only did we have our earliest opening in a decade, we also opened from top-to-bottom with the most skiable terrain in the East, a title that we still hold five weeks later.

Throughout November, we had an amazing run of snowmaking that saw us move quickly to open 170 acres by Thanksgiving weekend, which then swelled to 213 acres of skiing and riding a few days later. While that sounds like a lot on its own, I wanted to take a moment and break down what actually went into making that happen.

In order to open 213 acres, we converted 82,000,000 gallons of water, or the equivalent of 124 Olympic-size swimming pools, into 410 acre feet of snow. For those of you not familiar with this term, it is the amount of snow it takes to cover one acre of land in one foot of snow. Put in other terms we made 661,500 cubic yards of snow, which is enough to fill 73,500 concrete trucks or 246 hot air balloons. No matter how you measure it, that is a massive amount of snow, and something we would never have been able to accomplish without this new system. In order to undertake this, we ran an average of 210 snowguns over the course of 160 hours of snowmaking.

What did this accomplish? Well, we were able to get half of our entire snowmaking terrain open while we were still in the month of November, something we wouldn’t have even dreamt of with the old snowmaking system.

Now that we’re into December, I wanted to share with you all a little of what we’ve been up to and where we’re headed over the next week. We began making snow again on Wednesday, December 6 and were able to fully resurface 17 trails in the first 24 hours. After that, we moved into production and expansion mode that should see us opening 12 new trails for Saturday including Snowdance Pitch, Charlie’s Chase, Season’s Pass, South Bowl, Sweet Sixteen, Chute, Plummet, Skyline, Junkyard, Mineshaft, Prospector, and The Farm, with the potential to add more for Sunday. This herculean task would not have been possible without the drive of our snowmaking team who utilized 500+ individual snowguns in the span of 48 hours to get this done. What else can I say, this system and the guys who run it are amazing!

Moving on from there, we see nothing but favorable snowmaking conditions in the future. With this great weather, we will continue our expansion plans through the weekend of December 16-17, with the plan to open virtually all of our trails that feature snowmaking by the weekend. This means that we will be right around 80 percent open a week before Christmas, just based on snowmaking. We could also easily push beyond this number, as there are several storms in the 10-day that are forecasted to dump snow on our mountain.  

This time of year is one where we reflect on what we are thankful for, and this year I know for sure what it is. It’s the fact that we have the most powerful snowmaking system in the Northeast, and some of the most qualified, devoted, and gifted snowmakers in the industry running it. I’m also thankful for you our guests, and the positive feedback we’ve been receiving from each and every one of you so far this season. After all, we do this all to bring you the most enjoyable experience possible for everyone from those just learning the sport, to those who have been skiing and riding with us for decades.

Well, that’s enough writing for now. I’m going to head out there and sample the goods!


-Erik Barnes 

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