Big Bear Mountain Resorts (Bear Mountain and Snow Summit) fired up its snow guns early this week for the first time, setting the stage for the opening of the 2010-2011 ski/snowboarding season.
Thanks to favorable weather conditions (nightly temps dropping into the 20s and low humidity), the crew at Big Bear Mountain Resorts was recently able to make snow for over 12 hours. While there is still no concrete opening date, weather permitting, BBMR hopes to open both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain by the Thanksgiving holiday, if not sooner.
Conditions Needed for Snowmaking
-Ideal conditions are temps between 10 and 15 degrees F. Surprisingly, if the humidity is very low BBMR can make snow with temps as high as 40 degrees. On the flip side, if the air is very humid it can be difficult to make snow even at temps below freezing.
– 81 fan guns and 70 air guns at Snow Summit
– 54 fan guns and 60 air guns at Bear Mountain
– In ideal conditions, each resort’s system can convert up to 6,000 gallons of water per minute into snow
– Snow Summit and Bear Mountain can open a run in 36 to 48 hours of continuous snowmaking over bare ground with normal snowmaking conditions.
Santa Ana Winds
Everyone knows Santa Ana winds are dry, but what many don’t realize is that they are cool – sometimes very cold – as they come out of Utah and Nevada. The Santa Ana winds are heated by compression when they enter the valleys of Southern California, so while it may be beach weather in the cities, the winds are usually very good for snowmaking.