Snowmaking underway at Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort; opening day scheduled for Nov. 18
Lake Tahoe experienced a 400 percent increase in average rainfall for October according to the National Weather Service, culminating in “the second wettest October in recorded history.” The weather is helping set up Tahoe’s most consistent and reliable snow surfaces for the rest of the season by soaking the bases at Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Northstar California Resort.
October precipitation and cold temperatures combined with recent snowfall have created an incredible opportunity to begin snowmaking. All three resorts have started that process in advance of opening day.
Armed with the West Coast’s most sophisticated, state-of-the-art snowmaking systems, Heavenly and Northstar are better equipped to take advantage of cold temperatures and can adapt quickly and effectively to changes in the weather. And with the most experienced snowmaking teams in the region, both mountains consistently deliver a superior early-season snow surface.
Kirkwood is already showing why it’s Mother Nature’s preferred target for winter storms. The big mountain resort accumulated 12 inches of snowfall in October, cooling the ground and setting up the base for ideal snowmaking conditions.
“The recent storms have helped get things started and, with the addition of snowmaking, we are building an excellent snow base already,” said James Grant, vice president of mountain operations at Heavenly. “After a great season last year, we are eager to get 2016-17 off to an epic start — firing up the snow guns officially rings in the new season.”
Machine-made snow brings more benefits than simply a guaranteed full season of skiing. For example, if groomed properly, machine-made snow will maintain its consistency longer than natural snowfall.
Using the latest technology, resort snowmaking operators constantly monitor the system for changes in air temperature, water pressure, wind direction and other elements critical to making quality snow. When weather changes occur, the crews are alerted instantly and can react to assure the snow quality remains at its best — even from off the mountain.