It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Winter in Rib Mountain

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

It's beginning to look a lot like winter, at least in Rib Mountain.

Granite Peak Ski Area has begun it's snow making process, since Mother Nature hasn't been cooperative.

Staff are hoping to open by Thanksgiving or the weekend after, but the only way that's possible is with a little help.

With the use of fan-style snow guns, the slopes can be filled with enough snow for skiing if the temperature is right.

Matt Howe, who oversees the snow-making process, says 28 degrees or lower is just right to make snow, and anything above freezing is too warm.

Staff began making snow Sunday night and kept going until taking a break Tuesday afternoon. If things get cold enough, they'll fire up the guns again.

The guns are mobile and are set up on about 80 acres in the center of the hill, but for now they'll stay put.

"The guns are on trailers so we can move them around basically at first now we wanna just keep the snow in piles because if it gets warm it doesn't melt as fast if it's in piles," Howe said.

Most years Granite Peak makes 90 percent of its own snow, most of it at night, which can get noisy for neighbors.

It's also expensive.

Howe says Monday night they had six pumps running at about 6,000 gallons of water per minute.

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