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Is this a record? 645 new snow guns for Mt Snow

ss20

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Holy crap! 645 new guns! That's crazy! Getting ready for West Lake I hope...


Mount Snow, Vt. (August 18, 2014) – Following a variety of snowmaking projects that began in the spring of 2013 with the goal of improving the system’s efficiency and output, Mount Snow announces it will receive delivery of 645 new low-energy snow guns this fall. By replacing hundreds of older less efficient snow guns, the resort’s entire fleet of snowmaking equipment will now be comprised of 100% low energy technology.
As a result of this upgrade, Mount Snow will have the ability to produce more snow at one time than it did before thanks to the efficient operating nature of the new technology. On average, the new snow guns will require as little as eight cubic feet per minute (CFM) of compressed air, compared to 200-300 CFM that the older technology required.
“The correlation of higher efficiency and higher snow output is quite a remarkable thing,” said Mount Snow’s Director of Mountain Operations, Dave Moulton. “We will be saving a tremendous amount of power, which will ultimately reduce our carbon footprint, while also producing more high-quality snow for our guests to enjoy.”
It is estimated the average annual energy demand to operate the snowmaking system will drop by more than 2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) moving forward; an unprecedented improvement only made possible by the single largest snow gun delivery in Mount Snow’s history. That equals enough energy to power 180 homes for a year or operate the Bluebird Express, Mount Snow’s six-passenger bubble lift, for three winter seasons.
Skiers and riders will notice the upgrade right away as the new snow gun’s higher snow output and superior performance in marginal snowmaking conditions will allow the resort to open terrain faster and recover more quickly following inclement weather. Another advantage to this improvement is the resort’s snowmakers will be able to spend more time making snow and less time moving equipment because a snow gun will accompany every water hydrant on the mountain.
“Gone are the days that our snowmakers need to spend time dragging hoses and snow guns through the woods or from one location on a trail to another,” said Peak Resorts’ Northeast Project Manager, Brendan Ryan. “With a snow gun at every hydrant, ideally our crew will only need to position the equipment and dial them in which means they can spend more time doing what they’re great at: making snow.”
These new additions add to the firepower of a snowmaking system that was already anchored by 253 high output/high efficiency fan guns, which is the most of any resort in North America.
Other projects Mount Snow has undergone since the spring of 2013 include replacing nearly six miles of aging snowmaking pipe and installing new equipment to better control the flow of air and water. Another marquee element is this summer’s installation of Smart Snow, a $200,000 state-of-the-art snowmaking control system that provides constant data on the performance of the operation, among other benefits. It is the same system used to control the vast snowmaking complex in Sochi, Russia, which was installed specifically for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
The estimated total cost of these snowmaking efficiency upgrades over the last two years is around $2.5 million. The resort’s cost was offset thanks to incentives provided by Efficiency Vermont, with whom Mount Snow worked closely on completing all of these projects. A major part of the agreement for the snow gun upgrade is that Mount Snow will be donating over 500 older model snow guns to Efficiency Vermont for scrap.
Efficiency Vermont is a non-profit organization that provides technical assistance, rebates, and other financial incentives to help Vermont households and businesses reduce their energy costs with energy-efficient equipment and approaches to construction and major renovation.
 

Highway Star

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Sounds like a downgrade to me, because it is. I'd be more impressed if they bought a few new compressors and a big 'ol tank of diesel fuel. Contrary to their claims, low-e guns are NOT good in marginal snowmaking conditions, and are really only good for building base overnight from mid-December onwards. They are not useful for recovery in marginal conditions. Their snow quality is also usually poor.

For example, Killington dominates early season partly because of their large compressor capacity and budget to use it. Once temps drop in December, other areas are able to use their low-e guns to catch up in terrain expansion, and lower requirements for base depth on many of their trails.
 

drjeff

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Sounds like a downgrade to me, because it is. I'd be more impressed if they bought a few new compressors and a big 'ol tank of diesel fuel. Contrary to their claims, low-e guns are NOT good in marginal snowmaking conditions, and are really only good for building base overnight from mid-December onwards. They are not useful for recovery in marginal conditions. Their snow quality is also usually poor.

For example, Killington dominates early season partly because of their large compressor capacity and budget to use it. Once temps drop in December, other areas are able to use their low-e guns to catch up in terrain expansion, and lower requirements for base depth on many of their trails.


HS, you have to remember that about 90% of Mount Snow's traditional "early season" terrain is covered, and still will be covered after this big buy, by fan guns, which has managed to get them open, with a pretty decent amount of terrain fairly early in the New England ski season the past 6 or 7 years. This buy is to replace their existing, extensive number of older air/water snow guns (both ground tripod mount and also tower mount), the vast majority of which is located on snowmaking terrain that is typically secondary or even tertiary in the snowmaking terrain annual roll out.

Latitude will always be Mount Snow's main achilles heal if it ever wanted to be in the race to be the one of the earliest in VT to open, and I don't care how many compressors and gallons of diesel you burn, if it's say 36 at Mount Snow, 34 at Stratton, 32 at Okemo and 28 at K in late October, early November, there WON'T be snow being made in West Dover.

This move, and I know from having spoken with a few of the mountain ops folks at Mount Snow about it was made after extensive research and testing of multiple makes and models of low-e guns run in multiple conditions and terrain types. I don't think that Mount Snow will end up in a scenario like K had with the low-e guns they lined OL with 2 seasons ago that were really good at making BIG piles over the 1st say 50 feet of OL's width and basically ended up with nothing over the remaining 200 feet or so of its width. The overall efficiency saving should be significant
 

ss20

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I don't think that Mount Snow will end up in a scenario like K had with the low-e guns they lined OL with 2 seasons ago that were really good at making BIG piles over the 1st say 50 feet of OL's width and basically ended up with nothing over the remaining 200 feet or so of its width. The overall efficiency saving should be significant

I hope you're right. If low-e guns can't cover OL then it'll be pretty pathetic on South Bowl and Snowdance.
 

drjeff

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I hope you're right. If low-e guns can't cover OL then it'll be pretty pathetic on South Bowl and Snowdance.


I don't think they'll be taking the 20 or so SMI Superpolecat fan guns that currently line the side of Snowdance out anytime soon! ;-) Gotta remember ss20 that this buy of 645 new guns is to replace the old air/water guns in their fleet, not to replace the 250+ fanguns they have

As for South Bowl, my guess is that what they'll be using there now won't be any/much of a difference throw wise as the ground base tripod guns they used in the past there (my hunch if is that they'll use a mix of tower and sled tower mounted low-e guns there, which will still only throw the snow, even with a favorable wind to disperse it at best 1/2 way across SB's maximum width near the top, and just like they've done with the superpolecats on Snowdance the last 6 or 7 years now since they installed them, they'll be burning some diesel in the cats to get the manmade snow out to mid trail. There just isn't any snowgun on the market that is anything close to remotely efficient, that has a predictable throw range far enough to cover a trail that is about 100 yards wide ;-)
 

Hawkshot99

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Never been a huge fan of The fan guns. In the perfect conditions they make great snow, but the quality of the snow overall doesn't feel as good.
 

deadheadskier

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Never been a huge fan of The fan guns. In the perfect conditions they make great snow, but the quality of the snow overall doesn't feel as good.

I feel the complete opposite.

The quality of snow that the fan guns put out at Crotched is by far the highest quality man made snow at any ski area I've been to in New England. Very dry and soft as butter, just like mother nature snow after a fresh groom.
 

VTKilarney

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There was an article in today's Caledonian Record saying that Burke and Jay Peak have replaced numerous snow guns with energy efficient models. Apparently a lot of the cost came from Efficiency Vermont. Efficiency Vermont is a rate-payer subsidized program whose budget has grown exponentially since the Democrats have taken over.
 

Glenn

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I think the fanguns make some nice man made. I wish they had more of them at Mt. Snow. I'm up in the air about the low e-guns. I skied near a few last near and almost went you know what over tea kettle. They were putting out a very wet product.

Here's to hoping West Lake gets rolling. They need more water on the main mountain.
 

steamboat1

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Stowe over the past two years bought 445 HKD tower guns, 150 energy efficient land guns, 20 Super Pole Cat fanguns. Supposedly they've invested another $2 million in snowmaking this summer but I don't know the particulars of what they purchased. Just heard most of this years improvements will be off the Mansfield triple. Over $10 million in snowmaking improvements over the past three years is pretty impressive.

edit: over 7 miles of new snowmaking pipe also.
 
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steamboat1

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There was an article in today's Caledonian Record saying that Burke and Jay Peak have replaced numerous snow guns with energy efficient models. Apparently a lot of the cost came from Efficiency Vermont. Efficiency Vermont is a rate-payer subsidized program whose budget has grown exponentially since the Democrats have taken over.
Interesting article about Efficiency Vermont & the purchase of new low e-guns by VT. ski areas.

http://digital.vpr.net/post/snow-gu...nt-ski-resorts-millions#.U_TDSkPHo9k.facebook
 

drjeff

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There was an article in today's Caledonian Record saying that Burke and Jay Peak have replaced numerous snow guns with energy efficient models. Apparently a lot of the cost came from Efficiency Vermont. Efficiency Vermont is a rate-payer subsidized program whose budget has grown exponentially since the Democrats have taken over.

Interesting article about Efficiency Vermont & the purchase of new low e-guns by VT. ski areas.

http://digital.vpr.net/post/snow-gu...nt-ski-resorts-millions#.U_TDSkPHo9k.facebook

Sounds more like after reading the VPR article referenced in Steamboat's post that the energy bill surcharge passed onto the VT power consumers from the likely Democrat appointment overseeing the VT Power regulatorg agency is being used to pay for this. Green energy and overall energy consumption reduction reasons are given for this program.

I wonder how much the loss of the power generated by the VT Yankee Nuclear Plant due to it's owner's essentially giving up trying to modernize it for decades more clean, cheap power generation via the numerous lawsuits filed by multiple groups (usually with environmental lobby ties) is also playing into this??
 

Highway Star

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HS, you have to remember that about 90% of Mount Snow's traditional "early season" terrain is covered, and still will be covered after this big buy, by fan guns, which has managed to get them open, with a pretty decent amount of terrain fairly early in the New England ski season the past 6 or 7 years. This buy is to replace their existing, extensive number of older air/water snow guns (both ground tripod mount and also tower mount), the vast majority of which is located on snowmaking terrain that is typically secondary or even tertiary in the snowmaking terrain annual roll out.

Latitude will always be Mount Snow's main achilles heal if it ever wanted to be in the race to be the one of the earliest in VT to open, and I don't care how many compressors and gallons of diesel you burn, if it's say 36 at Mount Snow, 34 at Stratton, 32 at Okemo and 28 at K in late October, early November, there WON'T be snow being made in West Dover.

This move, and I know from having spoken with a few of the mountain ops folks at Mount Snow about it was made after extensive research and testing of multiple makes and models of low-e guns run in multiple conditions and terrain types. I don't think that Mount Snow will end up in a scenario like K had with the low-e guns they lined OL with 2 seasons ago that were really good at making BIG piles over the 1st say 50 feet of OL's width and basically ended up with nothing over the remaining 200 feet or so of its width. The overall efficiency saving should be significant

I disagree with Peak's strategy of replacing their diesel compressors with permanently mounted fan guns.
 

drjeff

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I disagree with Peak's strategy of replacing their diesel compressors with permanently mounted fan guns.


Do you still feel that way, considering that the announced, and generally accepted by their customers season length target is the weekend before Thanksgiving until the 1st or 2nd weekend of April?

Frankly having been a Mount Snow regular before they added all the fan guns and eliminated their fleet of rental compressor, the product that they roll out with now on opening day is superior to what they rolled out with back in the all air/water days. And if it's saving them $$ in the long run, that's more $$ available for other capital improvements.

I fully get why K has a bunch of compressors and a fleet of the k3000's and big air Ratniks, when you push plenty of compressed air through them at marginal temps, those guns are far superior to any low-e product out there today. But any ski area GM/Mountain Ops personal has to take a critical look at what their core target base and operating schedule and then given some of the low-e guns and options out there weigh those cost savings and if and how those products can allow them to operate as good, if not better than the older "high e" products out there. K NEEDS some "air hog" guns for sure, BUT even K is also buying a bunch of low-e products and is making as much snow, if not more than in the past, but doing so smarter and more efficiently today because of utilization of more efficient low-e technology in appropriate situations
 

Highway Star

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Do you still feel that way, considering that the announced, and generally accepted by their customers season length target is the weekend before Thanksgiving until the 1st or 2nd weekend of April?

Frankly having been a Mount Snow regular before they added all the fan guns and eliminated their fleet of rental compressor, the product that they roll out with now on opening day is superior to what they rolled out with back in the all air/water days. And if it's saving them $$ in the long run, that's more $$ available for other capital improvements.

I fully get why K has a bunch of compressors and a fleet of the k3000's and big air Ratniks, when you push plenty of compressed air through them at marginal temps, those guns are far superior to any low-e product out there today. But any ski area GM/Mountain Ops personal has to take a critical look at what their core target base and operating schedule and then given some of the low-e guns and options out there weigh those cost savings and if and how those products can allow them to operate as good, if not better than the older "high e" products out there. K NEEDS some "air hog" guns for sure, BUT even K is also buying a bunch of low-e products and is making as much snow, if not more than in the past, but doing so smarter and more efficiently today because of utilization of more efficient low-e technology in appropriate situations

Killington makes less snow than in the past, and I'm betting that Mount Snow does also. MS was doing great on air/water in the late 90's, when gas was $.90 per gallon.
 

HowieT2

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Killington makes less snow than in the past, and I'm betting that Mount Snow does also. MS was doing great on air/water in the late 90's, when gas was $.90 per gallon.

but gas isnt 90 cents a gallon and likely wont be again for the foreseeable future.

I dont understand the disdain for the low-e guns. seems to me to be a major improvement since the mtns will be able to make more snow for less money.
 

skiNEwhere

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