b'the inside story behind windham mountain snow - continued from page 53 -upcoming season. Davis said that these guns can tighten the operating window to just a few hours. The automated guns can measure the ideal wet bulbtemperature/humidity mix at each gun on the slopes they cover. Beforeautomation, this process was entirely manual, involving teams of snowmakers trekking up and down the mountainmaking near-constant adjustments.While the legacy of the hard working, ice encrusted snowmaker is still animportant part of the effort, a snowmaker at Windham today must also be much more technologically savvy since the automated system is computercontrolled. Windhams upgrades alsoinclude new electric compressors,replacing the former black-smoke- spewing diesel machines, allowing for a much more environmentally friendly process.Making machine made snow is a costly but necessary exercise. A solid night of snowmaking at full capacity with as many as 200 guns blazing will tally up to about $20,000. Labor and electricity make snowmaking one of the mountains largest annual expenses. Nobody was complaining last season when the bulk of Windhams trails were covered with feet of snow while the surrounding woods were bare for much of the winter.To turn machine made snow intocarveable corduroy requires a fleet ofBigmodern grooming machines and skillful operators. Windham has five PistenBully snow groomers that go out every night to smooth the terrain and make it a pleasure to ski or board. Two of those machines are called winch cats. These specialSmiles.machines have a crane on them that lets out a cable, which is secured to a tree at the top of a super steep slope. Windham has a number of such trails, including The Wall, Wedel, Wolverine, Upper Wipeout and Wheelchair. A winch cat allows the grooming machine to push snow up the mountain which is necessary on steep terrain since it gets pushed down by Windham Mountainskiers and riders. It also allows for Adventure Parkless snowmaking on trails likeWolverine because an even amount of518-734-4300continued on page 57windhammountain.com800-754-9463 55'