Snow-Making Goes High-Tech

By: Jarrod Aldom
By: Jarrod Aldom

You've already seen some of the first snowflakes of winter, and for some people, taht means snow. But as WHSV found out, one ski resort has already got the jump on Mother Nature, in a brand new high-tech way.

At Wintergreen Ski Resort, They're already making their own snow. But this year, they have a little help from technology.

"We have computers that control the mechanism that adjusts the water to air ratio," explains Frankee Love, Director of Communications for the resort. "And the computer automatically adjust the machines so that we have the optimal best snow-making possible all the time."

"For the skier this means we have a better quality snow, that's drier, lighter, and we can make more of it and it can last longer into the ski season to extend the season later into the year," says Love.

36-thousand linear feet of both air and water travels underground to 310 snow guns throughout the slopes, 100 of which can be in operation at any time. There are also 45 weather stations that sense changes in humidity and temperature and make adjustments to the snow-making on the fly. Such technology makes it easier and faster to cover the slopes.

"In the old days, it would take a whole day to move the hoses and all the equipment from one slope and onto another," says Love. "Now it's a point and click of the mouse. It takes five minutes."

The resort has spent about 4 million dollars over the last 3 years on the system. But they say the expense is woth it for them and the skiers. The resort hopes to open for skiers in early December, and perhaps as early as next weekend. The new machines can cover the slopes with two inches of snow each day.

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