Last night, we experienced the coldest night yet of our snowmaking season, and we were able to make great progress on the mountain. We had more guns on the mountain last night than we've ever had before - thanks largely in part to our sister mountain, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. Their staff shared a few snow guns with us in support of our quest to be the first ski area to open in New Mexico on November 15. I'm grateful to Pajarito and their mountain team. Thanks, guys.
Last night's low dipped down to 22 degrees, which is great for our snowmaking purposes (depending on humidity and the wet bulb, we typically need a minimum of 28 degrees in order to make snow).We made some fairly significant piles of snow, and I'll be pushing those piles out later this evening when the ground fully freezes. This will be the first time we take the snow cat for a spin in the 2014-2015 winter season. We knock down those piles for a simple but very significant reason: our snow guns push water droplets into the air which - when it's cold enough - convert to snow and accumulate in large piles. After a while, the piles become so large that we lose hang time. We want to give those tiny droplets as much time as possible to turn into those snowflakes we all love to slide on, which is why I'll knock those piles down and start pushing out the snow.
Tonight snowmaking continues, and we'll keep making snow every minute we can this week and next. To watch our work live and on our mountain cam, click here.
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Our snowmakers made snow on the Practice Slope last night.
The last few weeks have been unseasonably warm in the Southwest - which has been excellent for mountain crews finishing their fall projects, although it has been challenging for snowmakers. Last week, we even had an evening where the temperature was 31 degrees at the shop (which is cold, although we typically need temperatures closer to 28, depending on humidity and the wet bulb, in order to make snow), and at the top of Lift 2 - just 200 vertical feet from our shop - the temperature was 41 degrees. While inversions are very common on this mountain (where it's actually much colder on the lower part of the mountain than it is up high), I've never seen a 10 degree difference over 200 vertical feet.
Last week, we started making snow on the Practice Slope.
We have nearly our full fleet positioned on the lower part of our mountain, which is where we've seen the coldest temperatures, and we're making snow at every available opportunity. We made snow last night and it looks like tonight we'll be at it again, too.Add a comment
One week ago, we turned on the snow guns for the first time this fall. We're working toward our earliest Opening Day in recent history - we'll start turning the lifts on Saturday, November 15 - which means we wanted a solid jump start on the snowmaking season, too.
The snowguns are on. Snowmaking began at about 2 a.m. on Tuesday, October 14.
Our October 14 snowmaking was a success for more reasons than one: while we made a good amount of snow, we also tested our system to ensure everything is performing as it should. I'm pleased to report that everything worked without a hitch.
Snowmaking continued until about 8:30 a.m. on October 14. The snow and the fall colors are a nice combo.
Since our first night of snowmaking, we have not had the temperatures to make snow (the magic number we need is 28 degrees). Temperatures have dipped to the low 30s - which is very normal for this time of year. We often see this pattern: a cold spell in mid-October, warmer temperatures through the end of the month, and then it's all systems go around Halloween. As we wait for the colder temperatures, we're preparing to put our snowmakers on standby. In the meantime, we're doing lift and snowcat maintenance as we get ready to be the first ski area open in New Mexico for the 12th consecutive time.
Stay tuned for more mountain and snowmaking updates - and think snow!Add a comment