The newest snow guns are equipped with weather stations.
“They will actually adjust the amount of water based on air temperatures, so the gun will, every one second, adjust to make the best snow. It’s something a human couldn’t do. But we will always rely on people,” Kellett said.
“Whiteface is pretty unique. You have wind. And those snow guns don’t monitor wind, so you can never take the experienced human factor totally out of it.”
The resort finally was able to spend $500,000, budgeted three years ago, to add snowmaking infrastructure on Hoyt’s High, one of the uppermost, black-diamond trails.
It was a strategic move to connect the Lookout Mountain ski lift to inner terrain, moving skiers around more of the mountain.
In mid August, now-retired General Manager Bruce McCulley explained the importance of adding snowmaking to the connector trail.
“Hoyt’s is a classic expert trail with lots of twists and turns and a relatively narrow width,” he said in announcing the expansion.
“It has a lot of character since we essentially used the outline of the old Cloudsplitter trail ... cut in the early ’50s as a test trail on the southeast side of the mountain. When the ski center was moved to its current location, (Hoyt’s High) was allowed to re-vegetate until 2007, when we re-cut the trail. It is over 4,700 feet long and has a vertical drop of around 1,500 feet.”
Hoyt’s changes the traffic flow on the entire mountain, McCulley explained.
“We also may cut an access trail into Porcupine Lodge at the top of the Lookout lift. This would be in preparation for the opening of the building as a warming hut and lunch area. At this time, it does not appear that we will have approvals for public use of Porcupine Lodge this year.”