Steamboat’s snowmaking crews fired up the snowmaking system early this morning to begin building the resort’s snow base in anticipation of Opening Day for the 2016/17 winter season.
“Turning on the snow guns is the biggest sign that winter is right around the corner,” said Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “Our ability to step in and assist Mother Nature by creating a great early-season snow product impresses me every season, and I’m thrilled for our crews to put into action their snowmaking expertise to begin creating our base for this winter.”
After warmer than usual temperatures led to a long fall, cold temperatures and moisture in the air last night created the perfect weather combination for Steamboat’s snowmaking crews to begin building the resort’s base. Thirty snowmaking guns, including a combination of TA MMS carriage fan guns and Ratnik land guns, came to life around 12:30 this morning. Crews took advantage of the favorable conditions, with temperatures hovering around 25-27 degrees for most of the night, to create snowmaking piles on Right O Way, Stampede and Desperado Magic Carpet. Future snowmaking efforts will continue as conditions permit in preparation for the resort’s planned opening two weeks from today. Forecasts call for continued cold temperatures during the night for the next week, with a cold front expected in the area beginning late next week.
“The advances in snowmaking technology and the upgrades to our snowmaking fleet and systems each year allow us to take advantage of pockets of prime snowmaking conditions to begin the process of building our base,” Allen said. “We are able to cover more trail in a shorter period of colder weather than ever before, creating drastically better early-season skiing and riding conditions. Snowmaking systems play a vital role in our winter operations, especially in a year like this one where Mother Nature is taking her time with natural snowfall.”
Even with an average of 338 inches of Champagne Powder® snow each year, Steamboat’s snowmaking system continues to upgrade with new pipe on Spur Run, Voo Doo, See Me, Sitz, Arc and All Out trails in the past two years. The resort has installed nearly 20 miles of water and air pipe for snowmaking improvements over the past 8 years, significantly accelerating the resort’s ability to produce early-season snow and efficiently cover trails.
The resort is scheduled to open Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, with Scholarship Day, the traditional opening day benefit when proceeds from specially-priced tickets are donated to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s Scholarship Fund. The fund provides financial support for deserving children participating in club programs.