Snowmaking Pond: Winter to Spring

During the winter months, thinking about our sports takes up a lot of our time. Most of us spend the winter on the mountain, on the court, or on the ice, but this past season, I and the 12 other Nordic skiers spent our practices on the all-new Nordic trail system that was built over the course of the summer and fall. And with the construction of these trails, came the snowmaking pond. Although not everyone may take advantage of the trails on our campus, as the weather is getting warmer more and more people are starting to get out to the new pond. 


Wanting to learn more about the technology and workings of the snowmaking pond, I asked Mr. Casey to give me some quick facts about it. The snowmaking pond was built with the purpose of supplying water for the snowmaking system. Being about 35 feet deep, it has a 3 million gallon capacity, which is enough water to cover about 3 km of ski trails with snow. It works by drawing water from an intake pipe about 10 feet above the bottom of the pond, meaning we will never fully empty it. This past year, the pond and the snowmaking system helped us stay on snow on our own trails the entire season, while other schools were having to roller ski through December and January. So the pond does a great job of fulfilling its intended role, but since the start of spring, it has taken on a new purpose.


When we all came back from spring break, everyone was looking for ways to take advantage of the warm weather. There was a phase of people buying inflatable pools for their dorms just to get summer off to an early start. But soon, people were reminded of the snowmaking pond hidden behind Casey Dorm and it quickly became a popular swimming spot. At least for my dorm, the snowmaking pond has become a new and fun way to spend some time during sunny weekends. The school built the snowmaking pond to benefit our Nordic program; however, they didn’t realize that, at the same time, they were building an exciting new spring activity!