Boreal makes drought-friendly snow ahead of ski season

Local News

SODA SPRINGS, Calif. (KTXL) — The summer fun has come and gone in the high Sierra and the mountains are ready for the change of seasons.

Up at Boreal, staff members have been busy boxing up the bike equipment and dusting off the skis and snowboards.

They’re getting the resort ready inside and out for an opening day that is fast approaching.

“We are doing all sorts of things to get ready for the season,” Boreal manager Max Gaal told FOX40. “I hope we have a big winter with lots of folks getting outside to enjoy the sports they love.”

Nature delivered a dusting of snow to the slopes on Friday, but it’s already melted away.

However, opening day doesn’t have to wait for nature because Boreal crews started making snow Sunday night and created a fantastic base.

“We have a tentative opening date for November 19th. But however, keep an eye on our website because chances of opening sooner always exist,” Gaal said.

The snowmaking system is drought friendly.

Water is piped from the onsite pond to the snow machines that dot the mountain from the base to the summit.

“We pull the water that we use for snowmaking out of this pond, and it refills as things melt,” Gaal explained. “We essentially blow the water out up into the air with the use of very fine misters, as well as a fan gun to push it up into the air. The idea is that it freezes before it hits the ground.”

For the resort to open, all obstacles under the snow need to be covered.

“Obviously, we need to be able to make it from the top of the chairlift to the bottom of the chairlift as well,” Gaal said.

The snow that fell Friday served as a kind of welcome mat, cooling the ground, giving the machine-made snow something to stick to and stoking optimism that visitors won’t see bare earth on the mountain until next spring.

“I think this is here to stay,” Gaal said.

With the ski season just a few weeks away, visitors will soon see the return of group lessons and some indoor amenities.

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