Pennsylvania’s Seven Springs Mountain Resort has defied Mother Nature. Despite having lackluster snow fall across the east coast, the Mountain Crew has taken every opportunity available to run their snowmaking operations at full blast. Thanks to their efforts, the resort has been able to open 75% of their skiable terrain and establish a base ranging from 12-24 inches deep. So far there are 24 slopes and trails available, 3 terrain parks with over 25 features and five chairlifts to transport you to the top. They also have two surface lifts and 11 snowtubing lanes open.
Typically Seven Springs receives an average annual snowfall of 147 inches, but that is far from the case this year.
The resort’s expansive snowmaking system utilizes 1,000 snowmaking towers, 45 ground guns, seven fan guns and eight high-efficiency electric compressors to produce enough snowfall to cover nearly all of the resort’s 285 skiable acres. The 58 person professional snowmaking team has the ability to produce an inch of snowfall per hour in their snowmaking areas.
“To make snow, the right ingredients are needed,” adds Dick Barron, Director of Ski Patrol. “First, cold water, preferably in the mid-30 degree range. Next, the outside air at 28 degrees or lower and last, humidity of 85% or lower. Then we can start the snowmaking process by using water from our 50 holding ponds and then compressing the air and water together. The air explodes the water into finer particles. Mother Nature then freezes those particles and the result is snow.”
Also among the arsenal to combat La Niña is the Mountain Crew’s brainchild – the SolarBee, a solar panel complete with a battery back up that is roughly the size of a dinner table. Originally designed to combat algae, the SolarBee quietly floats in the resort’s largest snowmaking water source, the 12-acre Lake Tahoe. Here it circulates water to even the water temperature within the ideal snowmaking range. Aerators and a fully solar-powered circulation system called the SolarBee keep the water moving and at a steady temperature. The SolarBee is capable of circulating about 10,000 gallons of water per minute!
Cold air is scheduled to return to the region Thursday evening and the Mountain Crew anticipates making snow for the next three to five days. Round-the-clock snowmaking will be conducted Thursday through Sunday throughout the mountain. Mother Nature is also expected to bring approximately four to eight inches of natural snow over the same timeframe.
While there may not be snow in the cities, towns and neighborhoods around Seven Springs Mountain Resort, January is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and Seven Springs is featuring a new lodging package in honor of this initiative. The Learn to Ski and Snowboard package includes two nights of lodging, a beginner lesson complete with rental equipment, breakfast, dinner, snow tubing and more starting at $298 per person, based on double occupancy.
For more information, please visit www.7springs.com or call (800) 523-7777 for the snow report.