Mt Hotham ready for a “gun” sea­son NEW SNOW­MAK­ING AT HOTHAM

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

THIRTY-THREE hectares of Mt Hotham’s ter­rain can now be cov­ered by moun­tain-made snow af­ter the com­ple­tion of a $4.4 mil­lion ex­pan­sion to the re­sort’s snow­mak­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

The in­stal­la­tion of 18 new hy­drants and 12 fully-au­to­mated Tech­noAlpin snow­guns on the Sum­mit over the sum­mer is the fi­nal stage in Hotham’s snow­mak­ing master plan which be­gan al­most 20 years ago.

The project’s com­ple­tion means an ex­tra 600 cu­bic me­tres, or about 25 dump trucks, of snow can be made ev­ery hour.

From the top of the Sum­mit to the bot­tom of Heav­enly Val­ley, across green, blue and black ter­rain there is now snow­mak­ing.

Mount Hotham Ski­ing Com­pany gen­eral man­ager Belinda Trem­bath said be­ing able to guar­an­tee snow on another be­gin­ner run was great for all skiers and snow­board­ers.

“For guests new to snows­ports, the Sum­mit is key ter­rain for them to de­velop their skills while en­joy­ing un­in­ter­rupted views across the re­sort to Mt Feather­top,” she said

“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.”

Last year six new snow­guns were added in the Low- er Imag­ine and Canyon area on Heav­enly Val­ley.

The $4.4 mil­lion is the sin­gle big­gest in­vest­ment in snow­mak­ing at Hotham since the re­sort part­nered with govern­ment in 2008 to in­stall the Loch snow­mak­ing dam.

Ms Trem­bath said vis­i­tors to Mt Hotham from this win­ter on will no­tice a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the amount of ter­rain open at cer­tain times in the sea­son.

“Peo­ple up here in June and Septem­ber, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the great shoul­der sea­son deals, are go­ing to be the im­me­di­ate ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this in­vest­ment and all this work,” she said.

“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.” Heav­enly Val­ley area - sum­mer 2015/16 The Sum­mit - sum­mer 2016/17 To­tal in­vest­ment: $4.4 mil­lion 24 new Tech­noAlpin fan guns 2.4 kilo­me­tres of wa­ter mains 24 new snow­mak­ing out­lets A new elec­tric­ity sub-sta­tion A fourth pump at the main pump­ing sta­tion.

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