You can’t spell artificial snow without ‘ART.’ The snowmaking process really comes down to a science, and Peek’n Peak’s Mountain Operations team has nailed it right on the head.
Realistically, we cannot always rely on Mother Nature for a long and plentiful ski and snowboarding season. Ski Resorts like Peek’n Peak take their snowmaking process very seriously.
First and foremost is monitoring atmospherics such as temperature and humidity. These two factors play a major part in the success of snowmaking. Temperatures need to be 28 degrees or below, but we also need to make sure humidity levels are low enough as well.
Peek’n Peak being so close to Lake Erie, certainly has its benefits when it comes to Lake Effect Snow, but it can also cause a roadblock for the snowmaking process. The lake tends to push moisture in the air, adding humidity which ultimately makes it impossible to produce quality, long-lasting snow.
Once temperatures are under 28 degrees and humidity levels have dropped, the snowmaking process can commence! The production of artificial snow is started by forcing water and pressurized air through a snow gun or cannon. Tiny droplets of water are blown through the air using fans within the machines. As the little droplets move through the air, they are cooled by evaporation and, in turn, form into tiny ice pellets. Once snow has been blown, we are able to send our PistenBully Snow Groomer up the hill. This ‘SnowCat’ allows the crew to maneuver the snow creating any type of terrain needed for that specific slope.
During the off-season in 2022, our maintenance team, along with the Mountain Operations team, worked hard on replacing the piping systems that run up the slopes for optimal snowmaking. This, along with the addition of our brand new centrifugal FS Elliot compressor, have been of great benefit to the Resort this winter season!
As the season progresses, we hope Mother Nature allows us to continue blowing snow onto the hills for a built-up base for a long-lasting season!