Despite the lack of snow across the West, the snowmaking guns on Dollar Mountain at Sun Valley Resort are ensuring the opening of the mountain’s 22-foot Superpipe on Friday, Jan. 10.
Snow guns also made it possible for Dollar Mountain’s Prospector Park Skills Zone to debut just before Christmas.
Sun Valley boasts the largest computerized snowmaking system in North America.
While man-made snow has endured a poor reputation for many years, resort officials say the state of the art snowmaking system at Sun Valley is producing flakes that would make Mother Nature proud.
Sun Valley’s 552 snowmaking guns cover 645 acres of groomed terrain, enabling 14 chairlifts and 56 runs to be up and running across two mountains.
The new, one-acre Prospector Park on Dollar is designed to help beginners learn to ski more quickly.
The park boasts gentle rollers, a mini half pipe and a family cross course designed with young athletes in mind.
“The gentle pipe actually improves children’s skills and form,” said Shannon Price, director of the Sun Valley Children’s Snow Sports program. “It’s amazing how quickly beginning skiers improve when they use this feature.”
Dollar this season is also home to the largest super pipe in North America, resort officials said.
The Superpipe features 22 foot-high walls constructed almost entirely from man-made snow.
Dollar’s superpipe from past seasons – photo by Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman