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Bogus Basin preparing for winter with new snow guns

Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 18:51:51-05

BOISE, Idaho — Rain in the valley and snow in the mountains has much of Idaho itching to hit the slopes.

A wet fall is great news for ski resorts that are already picking up some good snow. Bogus Basin is prepared either way after doubling its number of snow guns in the off-season.

"We're adding 24 more mobile fan guns and we already had 24, so 48 mobile fan guns," said Nate Shake, Director of Mountain Operations at Bogus Basin.

At a cost of $33,000 each, the snow guns are added security if Mother Nature dries up.

"It gives up the ability to guarantee early opening dates if Mother Nature doesn't provide, as long as we've got the cold temps," said Shake.

Cold, dry conditions work best for the guns, but Idaho News 6 chief meteorologist Scott Dorval says we just got a good wave of natural snow and there's a promising pattern developing.

"There's cold weather coming in behind it, they'll get a chance to use the new snow guns. Another band of snow to the west, this one is going to come blasting on in and if we keep this pattern going, you don't need to use the snow guns. However, they'll get to use it over the next few days. Off and on is a good thing."

Extra snow guns don't help much without new pumps. Bogus Basin added two, allowing them to double the amount of water delivered to the guns at 3,000 gallons per minute.

If needed, the 48 snow guns can cover six top to bottom runs over 75 acres on the front side. But if the current La Niña pattern has anything to say about it, the guns might spend more time gathering snow than making it.