Inversion Hurting Snowmaking Efforts At Utah Resort

Dec 9, 2020, 8:32 PM | Updated: 8:50 pm

RICHMOND, Utah – Aside from a lack of natural snow, the current inversion is making it hard for some ski resorts to make snow. Cherry Peak Resort is dealing with changing temperatures that are upside down.

It means while workers can run snow machines at the bottom of the mountain, temperatures are too warm just a few hundred feet higher.

“Sometimes up top, we can’t actually fire the guns, based on that inversion,” Dustin Hansen, operations manager at Cherry Peak. “So we need mother nature to come in, give us a little bit of washout, get this inversion out of here, and it looks like we’ve got a storm pattern coming, so we’re excited.”

Crews have to keep a close watch on temperatures through the night, and chances are that may not be enough to get ready for opening day.

“We had some early snowpack that came in and everybody was getting excited,” said Hansen. “Gave us a great base, and then we had a long stretch of some extra-warm temperatures that took a lot of our snow pack down, and (we) kind of had to start all over.”

That excitement was a few weeks ago, and now everything has changed. It’s the kind of thing that Hansen has grown used to at Cherry Peak.

He’s keeping a close watch on weather stations up and down the mountain.

“Down here at the base area has typically been about four to five degrees colder than up top, and that’s just based on inversion,” Hansen said.

With warmer temperatures during the day lately, he said overnight crews are having to closely watch the snow machines and the conditions around them.

“Night in and night out, whether they’re staying in the lodge all night, watching guns, monitoring guns, monitoring the weather — it could change the wind direction. The last thing we want is a gun to be icing up,” he explained.

At the same time, he’s planning for what he believes will be the busiest season yet.

“Due to the pandemic, because a lot of people are experiencing the outdoors,” Hansen said.

That means they’re opening up extra space in the lodge and making changes to the lift lines, to keep groups apart. With a little luck later this week, he’s hopeful that opening day could come sooner rather than later.

“It’s not going to take a tone of snow to get us open,” Hansen said. “And, so we just need the one-two big punch of a snowstorm, and it looks like it’s coming in the next five or six days.”

Manmade snow is roughly 70% of the operation up here. That’s why they’re willing to face the challenges that come with the inversion.

This coming season will be their sixth at Cherry Peak.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

The Left Fork fire on 06.20.22 as it's 2608 acres and 5% contained. (Credit: KSL-TV)...
Michael Houck

‘Left Fork Fire’ is 100% contained after a two month battle

The Left Fork Fire is 100% contained but flared up again in mid-June, growing to over 4,000 acres.
20 hours ago
FILE: Entrance sign at Yellowstone National Park. (NPS/Jacob W. Frank)...
Alex Cabrero

Yellowstone north loop reopens for visitors, removes limited capacity system

Yellowstone National Park reopens its northern loop after floods hit the park in early June.
20 hours ago
The aftermath of a car fatal crash, three cars involved....
Michael Houck

One man dead after a three car crash on SR 9

One man is dead after a three-car crash on State Route 9 Friday afternoon. 
20 hours ago
The SUV that drove into the Famous Footwear. (Credit: SLC PD)...
Michael Houck

Police: SUV crashes into Sugar House shoe store

Salt Lake City police are on the scene of an SUV crashing into a store in Sugar House Park Saturday afternoon.
20 hours ago
FILE: Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (Photo: Jacob Wiegand, Deseret News)...
Michael Houck

Utah AG sues major pharmaceutical retailers over opioid crisis

Utah's Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit against Walgreens, Kroger, and Rite-Aid for "actively exacerbating" the opioid crisis. 
20 hours ago
A semi-truck hauling over 200 beehives tipped on Interstate 80 on Monday. (KSL TV)...
Brittany Tait

Wasatch Beekeepers Association rescues millions of bees after I-80 crash

Roughly 24 million honey bees spilled out of a tipped semi-truck on Interstate 80, earlier this week.  
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Inversion Hurting Snowmaking Efforts At Utah Resort