Mount Joy Snow Resort has erupted with a non volcanic plume of snow.
A cloud of man-made snow has been seen spewing from the top of the slopes this week from a new snow making system to kick off the 2017 season.
Two snow guns fired up on Monday whitewashing the upper and lower slopes with snow with the resort’s 51st season opening this Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.
“The system works wonderful and we’ll be ready for opening on Saturday,” said Ray Tatro, resort president, on Tuesday morning.
“Most of the hill should be open and ready for people’s enjoyment— our snowboard and ski school starts Saturday.”
Tatro said they started snow making in earnest early on Monday morning and had both cannons going.
“There were some pretty cool temperatures out there, but the wind was in a good direction for us and produced lots of beautiful snow,” he said.
Tatro noted there was quite a plume in the air on Monday with both cannons going, one at the top and one at the bottom of the slopes.
He said people were texting Monday saying they could see it from Highway 16 with cold temperatures and no wind making it highly visible.
Tatro noted about 2,560 took to Facebook within two hours of Mount Joy spewing snow.
“It felt good to see everything happening there,” he said.
Most, if not all, of the runs will be open on Saturday with a large crowd expected to turn up for fun and ski and snowboard lessons and rentals.
“The people who got their new snowboards and skis, they’re housebound,” said Tatro.
“The kids are still out of school, so their moms are anxious to get them out doing something in the fresh air.”
Tatro said the new snow making system will allow for a better, longer more consistent ski and snowboard season.
The two snow cannons together convert an estimated 160 gallons of water per minute into snow with a third cannon on the wish list.
“We’re in the process today of moving the one from the bottom to mid mountain,” said Tatro, with another gen-set on its way to power the gun.
“We are short one gen-set—we need to get two up high now.”
BPC Services Group finished boring the waterline for snow making from a new reservoir to the top of the main hill on Dec. 23.
“BPC scrambled hard to get it done before Christmas—we are very appreciative of them,” said Tatro.
“Now it’s working well—we’re so happy with how well it works too—the line, the risers, everybody worked really hard to get it done.”
Crews started making snow on Dec. 27 after tying in all the risers and fittings, but warm -2 C temperatures and strong winds that day were not a cause for celebration.
“The wind direction was throwing too many curves at us,” recalled Tatro.
“That was the night it was gusting to 40 km/hr so we shut it down at about midnight.”