Hotham Turns On New Snowmaking Guns in Heavenly Valley

| Hotham Team
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Over the past weekend, Mt Hotham Skiing Company started making snow in Heavenly Valley using newly-installed, fully-automated TechnoAlpin snowguns, part of a $4.4 million expansion of the snowmaking infrastructure at Mt Hotham.

Belinda Trembath, General Manager of the Mt Hotham Skiing Company, said “This is a great day for Hotham skiers and snowboarders. For many people, Heavenly Valley is the heart of Mt Hotham. This whole area is now going to be ‘snow sure’ from much earlier in the season.”

“We’ll be able to build a base here for all the natural and mountain-made snow to come this season, which should ensure the great terrain in this area skis beautifully right through to the end of the season in late September. Perhaps even beyond. The guys here have already started referring to this area as the Hotham Glacier.”

“Our Mountain Operations team has done a huge amount of work over summer to get us to this point. We’ve carefully installed more than a kilometre of water mains, six new snowmaking outlets, a new pump in our main pumping house, and we are rolling out 18 massive new snow cannons across the system.”

“The expanded snowmaking in Heavenly Valley is part of the final stage of a snowmaking master plan we began in 1998. Now we only have The Summit area to go, where we’ll be putting in twelve additional snow cannons ahead of next season.”

Ms Trembath says visitors to Hotham this season are going to see a real difference in the amount of terrain open. “People up here in June and September this year, taking advantage of the great shoulder season deals, are going to be the immediate beneficiaries of this investment and all this work.”

“In the right conditions, we can make 600 cubic metres more snow than we could before. On a good cold snowmaking night, that’s literally hundreds, possibly thousands more truckloads of snow on areas that haven’t been covered by snowmaking before.”

“Hotham skiers and snowboarders will be reaping the rewards of this project for decades to come,” says Belinda Trembath.

New Snowmaking at Hotham

The Project

  • Total investment: $4.4 million
  • 18 new TechnoAlpin fan guns
  • 6 x T60 tower mounted gun
  • 5 x T40 tower mounted gun, and
  • 7 x TF 10 mobile gun
  • 2.4 kilometres of water mains
  • 24 new snowmaking outlets
  • A new electricity sub-station
  • A fourth pump at the main pumping station.

 

The Timeline

  • Heavenly Valley area (6 new guns): Winter 2016
  • Across the snowmaking system (12 new guns): Winter 2016
  • The Summit area 18 hydrants: Winter 2017.


The Results

  • Increased Coverage: A total of 33 hectares covered by snowmaking (increase of nearly 40%)
  • Increased Capacity: an additional 288,000 litres of water can be turned into snow per hour of operation (from collected water that thaws back into the same catchment over summer)
  • Increased Production: an additional 600 cubic metres of snow per hour of operation.

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