Hotham snowmaking gets mega expansion

snow action team 05.05.2016

Hotham snowmaking gets a mega expansion for 2016 season, and with the weather chilling down shouldn’t be long before they fire up the new guns.

Hands down it’s the biggest news for any Aussie ski resort infrastructure this winter. Merlin Entertainments, the owners of Falls Creek and Hotham have committed $4.4 million to complete the snowmaking masterplan at Hotham Alpine Resort for the 2016 season.

Detail of new snowmaking areas at Hotham

Detail of new snowmaking areas at Hotham

The commitment involves the purchase and installation of almost 2.4 kilometres of water mains, 24 new snowmaking outlets, and 18 Techno Alpin fan guns, one electrical sub-station and the installation of a fourth pump at the main pumping station. The new areas for the installation to occur on include the Lower Imagine run, Canyon run, the Summit run and Terrain Park area and this will take Hotham to 33 hectares covered with snowmaking.

Hotham has been a long term customer of the Techno Alpin brand of fan guns and this has continued with the current expansion. Fan guns purchased for this expansion include 6 x T60 tower mounted guns, 5 x T40 tower mounted guns, and the 7 x TF 10 mobile guns. This is an increase of nearly 20% on gun numbers at Hotham.

During a reasonable window of snowmaking this should allow to an extra 324,000 litres of water to be turned into snow each hour of operation.

Figuratively this will be producing about 6500 cubic meters of snow more an hour than was previously possible at Hotham.

New gun in Lower Canyon Hotham

New gun in Lower Canyon Hotham

There are huge levels of excitement in the resort about this snowmaking expansion and the finalising of the snowmaking master plan for Hotham. From within Mount Hotham Skiing Company to the individual stakeholders around the resort. Everyone is excited about the opportunity for Hotham to have more terrain open earlier on man-made snow if required.

“Personally I am extremely excited that we will have completed an extremely important piece of ski field infrastructure to help guarantee the future of the Hotham resort. I have been involved in the installation of the snowmaking plan since Hotham commenced in 1998 and it just a most satisfying feeling to see it being completed” says Len Dobell, Hotham’s General Manager – Operations.

“There is no greater sense of excitement for me than to be watching as the Hotham Techno Alpin automated snow making system is turned on and those awesome yellow machines start to pump out the best quality man-made snow that can be produced in this country. I am excited and can already see it the faces of Hotham’s snowmaking team to have such an increase in snow making fire power across the main areas of the resort.”

We’re all getting excited too Len, no worries there!

“The additional snow making at Hotham this year will make a huge difference to our guests as it will allow Heavenly Valley to open as early as the opening weekend. That gives us all great confidence in the amount of terrain open all season long” says Richard Nevile, owner of Snow Monkey at Hotham (and now Dinner Plain too).

So bring on the frosty weather!

Can't wait to see these in action and ski the results at Hotham

Can’t wait to see these in action and ski the results at Hotham