I'm pleased to report that our first night of snowmaking was a huge success. Thanks to our diligent servicing this summer, all of our equipment ran really well, right out of the gate. This is always particularly nerve-wracking the first night of snowmaking: you can test and practice during the summer months, but you don't don't how the system will work until you're actually making snow. And when it came time to make snow, our guns performed well.
Gun checks - we enjoyed a full moon, which gave us some nice, natural light.
The lows dipped down to 22 degrees - that, coupled with our gun placement and the lack of wind gave us good hang time. What this means is this: snowguns push tiny water droplets into the air. Given the right temperatures and the right conditions, the water particles freeze before they touch the ground. When we give those droplets plenty of time to freeze, we're making quality snow - which is what we did for nearly 14 hours starting just before 9:00 last night. The guns worked tirelessly, and we had most of the system shut down by 10:30 this morning.
Our snowmakers also worked tirelessly, and there were smiles all around.
Last night marked the earliest "official" start to our snowmaking season (last year, we fired up the guns on October 8 to test our system. We didn't begin snowmaking operations until much later that month) - and Sipapu was the first ski area to begin snowmaking in New Mexico. We've never made snow this early before, and none of us can ever recall making snow on natural snow for our first night of snowmaking. A lot of firsts last night, all worth celebrating.
We expect to be making snow again tonight, and again throughout the week. The projected lows tonight are two degrees colder than last night's projected lows, so we fully expect another productive night. We'll continue to keep you updated here.
It's good to be making snow again.