Mountain High spent a quarter of a million dollars this summer adding 35 new “low energy” guns to its snowmaking arsenal. These new “low-energy” snowguns from brands like Techno Alpine and HKD require a fraction of the fuel required by their predecessors meaning Mountain High can now make the same amount of snow at considerably lower costs, and with fewer emissions.
Says Snowmaking Manager, Mike Childress, “Believe it or not, we can run all 35 of these new “stick” guns on the air needed to run just 2 of the old ones! This is the best snowmaking investment we’ve made in the past 10 years.”
The difference is in the design. Traditional snow guns use electric fans or high-pressure nozzles to project the snow horizontally across the slopes. Mountain High’s new “stick” guns tower 35 feet above the ground allowing fresh snow to fall naturally, ultimately requiring less energy. Thanks to this new design, they are dramatically quieter, creating a much better experience for guests on the mountain while snowmaking is underway.
Resort operators expect to use 100 fewer gallons of diesel fuel per hour, saving the resort $4,000 per acre-foot of snow and ostensibly cutting its carbon footprint in half.
“This snowmaking investment will significantly reduce our fuel consumption while increasing our environmental sustainability,” said McColly. “Lower energy costs, lower emissions, less noise, and a better guest experience…That’s what you can expect from Mountain High this year.”
These new “low energy” snow guns can be found near the base of Mountain High’s West Resort on trails like Cruiser, Sunnyside, Easy Street, and Lower Chisolm. Their addition will help the resort open these trails earlier and cater to its introductory clientele.
A portion of these guns were awarded to Mountain High in the form of a high-efficiency snowmaking grant from HKD Snowmakers. Mountain High will use this grant to continue its efforts to reduce diesel fuel and electricity consumption associated with snowmaking.