— Posted by Chad on December 22, 2011
Many people not aquainted with the ski industry, and even some who are, have no idea how snow is made or the significance of having snowmaking at a resort. Over the years I have heard some pretty wild ideas out there on how we as snowmakers make snow. My favorite being that we ship in ice and shave it to make snow.
When it comes to snowmaking it's pretty straight forward. Snowmakers make snow pretty much the same way mother nature does. Nature creates snow when water vapor in clouds begins to percipitate. In a cold enough environment the water molecules freeze as they fall and collide with other falling freezing water molecules to form what we know as snowflakes. We can't do this as perfect as nature, but we do it in the same process. The snowmaking system at Park City Mountain Resort consists of: a high pressure air hose powered by seven industrial sized compressors, a high pressure water hose powered by nine water pumps located throughout the mountain, and lastly snow guns that we hook these high pressure lines into. With this system we shoot the air/water combo up into the air to fall and freeze to make snow. We also use snowmax, which is a bacteria compound that helps the water molecules to freeze faster as they fall to the ground. With snowmax we are able to be more efficient when we make snow at warmer temperatures.
It's seasons like the current one that make you fully appreciate the significance of snowmaking. Park City Mountain Resort has nine lifts open with 41 runs. Of those 41 runs, only five have not had snowmaking on them. Those five runs are off of Silverlode and have been able to open with purely natural snow. This means 87% of the runs we have open are due to the efforts of snowmaking. Although each year we make roughly the same amount of snow it's the seasons where we haven't had much help from natural snow the we reap the benefits of having snowmaking and snowmakers who work around the clock as temperature permits.
Tremendous progress is being made everyday. We have been fortunate enough to have had long streaks of cold temperatures to make snow. There are a couple more runs that are close to being completed that will lead to more lifts opening for everyone to enjoy.
Official news and announcements from Park City Mountain Resort.
Originally from Washington, DC; Andy has been with Park City Mountain Resort since 2011 after being a lifelong PC visitor with his family.
Samantha is new to Utah, joining the Park City Mountain Resort team in 2011 as the Marketing Coordinator.
When he's not up on the mountain checking on the cams, Eric is managing the interactive marketing for Park City Mountain Resort.
Colette is Park City Mountain Resort’s social media coordinator. A lifelong skier, she joined the PCMR team in 2013.
Dave has worked in the ski and snowboard industry since 2000 and joined the PCMR team in the spring of 2014.
Park City Mountain Resort
1345 Lowell Ave
PO Box 39
Park City, UT 84060
© Park City Mountain Resort
Get snow reports, I Ride Park City updates and more by signing up for our newsletters.Sign Up