Take This Job and Love It: Snow Making 

Ski resorts may be taking a break today, but the ski resorts were busy making snow last month and prepping the grounds for the busy ski season ahead. Chelsey Anderson made her way to Saddleback Maine for this edition of Take This Job and Love It.Chelsey: “The guys I worked with work 12 hour days, getting the slopes ready for you. So I caught them about mid-shift and hopped on for the ride.”———————–Sean: “What we’re doing today, you see over here we have stationary guns or tower guns.”Sean: “We’re replacing them with standard carriage guns.” Chelsey: “Okay.” Sean: “Which is what we’ll be moving once we get up the trail.”First I had to unroll the hoses.Sean: “You’re going to take this end, hold onto it nice and tight in your hand like that, and you want to… like you’re bowling.”Sean: “And it’ll roll right down the mountain.” Chelsey: “Okay. I’m not very good at bowling.”Sean: “Bowl it!” Chelsey: “Ugh!” Sean: “Alright!”Now that the hoses were ready and the gun base was prepped, Sean moved the gun to the new location.Sean: “Alright, let’s have you hook it up.” Chelsey: “Okay.”Sean: “To put them together you want to make sure both of these are out like that.” Chelsey: “Okay.” Sean: “The other hose will slide right into that.” Chelsey: “Okay.”Chelsey: “Okay, is that right?” Sean: “That is officially locked together.”Sean: “As you can see on the backside of the gun, off of the manifold, it’s the same couplet.”Sean: “Now scrape the ice out that forms when you shut a gun down.”Now I was ready to lock in the link.Sean: “Want to see a snowmaker trick?” Chelsey: “Yeah. Oh! Good one!” (laughter)Sean: “All we need now is to energize the gun with water and turn the fan on which throws the plume of water you’ve been seeing on the way up the trail.” Chelsey: “Okay.”Chelsey: “Just the green?” Sean: “The green.” Chelsey: “That’s the sound of money!” Sean: “That’s the sound of skiing and riding.”Sean: “Within a 12 hour period the pile of snow you see right there, it will be about half of that.”The guys finished setting up the gun while we loaded into the CAT to move the next gun. Now, I wasn’t going to be able to do the move because even though it may look smooth playing in the snow, it’s a really dangerous job.Sean: “High pressure water, high voltage, big machinery, mostly slippery most of the time.”Sean: “We’re going to put that gun on this blade.”Sean: “We’ll get another one on line and then it’s time for you to learn how to drive.”So we moved back up the mountain and dropped the snow gun.Then I headed toward the hydrant, so we could supply water to the gun.Sean: “Prepared for water?” Radio: “We are prepared for water.” Chelsey: “Go?” Sean: “Yep, open it nice and slowly.”Believe it or not, I’m actually trying to move that.Radio: “Remember to tell her, ‘righty tighty, lefty loosey.'” Chelsey: “Errr!” Sean: “We have 2 styles, they get a little frozen.”Once Sean got it started for me I got the water pressure right where it should be.Radio: “That’s looking good! She leveled out at 400. Nice work!”Now it was my turn to drive the CAT. Sean gave me some pointers and then I took the wheel.Chelsey: “So, I’m going to lift everything up?”Sean: “And move the arrow button forward with your left thumb.” (click) “Excellent. Now with the fuel peddle you’re going to want to bring it up to 13 hundred and we will start to move forward.”Chelsey: “Whoa! Whoa!” Sean: “See it’s touchy!”Chelsey: “Wahoo! That was awesome!”But the question is, am I hired?Sean: “You did touch a little bit of grass, but I think you did good. I think you would be a hire.” Chelsey: “Thank you so much.”—————-Chelsey: “I’d like to thank everyone at Saddleback for letting us tag along. If you have an idea for our next Take This Job and Love It, email me at [email protected]