Snow Making & Grooming

Snow Making

Snow MakingWe Give Mother Nature some Help!!
Man Made snow is real snow!!! It’s not artificial or some kind of synthetic material…Its real snow crystals just created with human technology. Man made snow is made in a way that is very similar to the way that Mother Nature makes snow using water falling through the cold air. Snow making machines just project the water into the air in a very special way that makes the water molecules freeze while in the air and fall to the earth as snow. Most ski areas have some sort of snowmaking capacity. Many of the smaller regional and urban ski areas will be able to cover 100% of their runs with snow and it can be up to 4 or 5 feet deep where needed and the mountain resorts augment their natural snowfall in the areas that see high traffic and in the lower elevations. After making huge amounts of snow every ski area will spend many hours grooming the snow to make the conditions excellent. This is what allows all the ski areas to get open early in the season and provide excellent conditions regardless of natural snowfall.

The key for skiers and snowboarders is — regardless of how much snow is on your front lawn, Alberta’s ski areas will have fantastic snow! Really…

Snow Grooming

Grooming is very important to the quality of the ski and snowboarding conditions. In fact, it may be more important to know if a ski area has been “grooming” rather to ask what the snow base is. Once there is a sufficient base of snow extra grooming will become the critical factor in the conditions. Snow Grooming is done with large and very expensive machines specifically designed for the ski industry. They are generally referred to as “Snow Cats” and in the hands of the professional and experienced “Cat Operators” every Alberta ski area employs these machines to work wonders on the slopes. The process of snow grooming involves moving snow from areas with plenty to areas that need extra and then tilling the snow to give it that “corduroy” look. Snow tilling is done with a large unit that attaches to the back of the Snow Cats and works like a huge rototiller. The results of tilling can take a hard packed ski run and turn it into fresh powdery snow. It takes a “ton” of work and a great deal of expense but Snow Grooming ensures that Alberta ski areas can offer the best conditions possible.