Monday, December 04, 2006

Snow on Roundtop

Snowmaking has started on Roundtop! This photo shows the scene that greeted me early Sunday morning. The snowmaking crew started making snow for the first time this season on Saturday night.

If the weather stays cold, Roundtop should be able to be open, with at least a few of the slopes, within a few days, almost certainly by this upcoming weekend.

Where I work, in Guest Services, the single most asked question is, "when are you going to open?" People are always surprised when we answer that we don't know, that our opening is dependent on Mother Nature. A surprising number of people seem to equate snowmaking with "fake" snow, as though it is something like plastic, perhaps. We get calls when it is 50 degrees (and higher) outside wanting to know if we're open for skiing. When we explain that it isn't cold enough yet, they say, "But I thought you made snow." Well, we do, but it's real snow and for that it has to be below freezing. In this area, winter is often a dry season. Plenty of years we have cold temperatures and no snow, so Roundtop makes their own.

The short version of how you make snow is this: 1) wait until it's below freezing, 2) shoot water into air with some pressure behind it, and 3) the water freezes and falls to the ground as snow. The colder it is, the more like snow it is. If it's warmer, it's a bit more like ice crystals than snow.

Let the winter begin!


Cathy said...

I always thought that was a neat way to make snow. However, this morning I got to watch a snow shower pass through the area. There's a picture of it on my blog.

ChicagoLady said...

I always wondered how they made snow on the ski slopes. Thanks for sharing that. BTW, I have plenty of snow here I can send if they want it.