If “What do you do all summer?” is the most commonly asked question, there has been a clear second place in recent weeks.

“When is Highway 66 going to be done?”

That question is an aberration, though, and doesn’t fit in the all-time question list. Fortunately, it will very soon disappear along with all the construction vehicles. The real runner-up, given people’s excitement to hit the slopes and unpredictability of the weather, is, “When are you going to make snow?”

People want to know when Mount Kato is going to make snow, which is a great question.

That’s a billion-dollar question worldwide.

I have seen the time, research and work that goes into making snow, and my window is pretty small compared to those in the big houses in the mountains. You can read about a recent push to be first to open the season in this article from the Colorado Springs Gazette. Colorado has a new contender to open the ski season — and the race is on.

I once had someone tell me of a resort having installed some sort of jet engine nearby to try to influence the weather. I Googled it lazily and found nothing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

It's an ellipsis, smarty pants.
It’s an ellipsis, smarty pants.

 

Of course, locally, people want to know when Mount Kato is going to make snow, which is a great question. The answer for Mount Kato is the same as it is everywhere and is two-fold.

 

Text conversation between and asking The Second Question
Text conversation I had with J, Mount Kato’s night time snow making manager. Yes, I forgot a word. I’m not sure why auto correct wouldn’t accept “thank” in this response. Dave is Mount Kato’s long-time mountain manager.

 

The first part of the answer is complicated but can be summed up easily: When it gets cold enough!

I’m happy to geek out and talk about wet-bulb temperatures, and there are plenty of websites and YouTube videos dedicated to snow making if you are interested in the technical details. SMI is a manufacturer and has pretty much all the scientific info you might be interested in here. There’s also a pretty good summary of snow making on Wikipedia.

The second answer is far simpler: as soon as we can!

I can assure you J, our Night Snow Making Manager, is itching to fire up the guns for the first time. If you had texted him and asked him the same question I did he would probably have said, “As soon as I can. Next week. Hopefully. Maybe. Who is this?”

I was recently wearing one of these shirts and was asked “How do you make snow?” I replied, When the conditions are right, we use compressed air and small drops of water and blow it into the air.” She blinked real slow and said, “Oh.”
I was recently wearing one of these shirts and was asked “How do you make snow?” I replied, When the conditions are right, we use compressed air and small drops of water and blow it into the air.” She blinked real slow and said, “Oh.”

He knew I didn’t have to ask him tonight because he already announced it earlier today. And yesterday. And every morning. I don’t even have to have to look at the weather because I have J to tell me it’s going to be, “possibly next Tuesday or next weekend, maybe. Real good chance the week after that.”

We’re itching to go. We are hosting the state mountain bike race this weekend, then it is winter Go Time. Give us a stretch of cold weather and we can get a nice blanket of snow so John Sandberg, um, I mean everyone can get out and enjoy the slopes.