I received this email from Michael Roycroft, manager of the Canmore Nordic Centre, in reply to Tom Jones’ question about snowmaking. You can read Tom’s question in the comments section of the Canmore Nordic Centre page.
Thanks for passing this question on to us.
Without getting into the detailed nuances of our snowmaking program here at the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, I can simply state that we are doing everything possible to open up our groomed ski trails in time for the Christmas season. However, based on the forecast, there will be some trails that will not have snowmaking completed on until early January.
Unfortunately, the last week has not been ideal for snowmaking and has limited our ability to complete the Banff Loop and the Bow Trail tear drop as well as connecting Lynx up. Having said this, we will have Banff Loop open with a mix of machine made and natural snow by Christmas. Bow will have groomed natural snow conditions and the Lynx connector will have machine made snow by early next week.
The snowmaking on the tubing hill is being done with our blue fan guns (which run on water and electricity) and is not “at the expense of” our snowmaking on our recreation trail system which is done primarily with air / water guns (not fan guns) because we do not have electricity throughout much of our trail system.
It is important to note that our fan guns can operate more efficiently in warmer temperatures (between -5C and -2C) than our air / water guns (which typically need -5C and below) to produce acceptable quality / quantity snow. This has meant that while we have been able to run our fan guns in these marginal temperatures, our air / water guns have not been much use. Needless to say, so far, this has been a very challenging winter season weather wise (I know our neighbors to the west would agree). We are hoping to see some more natural snow (and colder temperatures) later this week.
Our team here at the CNC fully understands and appreciates the popularity of our groomed trails and has not in any way sacrificed snowmaking on these trails to accommodate secondary amenities such as the tubing hill. I would encourage anyone with questions about our snowmaking or grooming program here at the CNC to contact us directly.
Area Manager, Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park
(403) 678-2400 Canmore.NordicCentre@gov.ab.ca
A less honest person might have claimed that a direct strike by meteorite fragment impact had destroyed most of the snowmaking facilities -)
Skiied Lookout and Tyrwitt today. The creek on the south side of Lookout (from Hydroline) is not frozen but crossible. Tyrwitt was in good condition although some glazed trail is just starting to be visible. Still an awesome day.
A reasonable explanation. Thanks for the information Michael and thanks to Tom Jones for posting the question. I too wondered about the toboggan hill…
A well considered answer. Thanks to Michael.
Very informative, I’ve always wondered about when and why snow-making is considered, thank you for that.