With opening day just 5 days away (November 18th), all eyes are on the heavens – or rather the forecasts – to determine what sort of opening day it will be. While it’s snowing as I write, and with snowfall set to continue through the weekend, the longer-range forecast calls for sunny skies through the following weekend: 10 days ahead is as far as it goes.
Consequently, don’t expect multiple trails and excellent conditions from day 1, even though things can turn very quickly if a bunch of storms come in one after the other over a period of a few days.
Something that the ski area is hoping will help precipitate (coincidental use of the word – my apologies) greater snowfall, is active “cloud seeding”, whereby the resort in partnership with Denver Water, will be seeding moisture-laden clouds with silver iodide particles released into the sky to increase snowfall. Vail Resorts has done this for some years, and this is not the first time Winter Park has participated, having conducted seeding during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. The one benefit of cloud seeding over snowmaking is the creation of additional snow throughout the area, rather than on specific trails.
It’s all planned to occur in the first 3 months of the season at a cost of $110K, shared between Denver Water and Winter Park Resort, and apparently produces a 10-15% precipitation increase. How one measures this, I wouldn’t know, but anything to prompt greater snowfall during the season is good for me.
May our harvest be truly bountiful!