Friday, December 09, 2011


Snowmaking for the new ski season has started at Roundtop!

I first heard the sound of the snowmaking guns shortly before 9 p.m.  last night, and it took a few minutes for the sound to register.  It's a bit like remembering what a robin's song is the first time you hear it in the spring after months of not hearing it at all.  Finally, it occured to me that I'd been hearing the sound for a few minutes. Snowmaking!

My cabin is on the west side of the mountain, and over there the sound isn't all that loud.  If you've ever heard grain being milled, that's a similar sound, just a constant hum.  It's only when I walk down around the slopes that the noise can get pretty loud. It's not so loud that I can't deal with it, but it is too loud for the dogs. It hurts their very sensitive ears. 
This morning I discovered that I'd forgotten another aspect of the dogs and the snowmaking guns. They can't hear me over the guns even when we're not close enough for the sound to hurt their ears.  For a few minutes I just thought they were being exceptionally bad, and then I remembered.  Some days I'm not sure which of us needs more training--them or me.

If the weather holds, Roundtop will probably open for skiing sometime next week. When the weather stays cold, it doesn't take the snowmaking crew very long to cover the mountain well enough to open for business.  Even after the mountain is open, they will continue to make snow to build up the base.  Later in the season they will make snow to cover up any melting spots. 

In the first photo, you can just barely see what looks like windblown snow at the top of the mountain. That's from the snowmaking.  Natural snow still covered the top of the mountain but melted off the lower section during the day on Thursday.  The snow you see in the foreground of the second photo is the remains of the natural snow I had on Wednesday night.You can also see one of the snowmaking guns on the right side of the second photo.

It won't be long before the skiers arrive!

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