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Snowweasel


Posts: 393
Joined: Oct 2006
Last Visited: 13:37
15th Jan 2021
Snow making
Date Posted: 12.39hrs on Wed 9 Dec 15
If, in some future world, there was proper top to bottom snow making on Cairngorm as in the marginal Australian resorts, would there be a guaranteed start date to the season? Or would it all just be melting down to the Spey? The current warm weather seems to be suggesting the latter.

ESD1711


Posts: 185
Joined: Nov 2011
Last Visited: 06:17
13th Feb 2019
Re: Snow making
Date Posted: 13.00hrs on Wed 9 Dec 15
Doesn't matter how many snow cannons you have, if its not cold enough its wasted effort.
Snowweasel


Posts: 393
Joined: Oct 2006
Last Visited: 13:37
15th Jan 2021
Re: Snow making
Date Posted: 14.10hrs on Wed 9 Dec 15
I know there is a snow making thread somewhere, but couldn't see it. There has been a fair bit of discussion on this, and data gathered too. So I was just wondering if current conditions might change anyone's views on cranking up the snow cannons.
growwild


Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct 2005
Re: Snow making
Date Posted: 18.00hrs on Wed 9 Dec 15
Scotlands still upgrading fae steam 'n mule powered lifts, give it another 50years then check back in..

Boycott IDE tech smiling smiley
Jamie


Posts: 986
Joined: Jan 2002
Re: Snow making
Date Posted: 23.41hrs on Wed 9 Dec 15
I produced a thesis on Scottish snow making five years ago (which remains as far as I'm aware the only formal snowmaking study in this country to date) based on the case study of the low elevation Mar Lodge ski centre (by Braemar) which had snowmaking in the 1960s but only lasted two winters before packing up.

Modelling snow cannon output from the equipment that was available at the time, and modelling the snow cannon output from equipment that would be available today, as well as calculating varying factors of ablation occurring every day throughout the season, the results were surprising. It is no surprise that the centre failed but essentially if modern snow cannons were available and used appropriately, the Mar Lodge ski centre would not only have been viable then, but would generally still be viable most seasons today (generally over 100 days per season). And this is despite being at low elevation and facing south.

One of the key factors of effective snow-making is to create as much snow as you can when you have the chance, rather than just making enough snow to cover the run on the day, and no more. The modelling showed that this approach would enable runs to remain complete even despite heavy ablation that might happen between cold periods. The idea was to create enough snow from your (e.g.) 10 cannons to be able to ride out the thaws, and see you through until the next cold snap. This is something that the current Scottish centres could learn from. A few season ago CairnGorm absolutely coated the Shieling, and it remained complete well into the late season, proving the theory. This was good! But last season (or maybe the year before) they only switched the cannons on occasionally, and the run disappeared as soon as the thaw arrived. This was a shame, because it is evident that skier numbers drop off as soon as there is no longer a skiable route to the Daylodge.

To answer the poster's question, if one could be arsed it would be possible to adjust my model using AWS data gathered on Cairngorm over the past 10 years to predict an average season start date (i.e., a date from which the pistes wouldn't break again until the spring) that would be possible under snow-making using a set number of cannons. I am not sure that anyone could be particularly arsed however for an exercise that is unfunded and largely academic.
dhorsley


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25th Nov 2020
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: Snow making
Date Posted: 08.56hrs on Thu 10 Dec 15
Jamie Wrote:

To answer the poster's question, if one could be arsed it would be possible to adjust my model using AWS data gathered on Cairngorm over the past 10 years to predict an average season start date (i.e., a date from which the pistes wouldn't break again until the spring) that would be possible under snow-making using a set number of cannons. I am not sure that anyone could be particularly arsed however for an exercise that is unfunded and largely academic.


I can think of one entity that should do the research and combine it with some usage figures when certain runs are complete (or not) so they could cost the use of the snow making in specific ways with the increase in custom and see if the cost of the snowmaking would be profitable in terms of the increase in users.
Maf


Posts: 161
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5th Jan 2021
Re: Snow making
Date Posted: 09.00hrs on Sun 27 Dec 15
Lots of places in Austria make snow whenever they can from early December 'til New Year even when it's above freezing during the day provided it's below freezing at night. It then lasts all season 'til after Easter. At season end you can see them breaking it up so it melts faster otherwise it hangs around spoiling the look of the slopes for late spring hikers.
geoffers


Posts: 93
Joined: Feb 2003
Last Visited: 11:21
15th Jan 2021
Re: Snow making
Date Posted: 13.32hrs on Tue 29 Dec 15
Maf Wrote:
At season end you can see them breaking it up so it melts faster otherwise it hangs around spoiling the look of the slopes for late spring hikers.
I think you'll probably find it's so that the grass can grow and the farmers can get their cattle out, since the pistes in Austria tend to be pastures. This is also why they can get the resorts up and running with relatively small amounts of snowfall, as there's not such rocky terrain to cover.

Cheers, Geoff
flugeryl


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4th Mar 2020
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Re: Snow making
Date Posted: 14.58hrs on Tue 29 Dec 15
9th 10th and 11th Jan could be big days and nights for some good snow making

Be Nice to Skiers, they have it hard enough already
alan


Posts: 10732
Joined: Nov 1994
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16th Jan 2021
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Re: Snow making
Date Posted: 14.44hrs on Wed 13 Jan 16
Please continue discussion in the main snow making thread to try and keep everything together, thanks.

[www.winterhighland.info]
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