Snowshoe village at the top of its West Virginia slopes. (Snowshoe)
Snowshoe Mountain will be putting nearly $4 million toward upgrades this summer to snowmaking and grooming technology, allowing them to open significantly more of trails by early December and to maintain a high-quality snow surface throughout ski season.
The West Virginia Resort is one of 12 resorts purchased by Alterra Mountain Company last year.
The investment includes over 150 new snowguns, including 75 fixed position tower fan guns and 90 low-energy stick guns.
Further automating the mountain’s snowmaking system will increase efficiency, giving the maximum amount of production time during even brief snowmaking opportunities. Each snowgun will have access to temperature and humidity sensors that trigger the automation software and adjust air/water ratios to ensure both high quality snow and maximum snow production.
The re-tooled snowmaking system will return more than 5,000,000 kwh back to the grid, enough to power 500 homes for an entire year.
Situated at the southern end of Cheat Mountain, on the second highest peak in West Virginia at 4,848ft, Snowshoe’s elevation produces a unique microclimate keeping it cooler than the surrounding area.
Snowshoe sits in a snowy sweet spot – close enough to the Great Lakes for consistent upslope lake effect snow from the many passing Alberta clippers, and far enough east to cash in on big Nor’easters.
Snowshoe enjoys an average snowfall of 180 inches and is known for its surprisingly light, dry powder.
“This is the single most important investment our new owners, Alterra Mountain Company, could make in Snowshoe,” said Frank DeBerry, Snowshoe’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “As this past season demonstrates, Snowshoe’s unique microclimate and elevation provide us with the cold and snow we need to provide the best and most skiing and riding in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. This investment further boosts and protects our greatest strength, all while taking yet another step towards reducing our impact on the environment.”