By Rosalind Russell – It is hoped the generosity of local clubs and businesses will mean a longer season for ski and snowboard enthusiasts in Espanola.
Espanola Ski Club general manager, Tom Hutchinson says they are making the white stuff on Boogie Mountain with a snow-making machine.
“The Espanola Lions Club was generous with a donation of $11,000 towards the purchase,” says Hutchinson. “We also had a fund raising mud run that raised $3,500.”
“Two snow guns were purchased from Mount Dufour; one was purchased by Rona in Massey and the other was purchased by Hutch Academy. Each gun was $1,000 plus transportation.”
The town donated the water for the trial year ($4,000).
“Then we had some high pressure hose donated and the fire department gave us some of their old hoses. This was enough for us to make snow.”
Eriks Industrial Services LP in Sudbury donated $1,000 in air hose with fittings and another donation from BJ Leclair of $1000 to make snow on the main hill.
“The snow gun can handle 60 gallons of water per minute,” says Hutchinson. “It takes nine gallons of water to make one cubic foot of snow.”
The equipment could mean a good pay off for the club.
Snowmaking helps the hill to deliver programs to the community on a more consistent time line. With the weather going up and down, the snowmaking will guarantee these programs when the weather turns warm.
“This will also enable our season to start a little sooner and end later,” adds Hutchinson.
The club has had a few mechanical challenges in the first few weeks of use, but it is up and running, just in time to host the brunt of Espanola Winter Carnival events in February.
Photo – Members of the Lions Club, and the Ski Hill Executive braved the frigid morning temperatures for a photo shoot and BRIEF tour of the new snow making equipment bought with the Club’s $11,000 donation to the Ski Hill. Photo provided by Grant Lewis