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'Snow Farming' at Showdown Montana

Posted at 12:06 PM, Nov 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-21 14:23:30-05

The mountains are a little low in snow right now, and at the moment Montana's ski areas are not in as good of a shape as they have been at this point in recent years.

Some mountains turn to snowmaking as an early season shot in the arm, but not all.

Showdown Montana in the Little Belt Mountains does not have snowmaking equipment.

"We don't have snowmaking because it costs money and we try to keep the price of skiing low," said Will with Showdown’s Mountain Operations.

But currently, Showdown is looking pretty good and mountain staff is aiming at opening soon. Some early-season storms put a blanket of snow down, but mountain operation crews have "farmed" the snow.

By driving snowcats over some of the runs, the snow gets packed down to create a base that will melt at a slower rate than unpacked snow if temperatures warm up above the freezing point. snow is also removed and transported from other areas.

"We also truck in snow from the parking lot for our base area," explained Will.

Showdown posted the following information on Sunday, November 19, 2023:

OPENING DAY UPDATE. We know you're all as excited as we are to hit the slopes this season, unfortunately, due to the current snow conditions, we are making the call to not open this Friday.

With Thanksgiving in the mix, our employees deserve to be able to make a plan and head out and spend some time with their families and a tentative opening makes it very difficult for them.

HOWEVER, there appears to be the possibility of snow in the forecast this week… Of course, we have no idea how much or if/when it will be here. So, we are holding on making the call for now on opening Saturday and/or Sunday.

Click here to see live webcams from Showdown.


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