In the past 2 years, Palisades Tahoe has invested over 6 million in snowmaking infrastructure upgrades across both Palisades and Alpine. Before diving in, it might be helpful to check out our Snowmaking 101 at Palisades Tahoe blog, to learn about the air-water pipe system we have at our resort.
Last year, our teams worked on a huge project: installing a new line and 12 fan guns on Weasel at Alpine Meadows. The work we did this summer connected the Weasel project to 2,000 feet of new water and air pipe, via our new automated valve house at the bottom of Yellow Trail.
The installation we did this summer was maintenance and pipe replacement on the Lower Loop. The Lower Loop terrain consists of Ladies’ Slalom and the lower skier’s right side of Red Trail, tying into the east runout. The pipe that was replaced in this summer’s project had been in the ground since the early 80s, so this was a much-needed and exciting upgrade.
With the completion of this project, we have more than doubled our output on both Ladies’ Slalom and lower Dancefloor.
Some of the work we completed on the Palisades side this summer is also a continuation of a project from last year. In the last 2 years, we have put in 21 new fan gun towers: 13 on Exhibition and 8 on Red Dog. These fan gun installations also came with brand new pipe: 2,500 feet on Exhibition and 1,500 feet on Red Dog Face. This project is crucial for hosting race-related events such as the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup. Having the ability to make snow all the way to the top and having access to water pipes will be extremely helpful for our events staff.
Over the summer, our snowmaking and construction crews also finished the final 1,000 feet of pipe and added 5 additional fan guns on Exhibition. This means that we have more than tripled the acreage of the snowmaking line on Exhibition. These crews were also replacing a significant amount of old pipe on Champs-Elysees, which has been in the ground since the early 90s.
Another cool upgrade on the Palisades side took place in the KT valve house at the bottom of Mountain Run. We upgraded this valve from 6 inches to 10 inches. This means that we can pump more water up the mountain to refill Gold Coast pond, our water storage area that is used for snowmaking on the upper mountain.
Additionally, we added a demo fan gun from TechnoAlpin in the base area near the Red Dog bottom terminal. This will help with snowmaking for the Red Dog lift line, and for the snowcat and snowmobile travel route that leads to our Operations buildings.
Have more questions about snowmaking, or what’s new this winter? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Photos taken by Liz Worgan.