Originally Posted by jmelton94
I didn't realize resorts did this, I couldn't find any posts about this. Evidentely Beaver Creek uses some of their fleet of snowmaking guns for the purpose of adding a dusting of snow on top of groomed. If they do this on a regular basis just to improve riding quality and not so much for adding base, that is pretty cool. I guess it would be fairly easy and not terribly expensive with automated fan guns. Does anyone know what other resorts do this?
Honestly this feels like marketing BS- a way to add a distinction that doesn't actually exist.
I say this because in Colorado snowmaking is something that happens on a limited amount of terrain for a limited period of time.
In Colorado, resorts make snow in October (for early openers) November and early December. Snowmaking operations are usually wrapped by mid-December. Snowmaking infrastructure exists on only a portion of the mountain.
Snowmaking wraps up for several reasons. A big one is simply related to access to water, but another one is snow quality.
The vast majority of snowfall at Colorado ski areas is light, fluffy stuff with so little water content that you can't pack it into a snowball. When you groom it, you get a nice, soft, consistent snow surface- because the light, airy snow doesn't consolidate into hardpack. People fly in from all over the world to ski our soft groomed snow.
Despite advances, manmade snow has a lot more water. If you are spraying it over natural snow, you are adding to the water content- and when you then groom it, you are creating hardpack and ice. I can't imagine a Colorado ski area doing this- snowmaking is something you use to get terrain open and establish a nice solid hardpack layer underneath all the new fluffy snow that will come along.
So, if BC is blowing guns over groomed slopes, they would only be doing this in the early season when guns are operating. And they would probably only be doing it on slopes that consist of manmade snow, as once they get a base of natural stuff I can't imagine blowing wet snow over the top will do anything.
So, I'm forced to think that some marketing guy decided this would sound good and ran with it.