CHARLEMONT, Mass. (WWLP) – The sound of roaring snowmaking machines could be heard all over Berkshire East Mountain Resort on Wednesday.
They’re opening the ski area for their earliest season yet, on Saturday. Just last weekend, they were still open for mountain biking.
“We’re gonna make a lot of snow every second that we’re able to,” Berkshire East Ski Area General Manager, Jon Schaefer told 22News. “Mother Nature is sending us some cold early and we started making snow last weekend. We fired back up last night. We’re trying to get about eight trails covered for the weekend.”
But making the ground go from grassy to covered in snow, takes a lot of power. Berkshire East has more than 60 snow-guns and snow-cannons running round-the-clock, covering the mountain with man-made snow.
The snow-guns can push out 35 to 70 gallons of water every minute to cover the ground with snow. One cannon pushing out 50 gallons-per-minute can cover a quarter of an acre in over a foot of snow within a day.
“The last few years we’ve really been trying to push the boundary of how soon we can start making snow. So we’ve been ready for the last couple of weeks,” Schaefer said.
He said the resort can make the best snow on nights where temperatures are below 23, with low humidity. Berkshire East is also hosting their annual ski sale on Sunday, to benefit the local ski patrol.