From Barry, VP of Okemo Mountain Operations:
Our core philosophy of always being ready paid off last Saturday night. The temps that were predicted were nothing great, however they did drop considerably more throughout the night. We were able to light approximately 200 snow guns and reached a maximum pumping rate of 8,000 GPM. The majority of the snow that we opened with yesterday was made in a 12 hour period!
Ray Kennedy (Snowmaking Manager) and his crew never missed a minute of opportunity.
We had snowmaking temps on the upper 25% of the mountain starting around 2 AM this morning. They are predicted to hold during the day with a potential inversion throughout the evening. If that happens we are going to push very hard to reach the base area tonight. In fact, Ray and his men are reconfiguring the snow gun placements to take maximum advantage of the brief time frame that we are going to be working with.
It all comes down to using the proper snow gun for the temps and time frame that we are dealing with in this "early season game".
On the grooming side of the house...
On the fly grooming has been the status quo for our first few days. On opening day we regroomed due to "shrinkage" during the night. Some of the warm weather had left pock marks and we felt another grooming would improve things dramatically. This morning we again chose to regroom just before opening, but this time for the opposite reason. Temperatures had dropped considerably and we didn't want the surface too firm. At this point, we'll see what tomorrow brings!