With conditions, consider tubing v.s. slopes?
Just thought I'd fish for a general conscensus here...
With the weather being what is is, and conditions on most of the local hills deteriorating rapidly, what sense does it make for hills like LIBERTY to out all their snowblowing assets into the snow tubing park?
My last two trips to liberty (over xmas) featured miserable conditions, and with the follow on heat wave, I can't imagine an improvement.
Check LIBERTY's pics of their snow tubing park, it look very much like there's a much better base there than on any of the other slopes. Wouldn't it make more sense to put the snowblowers on the quickly diminishing slopes?
I guess it makes financial sense for them to have tubing, but personaly, I think it's a strain on their snowmaking rescources (as well as parking).
Any other thoughts?
My thoughts are that Libery is finished until the next big dump.
I was there on Xmas day as well, and it was tres horrible.
This thaw is hurting them something fierce.
As far as the tube v. slope issue - I guess they are doing what they feel will be the most profitable in these hard times.
It's not a matter of blowing on either the tubing park OR the slopes.... They can do both at the same time if the weather permits.
However, the past couple of weeks there have been inversions at night. An inversion is where the temps in the valley are actually colder than at the summit. I know of a couple nights where they were only able to blow on their lower slopes (beginner area, tubing park, etc) due to the temp inversions.
Trust me - they won't throw away money on the tubing park if they could put it to good use on the slopes.
how's this for cool. yesterday on my way up to roundtop, i stopped at heritage hills golf course which has tubing and a rail park. the temp was 61 with 98 percent humidity and they were MAKING SNOW!
I would love to know how they were doing that. I don't know of anyway to get water to freeze above 39 degrees.
maybe it wasn't water they were freezing?
its the snow magic system. the way i understand it is that they make the snow in a climate controlled enclosed space then pump it out onto the slopes. pretty cool. tenney mt in NH has it and they had a park contest on july 4th 2003.
Here's an article DCSki published last summer describing how Tenney does it:
Here's a direct link to the company webpage for the "SnowMagic" system...
They quote an average snow crystal micron size of 3 microns. Anyone know how this compares to regular snowmaking systems and nature at various humidity levels?
I'm guessing the snow comes out somewhat compressed and "clumpy" but then again, you do GET SNOW when you want it!
if i get time. i'll go up to heritage hills and take some mpeg footage of the operation. maybe scott can post that.
I misquoted the average snow flake size the system produces -- it's ".3 millimeters" or 300 microns.
They don't say what the max/min can be though... They should probably say something about how uniform the aggregate is...
I would intuitively think more uniformity would be better. Gotta be one of the reasons nature's output is considered so highly especially if the conditions are right...
Wow - never knew that. Thanks for the link. I always wondered how MTV made snow in Southern CA for the initial x-sports style competitions..... I just assumed they trucked it in from a loacal freezer facility.
Once they get the technology perfected to increase output and reduce cost, snow magic could lead to year round snow parks and halfpipes in our area.
I was thinking about this and it does seem like making "warm weather" snow could change both the length of our season, and possibly the location potential of local metro area resorts (assuming hills could be found long enough to ski/'board on), closer in to the city.
And that might change the economics of the industry that up till now has largely depended on cold weather locations that folks travel too. If the economics pan out you could create snow parks that cater to 'boarders near the city (cities). These folks don't want hills so much as they want halfpipes, jumps and so on. Even skiers could get into the act with short "park" skis... although there are not so many folks that do this as boarders.
BUT, and this is all just speculation anyway, I do think there is terrain closer into DC that would support a full up skier/boarder area. For example, let's take Sugerloaf, in reality it is privately held, but in theory a small ski resort could be built there, using a warm weather snow system, and this would be south of Frederick, not 10-20 miles North of Hagarstown. That would bring skiing in closer for example. I am not suggesting that is an ideal mountain, that's just an example. In general think the blue ridge mountain ridgeline is pretty dang close to DC, passing in closest perhaps at Harper's Ferry area, so there might be lots of places...
kev, just a clarification, i'm a 100 percent pipe rider (board) and i will tell you that in the park and pipe on any given day half the people are skiers killing it on twin tips.
i think you hit on it pretty good kev...hills. i see this system used to create specialty areas like halfpipe and snoparks on much smaller hills, not to keep long trails open.
Why not go all out & build it in Dundalk? You could build multiple levels - say a pipe on the first floor, Rails on the 2nd, quarter pipe on the 3rd....
there has been rumors for years of a gotcha fun zone in the inner harbor with an indoor pipe. but, the nice thing about snow magic is that you dont need a building....its all outdoors.
Did somebody say Dundalk?
Which means, of course, that I have to drag out an old URL from an April Fool's Day experiment I performed several years ago:
I think this is the only article I've written for DCSki that wasn't quite rooted in fact. Enjoy.
Just to be clear, this article is a work of fiction. Please don't start any rumors over this one.
Plus plenty of room for expansion, they could have a mountain over at the inner harbor, fells, all interconnected, I mean it would be world class! Ya gotta think BIG! :-)