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Introducing: Mountain People

Introducing: Mountain People

Introducing Mountain People: a series of stories from Boyne Mountain's slopes.
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Tuesday, November 21

B 47 °F


November 23 November 22 November 21
X 35°/25° H 31°/26° W 40°/25°
Boyne Low-E Fan gun at sunrise

Snowmaking: Making Winter When Mother Nature Fails

Sure, Mother Nature can make beautiful stuff.

She'll wow you when you wake up to a lovely few inches of glittering flakes as rare and precious as diamonds. But Mother Nature is an unpredictable and sometimes temperamental creature. She'll tease you and taunt you with a mid-October four inches of surprise powder that will urge you to trade your shorts and t-shirts for snow scrapers and ice melt. And then she'll follow up with a November that feels a little more like a June, leaving you sweating in your preemptively-donned snowsuit.

But, when Mother Nature fails to provide, it is mankind that steps in.  

Man, coupled with machine, tames and harnesses Mother Nature's processes to create winter. He utilizes the same raw ingredients as Mother Nature--water, air, and energy--to produce a winter that he can rely on. After years of growing frustration with Mother Nature's untimeliness, a tool was invented to control what no man previously could.

Invented in 1950, the snow cannon could blast a mid-February sized supply of man-made snow. Soon after, Boyne Mountain began experimenting with the snowmaking process, even patenting their own Boyne Snowmaker which was six times more energy-efficient than most systems. While other snow guns could make snow at 28°F degrees, Boyne could make snow at 30°F.

Like mathematicians correcting a difficult equation, the Boyne Mountain Snowmaking Crew has perfected the process of snowmaking over many years to reach more complex, precise and efficient capacities. Boyne recently unveiled a new and improved snow gun called the Boyne Low-E Fan, which makes better snow, is easier and less expensive to use, and makes more snow faster with little water wasted in the process. The crew starts the process with a reservoir of water which is then forced through a pipeline up the mountain. The water is allotted to a series of valves and pipes to the areas where snow is needed.

Next, the Boyne Mountain crew adds air. In the old days, Boyne added air to their snow guns with a huge, military-grade compressor, affectionately known as "Big Bertha," that could be heard all over Boyne City. However, today the Boyne Low-E Fan Guns take air from twin screw style compressors which save energy and completes the perfect formula at a much quieter level. Now that the process is complete, the Boyne Mountain Snowmaking Crew steps back to let the magic happen. Heavy duty snow flies through the air and falls to the ground, piling up on those dainty little flakes that Mother Nature left.

While Mother Nature can gift us with unique, magical flecks that float down from the sky, she does not always supply enough to feed the hunger for hefty loads of snow that winter-lovers require. It is then that the Boyne Mountain crew steps in heroically to rescue the season. Thank you, Boyne Mountain Snowmaking Crew! 

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