Sunday, November 9, 2014

Why Is Making Snow On Lenawee Harder?

I have mentioned a few times that making snow on the Upper Mountain is more difficult than making snow on the Lower Mountain. Some of you have asked why. Here are the main reasons.

Wind - With so much terrain above timberline, the Upper Mountain is windier. Sometimes the wind keeps us from putting the snow where we want it. If that situation is bad enough, we may shut down one or more guns and wait for favorable conditions. Snow is too valuable to waste.

Access - It is harder to get around on the Upper Mountain. When we make snow on the Lower Mountain, we get around on the road driving trucks. Once we get to the Upper Mountain, the road is closed and we get around using a combination of UTVs, snowmobiles, snowcats, and walking. The less snow, the harder it is to get around.

Terrain - The terrain, especially Lenawee Face, is much harder to travel across than High Noon and Ramrod. Additionally, the linear distance of Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch is about double that of High Noon.

Water - As the fall snowmaking season progresses, the natural flow of the stream goes down and we have less water available for snowmaking. While we still do have water, we have less water now than 3-4 weeks ago when we were first cranking on High Noon.

Working above 12,000' - If you have ever worked about 12,000', you know it is just plain difficult. Everything, walking, lifting, twisting, carrying, takes more time.

While we overcome all of these challenges, it is harder to make snow up high than it is down low. Simply, it takes us a little more time to get things done up there. We will get it done. It just takes more time.


Bill said...

Very good description of the hard work involved.

Anonymous said...

why not just start crank on the top and work your way down ?

Jeffrey Dunham said...

Love your dedication.

Chris c said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan Henceroth - COO and Vice President said...

For the reasons I mentioned in the post, especially that Lenawee Face / Dercum's Gulch is twice as long as High Noon, I think opening the top first would take longer.

Also, opening the top first would require downloading on BMX. While there is a time and place for downloading, it is a slower and less desirable experience for most skiers and riders.

JonPulliamInc said...

Upper mountain will be open by Friday. I can feel it in my bones.