Resorts start snowmaking in preparation for ski season

Ski resorts are posting to social media to show that their snowmaking machines are on and will soon be ready for skiers and riders.

It is the moment skiers and boarders have been waiting for – snowmaking is starting at several ski resorts.

Copper Mountain announced to its pass holders Monday that they would be turning on their snow machines Tuesday. 

"Gun tests took place last Tuesday and operations will start around the clock tomorrow, October 5th, to get The Athlete's Mountain ready," the Copper Moutain email read. "The Excelerator pod is typically the first place we make snow because of its elevation and north-facing aspect."

The elevation and position of the slopes are very important when deciding on snowmaking. 

Because temperatures are still inconsistent during fall, ski resorts choose higher elevations to start the snowmaking process. The higher the mountaintop, the colder it will be. Choosing these higher elevations will help resorts preserve some of the snow made by their machines. 

Choosing the slopes solely based on the position of where they face is also an effort to help snow preservation with Colorado ski resorts. Because of the intensity of the sun and the higher altitude, Colorado ski resorts choose to make snow based on sun angles and how shadowed the run will be. The more the ski run is shadowed, the colder it will be and less chance for melting. 

Another popular Colorado ski resort, Loveland Ski Area, has its snowmaking machines ready and turned on at the start of this month. 

Not only is Colorado getting ready for the ski season but other ski resorts across the country are too. 

Sunday River ski resort in Maine showed that they were tested their snow guns as well. 

As for when the ski resorts open, that varies. Here are when chairs will start turning for some of the top Colorado resorts this season:

  • Arapahoe Basin: October (TBD on conditions)
  • Aspen: November 25
  • Breckenridge: November 12
  • Copper: December 22
  • Keystone: October (TBD on conditions)
  • Loveland: Late October
  • Steamboat: November 20
  • Vail: November 12
  • Winter Park: November 17

Just hang tight, skiers and riders. There will be fresh pow soon enough.