Saturday, September 17, 2016

On The Hill

The snowmaking equipment is on the hill. The crew has been running water through the pipes and they have checked all the electrical connections. The reservoir is full. We are ready. Snowmaking will commence just as soon as we have favorable weather conditions. We typically fire up the system when the wet bulb temperature drops below 28 F for a a few hours. We will be tracking the weather forecasts and monitoring temperature and humidity conditions on an hourly basis. 
Snowmaking..........as soon as it gets cold enough.




4 comments:

Miche said...

I was just curious why, you don't start making snow on the upper mountain when it hits the appropriate temperature, even if you did it at a rate that would not empty the resevoir, wouldn't that still be helpful? Would it ever be possible to open just the upper mountain from BML?

Gordon Calhoun said...

Mark W said...

Good question, I am also curious!

Gordon C. said...

Miche, the most plausible reason for snowmaking starting on lower mountain is the fact that A-Basin doesn't open for true top-to-bottom skiing until mid-November, while skiing at the mountain actually begins late October. The amount of time, energy, and effort it takes to set up upper mountain snow making and then bringing it back down the hill for lower mountain ops is not worth it in both fiscal and opening day terms. It would be in A-Basin's and the skiers' best interest if they made snow on the bottom first, even if snow making commences a couple of weeks later. However, you do have a point with the temp range from the top and the bottom. The temperature difference from base area to top of the Lenawee Chair could be anywhere between 5-15 degrees cooler at a given time. So yes, there's even a chance that they could blow some snow up there at the summit for a couple hours TONIGHT, but in terms of opening day and ski area efficiency, man-made snow on the upper mountain is quite irrelevant without any snow at the base area. Also FYI, snowmaking above Black Mountain Lodge Mid-Mountain is mostly used for filling in patches of low snow coverage and larger obstacles, along with reinforcing high ski-traffic areas. You would almost never see the typical October "White Trail of Death" (as some call it) on the upper mountain as you almost always see on the early season lower mountain!