As many of you know, at Jiminy we have a multi-million snowmaking facility that has just received a huge upgrade with the addition of our new 450 Sledgehammer TM snow guns. This is big complex system made of air compressors, water pumps, snow guns, reservoirs and an elaborate piping system that spans the entire mountain with tens of miles of heavy duty pipe to transport air and water to our snow guns. What’s interesting is that it is an enormous powerful asset that really only runs for about 600 hours, or less than 7% of the year. And when it does run, it is not on a sunny afternoon in the middle of the summer….it’s in the coldest harshest times of the year when anything that can go wrong does. So why do I tell you all this? Well, this week is a big week for us because we got the system up and running for the first time since last winter. We are shaking out all the kinks, testing out some new plumbing and most importantly seeing how the system responds to having twice the firepower than it did last year, using only half the ammunition.
It’s a pretty exciting time. Our snowmakers are a hearty bunch who really know their stuff, and this is the season they live for. They are passionate about what they do. It’s a tough job that requires brains, brawn and a certain swagger that you only know when you see. We sat with our team earlier this week and explained that we had temperatures cold enough to make snow two nights this week to test the system. These are typically long 12 hour overnight shifts and they have all been working a lot lately, so we asked which ONE night would they want to do the shake down. They unanimously and enthusiastically said, BOTH. You see, they spend the other 90+% of their year working on the system, and they want take it to dress rehearsal as much as possible before show time hits.
We were able to grab the last two nights and shake down the system. The temperatures really never got below 28 degrees (wet bulb) and yet we got the system loaded up, tested, measured and flushed out a few tweaks to me made before the curtain rises. And we even made some snow, check out the pictures on Facebook.
Weather predictions are now suggesting that we will see the jet stream pattern shift in mid November and that should produce some more sustained temperatures that will allow our snowmakers, and their system, to do their stuff. We just can’t wait.
There is a lot of excitement here right now, and I just had to share. We will reach out soon.