Pictures of the new snowmaking lake at Blue Knob
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Mountain Masher
June 14, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
To see recent pictures of Blue Knob's new snowmaking lake, go to the following link: http://community.webshots.com/album/401249160neQZoP All of the pictures that show Blue Knob's completed lake (with the black liner) were taken during the month of May 2006. The lake was completed and the liner was put in place Sept. 2005. It was reported by the Altoona Mirror newspaper (in the Fall of 2005) that the lake would hold around 8 to 10 million gallons of water for snowmaking; also, it was reported that the lake would be in use during the 2005-2006 ski season. As it turned out, the lake was not in use (for snowmaking) during the 2005-2006 season and, to date, has not held a significant amount of water. It should be noted that the ENTIRE AREA (shown in the pictures) is on PA State Park land and located near the summit of Blue Knob. This land was originally donated from the US Park Service to PA for the primary purpose of conservation. Although the lake is located on public land, it was built by the operator of BK ski area with PA Dept. of Parks approval. I might add that I appeared on-site on WJAC TV 6, Johnstown, PA (evening news at 5:30 PM) on June 2, 2006; the nearly dry lake-bed was used as a back-drop.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
June 14, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,693 posts
A couple of the pics show rips in lake liner. Are those the cause of the failure of the big lake to hold any significant amount of water? Or is the failure caused by other problems?
It is one thing to do all the earth moving for a finished project that improves the ski operation, it is another to do it for an incomplete eyesore that serves no useful purpose.
Mountain Masher
June 14, 2006
Member since 03/13/2004 🔗
541 posts
I had a friend (who's familiar with holding ponds that are used in conjunction with oil drilling) take a look at BK's lake. He told me that the lake and liner are flawed in several ways: 1) The ruberized liner material is not nearly thick enough. 2) The lake bottom and sides should have been covered with sand prior to installing the liner. As things are now, there are sharp pieces of quartzite and shale poking into the liner from underneath. 3) Without water covering most of the surface area of the lake-bed, the sun and elements are causing the liner to weaken and split apart, especially along the many seams in the liner.

In my opinion, even if the liner had been installed properly, there still wouldn't be a significant amount of water in the lake. At this point, I'm simply wondering how long it will be until the land is reclaimed, and who's going to pay for the enormous costs involved; hopefully, not the PA taxpayers! Of course, if the Govt. of PA runs true-to-form, they're likely to do nothing. Fortunately, the US Park Service still has some oversight (based on a recent conversation I had with the USPS and the conditions under which the land was deeded from the USPS to PA). So hopefully, the USPS will put some pressure on PA to clean things up.
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