So youâ€™ve got this passion, this itch? All summer it builds and builds until suddenly, unexpectedly on a crisp early October day, glittery white snow falls from the heavens and signals a new start.Â Ullr teased us once again this year with epic early snow.Â And now, our snowmakers are hard at work on the mountain making snow with the West Coastâ€™s largest snowmaking operation!
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, my family would frequently visit Lake Tahoe.Â My siblings and I would have a contest to see who could spot the first little patch of snow on the side of the road.Â This morning, as I drove up Heavenly Mountain to catch the first glimpse of Heavenlyâ€™s snowmaking, I was reminded of this game I used to play.Â Just as the sun peaked over the mountain tops, our Jeep left fall and entered a wintery wonderland.Â It was stunning.Â Fresh snow crunched under my shoes as snowflakes stuck to my eyelashes.
Under optimum conditions, Heavenly can cover 73 percent of its trails in machine-made snow, by far the most in the Lake Tahoe basin. In more visual terms, Heavenly can produce three-and-a-half feet of snow over one acre in an hour. Thatâ€™s enough snow to blanket a football field with eight-and-a-half feet during an average three-hour game.
â€œSnowmaking is such a critical service that really improves the overall ski and snowboard experience,â€ said Pete Sonntag, Heavenlyâ€™s general manager. â€œHere at Heavenly, we make snow better than anybody and itâ€™s just another element that differentiates Vail Resortsâ€™ Tahoe properties from the other resorts around the Lake.â€
Get ready folks, winter is here! What are you most excited about for the winter season?
First day of snowmaking at Heavenly. Oct. 26, 2011