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Snow Making Additives

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
When are we going to learn better.  I just found out that the latest additives to snow making are hydrogen hydroxide and, if that wasn't bad enough, hydroxic acid! 

Now we are going to have to worry about how that will affect our ski bases and have to have new waxes that won't be affected by this stuff.
post #2 of 19
My understanding has always been that chemicals are only added when making snow in above freezing temps and water only if it is below freezing. Has something changed?
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
DanoT,

This has been going on for a lot longer than originally thought.  My biggest concern it the amount of the chemicals that are being added.  It's starting to affect the snow quality.  They are adding them to "fluff up" the snow so it has more volume.  I understand that the temperatures are still critical for this process.
post #4 of 19
You worry too much.

Natural snow is preferred but is not dependable in all regions. If there is no natural snow the resorts have to make man-made in order to pay the bills and operate AND it makes most skiers happy.

Race courses are also "treated."

Maybe man-made isn't as clean as nuclear power but, I am not going to worry about the base of my ski's when I ski the man-made enjoying the carve..
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Don't even start going on about Race Course treatments.  That type of treatment is even worse!  Now days they are using sodium ion treatments on race courses.  We all know that sodium is a violently reactive chemical.  Its an alkali metal.
post #6 of 19
Snow Max is biological. Don't forget about acid rain, dust, trash, lift grease, yellow snow, geese poop and that new slime wax that leaves trails in the snow.

Man made snow crystals are usually fairly sharp and wear wax down quicker than natural snow. If a resort is using additives to make fluffier snow, the fluffier snow will wear the wax down less. Base cleaner and fresh wax are your best defense against crap in the snow.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Snow Max is biological.

Indeed!  Pseudomonas syringae, to be exact!  Grows on plant tissue.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

When are we going to learn better.  I just found out that the latest additives to snow making are hydrogen hydroxide and, if that wasn't bad enough, hydroxic acid! 

Now we are going to have to worry about how that will affect our ski bases and have to have new waxes that won't be affected by this stuff.

 

I found it funny that you were more worried about your ski bases than any environmental concerns.
post #9 of 19
ya, and don't forget the hydrogen dioxide they use, too! terrible stuff, that!
post #10 of 19
hydrogen hydroxide = HOH = H2O = April 1st....
post #11 of 19
And dihydrogen monoxide, that stuff is bad too!
Edited by BillA - 4/1/10 at 9:14am
post #12 of 19
heh. wasn't awake yet...
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Damn!  I was hoping to keep this going for a bit.
post #14 of 19
Are you saying that people are a cause of global climate change? 

You silly heretics you.

Are we still using the mercury whatever it is for cloud seeding?
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

Are you saying that people are a cause of global climate change? 

You silly heretics you.

Are we still using the mercury whatever it is for cloud seeding?

Not something I try to perpetuate, but what the hell. I work in the wind industry so it doesn't hurt me.

But all the stuff we spray on the mountain ends up in our streams and in our food. I'm no harcore environmentalist. It's just something to think about.
post #16 of 19
Aaah, now I see this was some weak attempt at April first humor using obscure scientific facts.
post #17 of 19
I suspect the real culprit (no fooling!) is all the road salt in the run off that ends up in the water collected in the retaining pools.  That is why sometimes when you travel, ski, put your skis in a dry ski box, then take them out two days later when you arrive home there is sometimes already rust on the edges.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

Damn!  I was hoping to keep this going for a bit.
 

You can fool some of the people some of the time, others............not so much
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

Damn!  I was hoping to keep this going for a bit.

Haha, well, it actually lasted longer than I expected!

But still, hydrogen hydroxide is an absolutely crucial part of the snowmaking operation

Regardless (all April Fools jokes aside) - actual snowmaking additives, such as SnoMax, are only really effective for areas that have a very clean source of hydroxic acid.  Perfectly pure hydrogen hydroxide doesn't freeze well at marginal temps, so you add SnoMax to raise the nucleation temperature.  In less pure hydroxic acid, there are often plenty of high temp nucleators which allow efficient snowmaking without spending 6 or 7 digits on a bacteria additive.
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