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Paoli Peaks Officials Plan To Open Soon

Last updated on Tuesday, December 13, 2016

(PAOLI) - Paoli Peaks plans to open soon, maybe Saturday.

The slopes are covered with snowmaking equipment. So as soon as conditions are right, crews will begin covering the slopes with snow.

According to Paoli Peaks website, there are six key factors that need to be in place before snow can be made they include:

Cold Temperatures

Temperatures must be below 32 degrees. 32 degrees in the temperature required to turn water into snow crystals, at this temperature it is possible but affects the quality and quantity. Temperatures below 28 degrees are more ideal, but below 18 degrees are even better. The colder the better.

Low Humidity

The amount of moisture in the air is another important factor in snowmaking. The temperature value added to the humidity value must be less than 100. The temperature must still be around freezing. An example is a temperature of 20 degrees and a humidity of 40 would be great to make snow. A temp of 30 with a humidity of 95 is not good for snow making. As the temperature and humidity drops, the amount of snow made per hour goes up.

Compressed Air & Water

Compressors create the compressed air which is then pushed through air lines on the hill and in to the snowmaking system. There are also water lines throughout the property that run to the snow guns. The water comes from the local creek and it is transferred to the facilities' pump house which then pushes it as needed up certain water lines. An interesting fact is that a rain during the season heats the water temperature of the creek and affects the ability to make snow. In the springtime, when the snow melts, it runs back down the hill and returns to the creek.

Snow Guns

There are 3 different types of snowguns located at Paoli Peaks. There are stationary fan guns located on towers. There are also mobile fan guns, which can be moved around the hill to help with snowmaking needs. A third type, are portable air water guns, which can be an added bonus in times of need, due to the easiness to move from place to place. A snowgun acts as a large mixer for the water and air. The facility has approximately 110 snowguns. The snowguns vary in their specific function and location on the slopes, depending on how they create, make, and position the snow. One interesting fax is machine made snow is more durable than natural snow.

How Much Snow Can Be Made In An Hour?

At ideal snowmaking conditions of 20 degrees and low humidity, officials will pump 6500 gallons of water per minute. Each gallon of water weighs 8.33 lbs. Multiply gallons of water per minute by weight and you get 54,145 lbs of water being turned into snow per minute. Divide that number by 2000, the number of pounds in tons and you get 27.07 tons of snow per minute. Multiply that number by 60, (minutes per hour) that's 1,600 tons of snow made per hour.

Snowmakers and Groomers

The final touch in the snow making process is the staff. Snow makers and groomers are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be on the mountain, taking advantage of ideal conditions the moment they arrive. They work all night to prepare the slopes for the public to enjoy skiing, riding and tubing. Even when the facility is not making snow, staff members are hard at work to get the slopes looking and feeling like there is a nice fresh coat of snow.

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