EAST MADISON — An upgrade in snowmaking allowed King Pine Ski Area to open for the season last Friday with a solid snow foundation.
“We had a great opening day at King Pine, and we opened the season with the most terrain and best snow cover ever with 12 of 17 trails open,” said General Manager Bob Hoyt. “We’ll be 100 percent open with good man-made cover, earlier than anticipated, by Dec. 21. We’re looking forward to continued strong attendance over the holidays,” added Hoyt.
The completion of a three-year project to upgrade their snowmaking system improved their snowmaking capacity by 50 percent while becoming more energy efficient. The upgrade included the removal of the diesel- powered water pumps and compressors and replacing them with electric units.
The new electric water pumps will supply 2,200 gallons per minute to the water pump and compressor building. That building now houses two new 300 hp water pumps, which will supply the snowmaking system with 2,000 gallons of water at 450 psi, with room to grow if needed. Also located within that building are three 500 hp electric compressors, which will supply 6,000 cubic feet of air per minute.
“Our decision to move forward with this project was based on the rising cost of diesel fuel and the ability to take advantage of a more stable electric rate, making the whole process more energy efficient,” said Hoyt. “Another important factor … was that historically, we have burned 40,000 to 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel and are now we are completely electric, saving the mountain $50,000 in energy that has been invested into more efficient snowmaking fans.”
The completed project has increased King Pine’s snowmaking by 50 percent in both air and water capacity. King Pine’s snowmaking philosophy is that every trail open will be deep packed powder the entire width of the trail providing consistent trail conditions all season long.
For more information, visit kingpine.com or call (800) 373-3754.