Steamboat Ski Area snowmaking system gets added horsepower
Ski area crews won’t start piling up the powder until next month
Steamboat Springs — Snowmaking crews at Steamboat Ski Area will begin thinking about turning on their guns during the first week of November, and when they do, they’ll have more horses in the stable.
Ski area spokesman Mike Lane said Thursday that a new snowmaking pump house is being completed this week just off the west side of U.S. Highway 40 opposite Casey’s Pond.
The pump house will contain a pair of new 200-horsepower pumps that will increase the ski area’s ability to push water up the hill to 4,200 gallons per minute.
“We’ll see a 27 percent increase in the amount of water we can put up there, and we have a larger pipeline, too,” Lane said. “It will allow us to make snow faster.”
In addition to increasing output, the new snowmaking equipment will be more energy efficient.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
“We’ll use 30 percent less energy to make the same amount of snow,” Lane said.
The beginning of snowmaking is dependent on weather. Overnight lows in the teens are ideal. Low humidity also is desirable.
Snowmaking might seem irrelevant after a week in October that allowed the ski area to report 30 inches of natural snow at the top of Storm Peak. However, man-made snow remains crucial to Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.’s goal of opening Nov. 24 for Scholarship Day. Lane said a fleet of new tower guns would allow the snowmaking crews to space them more tightly along the length of a slope — one every 75 feet instead of one every 250 feet on slopes such as See Me, Rudi’s Run, Vogue and Lightning. That will allow them to link the “whales,” as piles of man-made snow are called.
“We’ll get better consistency that way, and it’s more efficient — the (snowmakers) don’t have to drag hoses as far,” Lane said.
Snowmakers had an orientation session Wednesday, and snowcats already have been dropping off stacks of tall snowmaking guns at intervals up and down the mountain.
While snowmakers were preparing this week for long, cold November nights, construction crews were picking up the pace on turning the deck at the Bear River Bar & Grill into a glass-enclosed umbrella bar.
The work is scheduled to be complete in time for Scholarship Day on Nov. 24, Lane said. Opening Day is Nov. 25.
— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail email@example.com
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Craig Press’s capstone event for Longevity Project embraces need for mental health awareness, services
Community members gathered at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Wednesday to learn about and discuss mental health options and resources in the county. Hosted by the Craig Press, the panel and keynote speaker were the capstone…