With the winter season in full swing, many head to the higher elevations for some recreation at Snowshoe in Pocahontas County.
But how does one of the Mountain State’s prime spots keep the snow flowing?
It all starts here. Shavers Lake holding 125 million gallons of water.
See, Mother Nature doesn’t do it alone, she relies on help to create the snow for the winter sports enthusiasts at Snowshoe Mountain.
According to Ty Teigtmeier, the Snowmaking Manager at Snowshoe, you need three things to make proper snow: high pressure water, high pressure air, and the right temperature.
That temperature is 28 degrees, but some of the guns run on the wet bulb temperature which factors in the humidity.
“It kinda depends on the water temperature, we run the lake at 34 degrees which is where we usually have it when we start making snow,” Teigtmeier says.
The fresh powder made by the snowmaking guns use high pressure water and compressed air by a computer-based system which controls which areas of the mountain needs the snow based on current weather conditions and snow depth.
And with the new automated system and snowmaking machines, Snowshoe is reducing its carbon footprint and becoming more energy efficient.
With an updated system, the new Titan snowmakers use less compressed air and can make snow at a slightly warmer temperature which helps Ty’s snowmaking crew cover all 256 acres of the mountain more effectively.
The new investment is also an economic boost by reducing their electric bill by 500 million kilowatt hours.
“That is enough electricity to power a small town for a year,” Teigtmeier explains.
That extra savings will make the investment in the snowmakers worthwhile to keep the snow flowing from October through March, depending on the weather.