Great Bear Closed Tuesday to Make Snow – How Do They Make Snow?
Mother Nature has been very stingy with snow this year. The little bit that is left along streets in Sioux Falls is snow that fell shortly before Christmas. Snow is finally on the way again, but even more is coming for skiers and snowboarders.
Great Bear Ski Valley announced they will be closed on Tuesday, February 22 so that they can make snow. A cold front is coming through and bringing a small amount of snow, certainly not enough to really help ski conditions much with only 2 to 4 inches forecast.
The ski area will be open for regular hours for the remainder of this week. They hope that this snowmaking day will get them enough snow to stay open well into March.
How is the snow made? Snowmaking is done by blasting water and pressurized air up into the air when it's really good and cold. This results in that moisture freezing up in the air and falling as powdery snow.
If you dig into the snow on a ski slope, you would eventually find the grass or ground underneath. Before the good skiing powder can be laid down there first needs to be a base of at least 20 inches. Snowmaking is often used to build that base since we don't often get twenty inches of snow before Christmas.
There is only one company that makes the enormous snow guns and cannons in the United States. SMI Snowmakers, headquartered in Midland, Michigan, has been in the business of making the machines that make snow since 1974,
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