Gore Mountain Snowmaking Capacity

I skied with Mike Pratt this afternoon. I asked him a ton of questions about snowmaking. What follows is a breakdown on snowmaking capacity at Gore Mountain.

Ten years ago Gore used 80 million gallons of water per season.

Last season Gore water consumption was over 300 million gallons.

The LIMIT on the system is the ability to pump water uphill.

There are two pump systems currently.

Upgrading means more than adding pumps.

When operating at full capacity the current “plumbing” is also maxed out.

New systems are a huge expense.

Both Gore systems, cranking at full production can put out 7 million gallons in 24 hours.

If total seasonal output is 300 million gallons and you can do 7M a day then you are planning on blowing the equivalent of 45 days at full capacity.

WHAT YOU PROBABLY WANT TO KNOW if you got this far:

7 million gallons will cover 15 acres with one foot of snow.

For context – SHOWCASE is 18 acres of trail. So with ALL RESOURCES pounding Showcase for 24 hours you could almost put a foot of snow down.

BUT… it’s efficient use of manpower and water to blow on two trails at a time for a longer time. Put one trail on the output of one system, and another trail, on a different part of the mountain, on the other.

The more different trails you blow on, the more water you waste. This is why crews sometimes take a while to get to isolated trouble spots. All that extra effort uses more water and manpower. Today Lies was done, and tonight the are moving it all to Rumor. Big chunks make more snow on the hill from the same amount of water.

This is the answer to the question – why does Gore blow on only two trails at a time. It the most efficient use of the limited resource – uphill water capacity.

4 comments on “Gore Mountain Snowmaking Capacity

  1. So the real question is , why did they expand the mountain. the money should have been put into the snowmaking system. ie: Hunter Mtn: Quality over Quantity..

  2. Jason – It’s a logical question. And I asked Mike. He said there’s a long term plan to upgrade pumping capacity. It’s tentatively slated to begin in 2-3 years. 2011-12.

  3. With all due respect: Why are they charging big league prices 71 , but giving a AAA product..

    I would also like to give kudos to Mike for facing the fire and not running away..

  4. Hard to argue with that Jason. Funny part is that it’s the passholders who are crankiest, and they (we) have the best deal. $72 (I think?) is a big leaque day price, but $699 for a full Gore/WF pass is a really good deal, IMO.

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