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Ski and Board conditions for Christmas week

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It is Monday and it is raining, so is skiing and boarding off the schedule for this week? The answer is a definite NO. Ski areas have learned much and made big changes over the past few years. With temperatures scheduled to drop into the 20’s and lower over the next few days, the hills will be covered with fresh man-made snow in time to enjoy the after-Christmas weekend in the mountains.

There's snow in the hills of New Hampshire and Vermont!

Even if the snow has all but disappeared from the streets and yards of the city, that is not true of the mountains and hills of New Hampshire and Vermont. Before the last snow fall, all of the major mountains and resorts had put a lot of quality snow on the ground and had created a solid base to work on when the big storm hit last week. While this weekend’s temperatures and rain have melted some of the accumulation, that solid base is still there.

Two resorts in Vermont:

Over the past year or two, resorts have learned the lesson that snow-making is a key to a successful season, and millions of dollars have been invested in snow making. Mount Snow Resort, in West Dover, Vermont, has more than 250 high-output fan guns that can cover runs from top to bottom on two of its four mountain faces after only 52 hours of snowmaking. Okemo Mountain Resort, in Ludlow, Vermont, has 1,025 efficient snow making guns on the slopes allowing then to create deep blizzards in no time.

And a pair in New Hampshire:

In New Hampshire, Loon Mountain Resort, in Lincoln, right off I-93, put more than $1.3 million into improvements that doubled the water-carrying capacity of its snow-making systems and has added new high-efficiency snow making guns, meaning that it now has more than 650 high-efficiency guns and an improved water delivery system that allows snow-making at marginal temperatures. Cranmore Mountain Resort in Conway, New Hampshire, is one of the oldest ski resorts in the United States and it, too, has a robust snow-making capacity. Its pond holds 1.2 million gallons of water, allowing its 365 high-efficiency snow-making guns to top off its trails in short order.

These four are only a few of the resorts that have prepared themselves for the sort of unpredictable weather that we in New England have come to expect at this time of year. Check your own favorite resort online to see what they are reporting for conditions, but you can bet that their snow guns will be firing as soon as temperatures hit 28 degrees tonight.

What is the difference between natural and man-made snow?

Man-made snow is slightly different from the natural stuff that falls from the sky. Natural snow is lighter than man-made. Man-made snow is more dense and more like a tiny ball of snow rather than a flake. The density of man-made snow creates a more robust base on the trails than natural, meaning that it is better able to resist deterioration during warmer weather and to continue to serve as the base for renewed natural or man-made snow.

Projected temperatures for Tuesday night and well into the weekend are for the twenties during daytime and falling into the teens and lower during the night, perfect weather for the snow makers and you can wager that they will be out there tomorrow night creating perfect conditions for Christmas day and beyond.

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