You’ve heard the rumors. So have we. And I’m here to say that no, Sunday River’s snowmaking efforts are not even close to done for the 2015/16 season, despite a week with (snowy) highs and (rainy) lows. Let’s take a look at how and why Sunday River snowmakers continue to consistently make the most dependable snow in New England by weathering any weather. It’s full speed ahead for spring skiing, folks!
Snowmaking Days vs. Operating Days
As the guns came on this morning on Kansas, Cyclone, State Fair, Aludra and Lights Out, we hit our 78th day of snowmaking this season. And while that may seem like a lot on its own, think of it this way. Having been open for 106 days this season, we’ve been making snow on roughly 70 percent of those days. From our snowmaking test on September 22, 2015, to opening day on October 19, 2015, through a season of unseasonable temperatures and battling the elements, Sunday River snowmakers have been cranking the guns at every chance, opening terrain on all eight peaks. We even made it onto the Doppler Radar!
How We Do It
Sunday River’s set up is not one to scoff at. Our snowmaking system can pump 8,100 gallons per minute from the river to the resort, and then can pump the same 8,100 per minute up to the mountain. Air is also an important factor, and our snowmaking system can compress about 54,000 cubic feet of air per minute. This capacity allows us to run over 300 guns simultaneously. And speaking of guns, we house nearly 2,000 snowguns across the resort, with 30 miles of hose, 72 miles of pipes spread across all eight peaks, and 2,200 hydrant stations, spaced only 85 feet apart to ensure proper coverage of each trail.
A Day in the Life
As you can imagine, being a snowmaker is an absolutely insane job. That’s why we decided to showcase our snowmakers this season with our Life of a Snowmaker photo blog. This pictorial account of Sunday River snowmaking shows everything from hikes in the dark up steep terrain to pizza in the break room between shifts. It’s a tough job, and I’m glad that someone else can do it so well.
HKD I am a Snowmaker Award
With all of that capacity, dedication, and passion, it’s not surprising that Sunday River’s snowmaking team was nominated for Ski Area Management’s HKD I Am a Snowmaker Award. Their trailer aired in January 2016, with a full-length video coming out in mid-March to determine the winner between some of the country’s top ski resort destinations. (And we’re pretty sure we have it in the bag.)
See? Now quit it with the rumors, naysayers!