The Most Robust Snowmaking in the Region
Naturally, in the mountains we receive an abundance of snow, however; high winds, intense sun, and skier usage wear certain areas thin. Man-made snow is used to make a base as well as for additional coverage throughout the season.
During years when the natural snow is late in coming to the mountains snowmaking is essential! Red River Ski & Summer Area has the best snowmaking capability in the region. Making snow requires many factors to be aligned and is as much of an art as it is a science. Artificially manufactured snow, when made properly, is as good as natural snow. Red River Ski & Summer Area has invested into producing snow to insure quality skiing. Trenches are dug for water pipes and electric cables on the roads, and trails. These ditches interlace the ski area and cover 85% of our mountain. The water pipes are laid deep so as not to freeze during the frigid months. Snow makers start their work whenever temperatures allow, work throughout the cold mountain evenings into the morning hours. The air temperature needs to be 28*F or lower with optimum temperature of 10 degrees F being ideal. Water is pumped from the ponds at Base Camp to the Snowflake Factory at midstation where it is boosted to the upper mountain as needed. Snowmax is mixed with water as it is sent up the mountain to one of the 102 snow guns which are located at RRSA. Snowmax is a biodegradable enzyme from a high altitude plant that helps water freeze at a higher temperature and produces quality snow. The snowmakers, many of who join us year after year from New Zealand, move through the night, riding snowmobiles, checking placements. The snow guns are moved by snowcats to the desired locations. Some snowguns are permanent and automatic. With the snow guns in place, compressed air and water are mixed together then pressed through the nucleater and are forced thru 10 HP fans. These massive fans shoot the mixture over 50 feet into the air to settle in large snow mounds. In the industry, the mounds of snow are known as whales. The snow product is analyzed and snow guns adjusted to make the best quality snow. The best machine made snow lasts longer, holds shape better, is easier to groom and is more economical to produce. One snowgun can produce an acre of snow every 2 hrs (3 gal.. of water = 1cu.ft. of snow) Once the snow is cured it's ready for the final process. Snow groomers will smooth the mound with the snow cat, using the front blade to move the snow. Then pulling a tiller behind the snow cat, the snow is tilled making it fluffy & skiable. The final product makes for excellent snow coverage and enhances the ski area. Listen late at night, you'll hear the hum of the snow guns, and see the giant puffs of snow in the air. The snow makers will work their magic throughout the night! Machine made snow guarantees your skiing experience will be safer and more enjoyable. Even with the abundance of natural snow we get here at Red River, certain spots are prone to burn off quickly because of sun, wind, and use. Man-made snow, properly groomed, can be as good or even better than natural snow. Red River Ski & Summer Area invests a lot of time and money into producing quality snow. Please understand that even with having 85% of our mountain covered with snowmaking we can only make snow if temperatures and water resources allow. This year, 2016, we started making snow on November 2nd and have continued every evening and into the mornings as temperatures allowed. WE WILL BE OPENING RRSA FOR DAILY OPERATIONS ON DECEMBER 9, 2016 THROUGH MARCH 19, 2017!