Saddleback Blog

Archive: December 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

38" of New Snow, WOW!

38" of Snow,  Frequently Asked Questions about the T-Bar and Wind Holds.


Opening Day Preparation for December 16th Continues:

One of the challenges for any ski area in early season, is the issue of trying to open on the projected Opening Date: Some go early, Some go late.

We've had a few questions about the delay in opening so hopefully this answers the most common questions:


Q: With all the natural snowstorms we've had lately why is opening day delayed?

A: Natural snow is not the same as man-made base snow:  Natural Snow compacts to a smaller density than man-made snow.  These past two storms have been light fluffy snow which when compacted as of this morning totaled less than 1 inch.  We've had several 1-2" storms the past few weeks, however the snow melts when there are warm spells in the 50's, in fact it disappears quickly.   We made large stockpiles of snow Thanksgiving weekend in anticipation of the week of November 30th providing good snowmaking weather it didn't. Based on the projected weather for the next 10 days we will be ready to open December 16th.

Q: Other resorts are making snow everyday why aren't you?

A: Saddleback uses a water-based fan system for snowmaking.  Our system produces large quantities of snow at lower temperatures but does not operate well at high-20s, low 30's temps.  Our snowmaking produces best under 24° F.   Many of our competitors use a air/water based fan snowmaking process that works at warmer temperature.

Q: Why wait to open?

A:  Saddleback doesn't want to wait but we are committed to providing deep covered trails and excellent snow surfaces.  Saddleback does not use a dust and cover approach which can result in injuries and damage to groomer equipment and skis.





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