In addition to the 200 new low-energy snowguns we’re adding to our fleet for the coming season, one of the bigger snowmaking projects we’ve been working on is on Gondi Line. This project had two main objectives: one, to install a new, larger air and water line along the entire length of the trail; and two, to remove large boulders and old tower footings that impeded snowmaking progress.
The first piece of the project was to haul the 6,400 feet and 26,000 pounds of new pipe up Gondi Line - which, as you likely know, is one of the steepest trails on the mountain. To do this, we employed the services of Royal Trail Works, a company out of Royalton, VT that specializes in this type of snowmaking installation. To haul the pipe up, Royal Trail Works drove their 46,000 pound D7 bulldozer up the mountain and parked it on Spillway Crosscut. Then, using just over 1000 feet of cable, they winched the pipe up into place, with a excavator positioned lower on the trail to guide the pipe into place. A crew of welders followed behind to weld couplings and secure the pipe in place.
Once the pipe was in place, an crew from Jordan Excavation in Kingfield came in to take on the task of levelling the surface of the trail. With old gondola tower footings and large boulders strewn throughout the trail, snowmakers historically have had to make as much as 8-10 feet of snow in certain areas just to get to a point where a groomer could safely operate. By removing this debris, we can greatly reduce the total amount of snow we need to make before Gondi Line is skiable.
Once the excavation work was complete, we spread grass seed and hay over the entire trail to prevent erosion.
With the heavy lifting now complete (literally) the crew is now working to install new tower posts, before installing the new low-e guns when they arrive in the fall.