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Man-made Powder?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I was thinking today about the lack of tree skiing near where I live. We don't get enough snow to really have good tree skiing, and man-made snow doesn't seem to work very well in the trees. I'm just wondering how long, if ever, until resorts are able to replicate snow that is powder like. It seems even when you get a pile of ungroomed man-made snow its like skiing through a snow cone. I imagine much of that has to do with the way snow is made now (ie blowing water and compressed air through a gun to freeze it). Is there any exploration into making snow that would be more comparable to powder? Like developing a different methodology of blowing snow to make larger, lighter flakes?

post #2 of 16

Sheldon....is that you?  Are Leonard, Raj, and Howard there with you?? snowfalling.gif snowfight.gif    biggrin.gif

Love,

Penny

 

post #3 of 16

I think you probably can make something more powdery. It just won't make economic sense to do so.

post #4 of 16

I didn't know there was any skiing in Costa Rica.

post #5 of 16

I have skied man-made powder.  It is actually not hard to do, if it is cold enough.  Just adjust the air-water mix to have more air.

Unfortunately, it was a mistake and mid-day they readjusted the system back to the usual thick stuff.  They make it on purpose, because it covers and it lasts, so it makes much more economic sense.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

I didn't know there was any skiing in Costa Rica.



There's not, I'm just here for two months doing missionary work. I'll be back home and skiing the second week of January.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

I have skied man-made powder.  It is actually not hard to do, if it is cold enough.  Just adjust the air-water mix to have more air.

Unfortunately, it was a mistake and mid-day they readjusted the system back to the usual thick stuff.  They make it on purpose, because it covers and it lasts, so it makes much more economic sense.



Once the areas have enough coverage, why not pick say one or two gladed trails and blow powder on them then. I would think that would attract some skiers, especially in the Poconos where a mountain with better snow would only be a bit of a further drive. Maybe I just am not comprehending the full costs of running the guns.

post #8 of 16

I takes a lot of powder, and unfortunately as the snow quality gets better the quantity gets smaller.

The day I mentioned, there was a 20 foot circle of powder below each gun, and they had been running at least all morning (and maybe before I got there).

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post


 Maybe I just am not comprehending the full costs of running the guns.



Depending on the size of the ski area and the acres served by snowmaking, I heard it can run from 1,000-20,000 dollars per night.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitamin Ski View Post



Depending on the size of the ski area and the acres served by snowmaking, I heard it can run from 1,000-20,000 dollars per night.



Way way way more than that.

 

As for blowing snow in glades, that's usually a great way to deforest your glade. I think if you really did want to make powder, you'd want to do it with tower guns on tall towers. But think about it, let's suppose that you do fill a trail with sweet sweet powder. It's gonna be gone in an hour.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Ok, so then I guess that gets back to the original question. Is there any hope of some type of way to put man made powder in glades for areas that don't get enough natural snow?

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

Ok, so then I guess that gets back to the original question. Is there any hope of some type of way to put man made powder in glades for areas that don't get enough natural snow?


I think if it was your own private playpen and you had enough money you could do it.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

Ok, so then I guess that gets back to the original question. Is there any hope of some type of way to put man made powder in glades for areas that don't get enough natural snow?


I think if it was your own private playpen and you had enough money you could do it.

I'm talking about something other than the current way of doing things. Plus it may cost the above mentioned figure or more for an entire operation, but what about some tower guns on a single trail?
 

 

post #14 of 16

Let's just assume that you could overcome the technical hurdles of making powder in this glade without breaking all of the trees. Put a hypothetical price tag of 100K every time you want to fill it knee deep (hypothetical trail is 1,000 vertical feet, 4 groomer lanes wide). Assume it will be skied out in an hour or so (fresh tracks gone in 15 minutes). Would it be worth it? How about at 50K?

post #15 of 16

They can do it now with technology they have. It just costs too much to blow light powder. Didn't your hill just go broke?  So no, it is not gonna happen.

 

You don't have to pay 6 figures to ski powder. As a guy who grew up in DC I will tell you in all candor that living in the midatlantic, just be thankful you are skiing locally at all. If you want to ski powder and glades and care about the quality of the experience there are places where this type of skiing is the norm everyday of the season. But these places are not in the midatlantic. You owe it to yourself to move to ski country while you are still young.

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post



Way way way more than that.

 

As for blowing snow in glades, that's usually a great way to deforest your glade. I think if you really did want to make powder, you'd want to do it with tower guns on tall towers. But think about it, let's suppose that you do fill a trail with sweet sweet powder. It's gonna be gone in an hour.



I'd say this is the short of it. You're going to spend thousands of dollars to make snow to cover a quarter acre of trees and it'll be gone after three people ski it. In other words, it won't pull in new skiers and it will just cost money. Seems like a losing proposition, especially at a small resort without a real powder culture.

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