Summer Snowmaking Pt. 2

The Jordan System

Next up on our summer snowmaking docket is the Kansas project. This is a beast of a project with over 16,000+ feet of pipe going in the ground from the North Peak booster house to the top of Jordan. Half of that total is comprised of new 20” steel pipe for the water line and the other 8,000+ feet of pipe that’s going in the ground is an 8” HDPE airline.  

20” is pretty darn big. To put it one way, a large pizza is usually around 14” in diameter, so this is a lot bigger. To put it another way, Donny Pelletier can comfortably crawl into the pipe when he needs to take a break.

Also on the snowmaking team’s checklist are two new valve houses; one for the Aurora zone located at the Kansas/Northern Lights intersection and one for the Oz zone at the Kansas/Lost Princess intersection. Valve houses contain the valves needed to charge - to send water and compressed air - to the specific system. Similar to the other snowmaking projects happening around the resort, this water line is also frost-free, so we’ll have instantaneous water for these zones. Previously, the Jordan zone was a multi-hour charge due to its distance from the Barker pumphouse, so we’re adding valuable time to the clock for actual snow production. 

Additionally, the snowmaking team has installed approximately 88 HKD Impulse snow guns and over 70 Klik snowmaking hydrants down Lollapalooza. You might not think it as you’re skiing down, but Lollapalooza is basically the Pig of Jordan. It’s a long, wide trail that needs a lot of snowmaking hours to make it skiable. These guns, in addition to the Kansas water and airline, will significantly reduce the time needed to open compared to previous seasons.  

Lolla used to be run in two phases because of its distance from the pumphouse and lack of pressure. With the new 20” pipe, we will have the ability to run all of Lollapalooza, along with Rogue Angel and Excalibur, simultaneously.

While it’s easy to get excited about these new snow guns, oftentimes the solution to more snowmaking lies underground. When you visit us this winter, you probably wouldn’t even know we spent six months working on improving the snowmaking system. What you will notice is a lot more fire power in the Jordan Bowl and the ability to open trails faster than in years past. Just look at opening day! We opened with TWO top to bottom trails in the Jordan Bowl. That's no small feat and would have been somewhat of a pipe dream before the Kansas project. 

If you haven't been up for early season, it's pretty darn impressive. We've been running Lollapallooza, Boots On, Boots Off, and Grand Ave with grooming every day, and Rogue Angel ungroomed. That's giving you 45 acres of skiing from day one. Like I said, it's pretty darn impressive. 

  • Written by: Maddy

    Growing up next door in New Hampshire, Maddy spent many vacations roaming around Sunday River's 8 peaks. After college and a brief 5-year stint in Park City, UT, she's back and ready to take some hot laps on Caramba.