Snowmaking

file picture of skiing in Vermont
John Atkinson/Ski Vermont

The first East Coast World Cup skiing event in decades was held over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Vermont.  The successful women's giant slalom and slalom races have regional officials hoping more such events will occur soon.

Snowgun at Whiteface Mountain
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally the opening weekend for most major ski areas across the region.  Excitement peaked this week as multiple inches of natural snow fell, adding to the base of manmade snow already on the slopes.  Snowmaking operations can be crucial throughout the season. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at Whiteface Mountain this week to see what it takes to keep the mountain white.

Several of the larger ski areas in Vermont and northern New York have opened, ahead of the  scheduled, and traditional, Thanksgiving Day weekend.

Ski areas across New England have made big investments in low-energy, high-efficiency snowmaking to ensure the slopes are snow-covered earlier and longer than last season.

At this time last year, Stowe Mountain Resort had six trails open. This year the resort opened Saturday — a week earlier than in 2011 — with nearly double the number of trails, thanks to $4.7 million in snowmaking improvements.

This summer, Stowe added 325 energy-efficient snow tower guns, replaced 150 land snow guns and put in 16 fan guns.