Mount Snow proposes installing an inflatable dam to boost snowmaking

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 23, 2010 10:58 am

Mount Snow has at times had difficulties overcoming their natural snowfall limitations with snowmaking, as the area lacks the mandatory significant sources of water to be effective. In order to better the future snowmaking situation, Mount Snow officials prepared a presentation outlining their findings and potential improvement options at Wilmington Town Hall on Tuesday. The report primarily detailed the idea of building an inflatable dam to collect stream water for use in making snow at the southern Vermont resort.

Construction would involve placing an inflatable dam on Cold Brook that could be remotely activated or deactivated from a off-site control room at Mount Snow.

Mount Snow’s nearby Vermont competitors, Okemo Mountain Resort and Stratton Mountain Resort already use this technology.

Currently, Mount Snow uses Snow Lake at the base of their resort as its main water source for snowmaking, along with an on-mountain containment pond and a Cold Brook source shared with nearby Haystack. If plans are approved, the resort wil cease using the shared source, as well as the North Branch above Snow Lake. Additionally, the plan calls for reconfiguring Carinthia Lake to allow for steady water flow year-round.

Decades ago, Mount Snow unsuccessfully proposed resolving its snowmaking water limitations by gathering water from Somerset Reservoir north of the ski area.

Mount Snow officials are optimistic that all necessary paperwork, including state Act 250 approval and a dam order from the state Agency of Natural Resources, can be gathered quickly enough to begin construction this winter.