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Blue Mountain Resort begins testing snow guns

Blue Mountain Resort has begun testing its snow guns around the mountain to prep for the 2021-2022 season.

Ashley Seier, marketing manager, noted that the resort tested snow guns on Nov. 5, which included starting up snow guns for the first time on its 40th trail, currently named “Coming Soon.”

“Previously, ‘Coming Soon’ relied on natural snowfall to open; this year the trail will be equipped with fully automated snow-making and LED lighting,” Seier said. “Thirty-three high-efficiency pole guns and two tower fan guns will line the 7-acre trail of Black Diamond skiing.”

Seier said that to celebrate the snow-making capabilities on this trail, they’re looking for the public’s help to give the trail a proper name.

She said trail name voting is open now through Dec. 8. Voters will be entered to win prizes, including an all-access season pass, lift tickets or a gift card.

Seier said that once the wet bulb temperature reaches around 28 degrees, they will continuously be able to make snow for the season.

“The wet bulb temperature is a combination of temperature and humidity used to determine snow-making conditions,” she said. “After the temperature cooperates, it takes about 80 hours of snow-making to be able to open for the season.”

Seier explained how the snow-making process works.

“After this time period, we will make snow every opportunity we get to open the mountain fully,” she said. “Snow-making is continually done daily (when possible with weather conditions) to freshen up the top layer of the snow. Thanks to an almost fully automated snow-making system, our snow guns will turn themselves on and off based on weather conditions to optimize snow quality.”

Blue Mountain Resort is home to one of the largest snow-making systems in the country, allowing its crews to work most efficiently with the warmer East Coast weather. Snow-making consists of three main components: water, air and electricity. Blue Mountain is able to pump out 14,000 gallons of water per minute onto the slopes and convert it to snow.

Seier said the first trails to open are typically Vista, Easy Out, Come Around Park, Midway, Upper Main Street, Lower Main Street and Barney’s Bumps.

“Thanks to snow-making improvements on Burma Road last season, this trail is also now typically open on the first day,” she said. “This season, we’ve made improvements to our overall snow-making system, including adding three new 350hp/1,000gpm pumps; increasing snow-making water pumping capacity; increasing mountaintop water pressure to utilize the latest in low energy/high-capacity snow-making technology; and installing two additional new cooling towers to maximize our snow-making window. Thanks to these improvements, we expect more trails to open sooner than ever as long as Mother Nature cooperates.”

Seier noted the resort aims to open on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which this year would be Nov. 26, though the date relies heavily on the weather.

“Due to the unknowns of COVID, and to give our guests and employees the best experience on the mountain, we will again be limiting outdoor capacity,” she said. “Ski and ride lift tickets, as well as snow tubing tickets, will be limited per day.”

Seier said all Access Season Passes are sold out for the season, and only Off-Peak Season Passes and Student Passes remain. All tickets, lessons and rentals will only be available for purchase online, and a touchless ticket pickup experience will be available by using their RFID pickup boxes.

Blue Mountain Resort will host its next job fair from 4-7 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Summit Lodge, Seier said.

“We are still hiring for a variety of outdoor and indoor positions including lift attendants, snowmakers, snow tubing attendants, instructors, call center operators, public attendants and more,” she said. “Blue Mountain Resort team members get a ton of perks around the mountain like a free season pass, rentals, lessons and discounts of food and gear.”

All open positions can be viewed at skibluemt.com/employment.