Preparing for Opening Day

Snowmaking Manager, Tommy Long, takes over the blog this week to give a mountain update.

Pajarito’s opening day is scheduled for November 25 this year which is only 88 days away! We have been preparing the mountain for winter operations and wanted to update you on a few key projects.

Snowmaking Improvements
We are committed to making improvements to our snowmaking system that will allow for more efficient snowmaking and better snow. Snowmaking improvements are so crucial to our operation because the more sophisticated the overall snowmaking system, the earlier we’re able to get the runs covered and start turning the lifts. In a nutshell this work helps us open earlier than past seasons with a better snow product.

Welding a portion of the snowmaking pipeline
Welding a portion of the snowmaking pipeline

New Water Collection Pump
One of the largest improvements to our snowmaking system is the replacement of  our water collection pump. The old pump needed significant repairs to function at an acceptable level so we opted to purchase a brand new pump from Europe. This pump’s impellers will be instrumental in withstanding sediment content in the water.  The pump impellers are the internal parts of the pump unit that push water through the pump.  These items are the spinning internal part of the pump much like the blades of a fan that push air. These improved features will ensure the longevity of the pump for years to come. The new pump will remain in the same location as the old pump at PS200.

Old water collection pump being removedRemoval of the old water collection pump

Annual Maintenance
Every year we have a detailed list of maintenance tasks to complete before snowmaking begins. A big part of this is lift maintenance. There are a series of mechanical and electrical tests we conduct to ensure the lift is working exactly the way it should. For example, we go through and grease and inspect all the sheave wheels and tower cross arms to make sure they are in good working order.  

Sheave wheels: A metal wheel, lined with a special type of rubber, which either supports or depresses the haul rope.
Tower cross arms:
The horizontal arm on top of a tower, to which the sheave wheels are attached.

Tommy Long on top of a lift Talk about an office with a view!

3 thoughts on “Preparing for Opening Day

  1. What’s happening to the plans for piping water up to the ski hill?

    Any plans for a second pond for both fire fighting and snow making?

    What’s happening with the Hilltop house? I thought this was supposed to be in operation a year ago, but I haven’t seen any action for a long time.

  2. Thanks for the update Tommy. Can you tell us how much water is in the pond & if any trails in addition to Lone Spruce & the beginner area will have man made snow on them?

    1. Hi, Mike! Thanks for the questions. We have enough water in the pond to at least make as much snow as last year. Our snowmaking infrastructure allows for snowmaking on Lone Spruce, Bruce’s Boulevard, the base area and the Beginners’ West run. Last season we expanded the system to get a connector built over to Pussycat run out so we added that trail fairly quickly. (We had track packed that run a lot – along with most of the mountain but Pussycat held natural snow nicely). We also have two portable snowmaking hydrant/riser locations built on Lumberyard that can help with some coverage on that slope.

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