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November 9, 2012

Whiteface gets jump on ski season 2012-13

WILMINGTON — The nor’easter storming the East Coast won’t deliver much snow here.

But, since Monday, snow guns at Whiteface Ski Resort have been blowing around the clock.

Asked how the mountain looked Wednesday morning, Whiteface General Manager Aaron Kellett chuckled.

“It’s white,” he said.

Snowmakers were scheduled to start their work next week but began early, taking advantage of cold air that dropped to 11 degrees Monday.

CUTTING COSTS

Adjusting for the weather gives the resort not only a jump on snow, Kellett said, but also spares cost.

“That is a ski resort’s No. 1 expense. Last year, we had some warmer temperatures, but we took advantage of the cold days and good situations. By playing our cards right with the weather, it saves us money.”

The mountain has made a steady march toward both adding terrain and cutting costs.

In 2006, Whiteface installed energy-efficient compressors that have saved money in snowmaking operations.

And since then, the Ski Resort has steadily added new technology and state-of-the-art guns that allow minute adjustments to water concentration, making optimum snow for skiing.

That work began Monday. 

“Our guys are really excited,” Kellett said. “They play a lot of different roles on the mountain in the off season with work on trails and on the Memorial Highway. When we made the call on Monday, our guys got really excited. At about 5 p.m., we got the guns fired up. A couple of the snowmakers have been staying all night.”

PACKING LOWER TRAILS

The goal is to pile snow on the lower mountain, establishing a good stash that can be used to open the lower trails.

“Hopefully, this week will take care of snowmaking on the lower mountain, so we can concentrate on the upper mountain when we get into full-blown snowmaking,” Kellett said.

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