Curious? Ask Chris: How does Paoli Peaks make snow? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Curious? Ask Chris: How does Paoli Peaks make snow?

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PAOLI, In. (WDRB)--December through February can be a ski-lovers dream at Paoli Peaks, unless it's this winter.

"It seems like we just can't gain any momentum," said Lauren Grenier from the Peaks.

Snow, until this week anyway, has been hard to come by this season.

"It's been a frustrating start to the season," she added.

This obviously isn't the first time we've had a more mild and less snow filled season. That's why Paoli has 110 snow guns strategically positioned on each slope.

Janet writes in and wants to know how they make the snow.

"It's generally really hard," said Operations Manager, Dennis Harper

"Sometimes it seems like the stars needs to align for us to make snow," said Grenier.

It starts with numbers.

"Generally, our rule of thumb is if the humidity and the temperature add up to 100, you can make snow," Harper explained.

Temps have to be at 30 degrees or below. Humidity percentiles have to range from 50-60.

Then and only then a pump house becomes ground zero. 7 pumps pull water in from a nearby stream. 3 machines compress air.
The water and air then travels underground to each of the snow guns, into hoses, and up to a fan.

"The fan propels it out into the air, and as it falls down, it dries up into a snow flake," Harper said.

The fans, pumps, and hoses then work in overdrive.

As many as a million gallons of water can be pumped per day. Talk about a pricey electric bill!

It's all to insure skiers and boarders have a nice, fluffy blanket of the white stuff each time they make memories on the slopes of Paoli Peaks.

What are you curious about? Let Chris know.
Here's how you can get in touch:
Email:csutter@wdrb.com
Twitter: @chrissutter
Facebook: Search for Chris' fan page

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