The science behind making snow

Science behind making snow for ski resorts

Bristol, N.Y. - We all know it's been a slow snow season in Western NY this year.

With only 30 inches of natural snow and well above normal temperatures, skiing would not be possible without some man-made snow.

13WHAM News went to Bristol Ski Mountain and checked in with Paul Trippi. He is the person responsible for producing the snow on which many people ski each season.

"In our climate, in most years, if you had to wait for natural snow, you'd never be open," Trippi said.

Some of Trippi's statistics for water use, compressed air, and electricity consumption are hard to imagine. With the mountain at full capacity for snow making, Trippi estimates that water consumption per day is around 4.5 million gallons.

Also, to blow all of that snow around, the mountain needs miles of air pipes and around 20,000 cubic feet of compressed air per minute, at 90 pounds per square inch pressure.

Lastly, to power all of the snow guns and the facilities equipment Trippi estimates that the power consumption is around 7 megawatts of electricity. That amount is more than some small municipalities consume.

Trippi and his team oversee three computers that incorporate the latest weather information, wind, water consumption, and electricity use into a specially-designed program that allows the mountain managers to micro-target snow manufacturing for each slope.

The finished product was great to see and great to ski on.

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