There's snow tellin'.
Wisp can't afford more snow guns??
3 posts from 3 users
Updated 5 months ago
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6 months ago

Wisp posted an interesting response to an inquiry on Facebook-

“We wanted to give you an update on Possum Trail from the Team at Wisp: Possum relies on portable snowguns as does some of our other trails including Down Under which is a connector trail to the East Ridge. With Sunset Blvd and Wisp Trail open for beginner terrain on the Front Side of the mountain, we moved our portable snowguns to the East Ridge. Our long-term goal would be to have fixed snowmaking on all of our trails to eliminate the need and reliance on portables. We appreciate your patience while we strive to open as much terrain as possible.”

Hmm, I appreciate their candor that they need more fixed snowmaking infrastructure, and hopefully pole mounted fan guns are in future budgets… but they are also admitting they don’t have enough portables!!

They just finished a 3 year $3.7 million lodge renovation and they don’t have enough guns on sleds?  Those things are like $5k a pop!

Real head scratcher.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
6 months ago

From what I know of snowmaking, it’s not the cost of the portable guns that’s the sticking point but the time and effort required to move them and get them on and off.  Presumably Wisp doesn’t have a huge snowmaking team.  Adding more portable guns won’t do much if they can’t find enough dedicated snowmakers.

Massanutten made a very deliberate decision to only cover the core trails in Nov, Dec, and early Jan.  As it was, they had to re-start Geronimo and the top half of Lower Showtime more than once after getting them open.  Just not enough hours to get the base built deep enough for terrain that has sun exposure.  Mnut started adding automated snowguns 5-6 years ago, as well as retrofitting some of the existing tower guns.  Most of the portable guns are big fan guns.  Only a few sled guns left.

Nice part about the Polecat fan gun is that it can be pointed quite high, unlike the old sled guns.  So even though every trail had snowguns on during daytime sessions early last week, the skiing was fine as long as you had good clothing, helmet, and goggles.

5 months ago

I do have to give Wisp a lot of credit this season for keeping the majority of the mountain open despite the up and down weather conditions. The Face, Squirrel Cage, the East Ridge trails and th 3 trails worth skiing on the North side have all been open for the majority of the season. I know that not having Possum open was a disappointment for beginning skiers, hopefully the resort will continue to invest in pole mounted fan guns.

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