Friday, November 4, 2016

Why Melting Snow in October Shouldn't Bother You

Seeing nearly two feet of snow fall over the last week and a half of October was awfully exciting. In fact, the 9" storm from Sunday, October 23, matched the single biggest 24-hour storm from all of last season. Although it's currently snowing again, most of the snowfall from that initial storm has melted. Let's talk about why that's not necessarily a bad thing.

First and foremost, we need water for our snowmaking ponds. Last winter's lack of snow combined with low rainfall this spring and summer has left parts of Vermont in a severe drought. Things are actually so bad in parts of the state that wells have gone dry for the first time in nearly 20 years.

You may ask yourself, "what does this have to do with all that wonderful snow that I was so excited about melting?" Simply put, any precipitation benefits us by filling up either of our snowmaking ponds. At Bolton Valley, we draw water from a dam on Joiner Brook which is pumped up to a pond at Timberline. From there it is pumped up again to a snowmaking pond at Mid-Mountain which services Vista Peak. Water that doesn't fall directly into the ponds (such as melted snow) helps snowmaking operations by flowing into Joiner Brook.

While we welcome the idea of an opening day with a 40" base consisting of all natural snow with open arms. Chances are at some point we'll have to make some snow to get the ball rolling. Plus, we've brought in an extra air compressor for the early season so we can make more snow and hopefully open more trails as needed. So as you see snow come and go during these late fall/early winter months, have no fear. Winter in all it's glory is on the way.

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