The Snow Guns are Fired Up

The temps finally dipped low enough for Park City Mountain Resort to officially turn on the snow guns and kick off snowmaking for 2011. We asked Brian Suhadolc, Park City Mountain Resort's Operations Manager, a few questions about snowmaking and our system here at the resort.

How cold must it be to turn on the snow guns?
We turn the snowmaking system on at 28 degrees wet bulb.

Just how big is Park City Mountain Resort's snowmaking system?
We have over 50 miles of snowmaking pipe on our mountain. At max capacity we can make 27 acre feet of snow in a 24 hour period. That means we can cover 27 acres one foot deep or 1 acre 27’ deep in 24 hrs.

How many manual guns and how many auto guns does Park City Mountain Resort run?
We have 150 manual guns, 35 fully automated fan guns, and 15 automated Low Energy stick guns.

thumbnail The skiway is looking very white!  Mimi Lopour

thumbnail Pretty advanced measuring system. Keeping it old school.  Mimi Lopour

thumbnail Fresh snow makes for happy dogs.  Mimi Lopour

thumbnail  Mimi Lopour

thumbnail It's a beautiful sight.  Mimi Lopour

thumbnail We're on.  Mimi Lopour

thumbnail The new conveyer lifts get their first dusting of snow.  Mimi Lopour

How have we improved our snowmaking equipment over the summer?
We added 6 new Techno Alpine stick guns and 3 portable fan guns. We did some earth work on the Eagle Superpipe that should reduce the amount of manmade snow needed to open it by 20%.

How many people are on Park City Mountain Resort's snowmaking crew?

Is machine-made snow real snow?
Manmade snow is a mixture of compressed air and pressurized water. The air is used to break the water into tiny droplets that can freeze after they are shot out of the gun. The ideal temperature to make snow is between 15 and 12 degrees.

Enjoy this video clip taken this morning of the snow guns in action.