Wild Mountain has opened for the 2013-2014 winter season, but we have yet to see any snow on the ground at home or on the roads.
So how is it possible that there's already snowboarding and skiing in Minnesota? Snowmaking, of course.
WCCO-TV offers up a quick behind-the-scenes look at Wild's snowmaking operations, which are similar to those used throughout the industry. It takes a combination of science, engineering, and money, combined with water, compressors, pipes, and air. Combined with grooming, snowmaking is a must-have for today's ski areas.
While ski areas, especially around here, can't do anything to expand the amount of vertical descent they can offer skiers and riders, they can do something about snowmaking capacity. That's why areas are always adding snowguns, expanding pipes, and otherwise taking steps so they can make snow more quickly and at a cheaper price.
One of the key vendors in snowmaking, by the way, is in the Midwest. SMI Snowmakers, of Midland, Michigan, makes many of the fans you'll see around the Midwest, United States, and world.