When Good Snowmaking Guns Go Bad

Not such a good night for this particular snowmaking fan gun:

Not quite the result we were looking for...

Fan guns make snow by spraying a fine mist into the path of air blown through the gun by fans at the rear of the unit. The mist freezes into snow crystals, which fall near the gun and form “whales”. The electric fans are powered by a nearby generator, while the water is fed at high pressure through a long line of hoses. If there is any problem with the electrical supply, the fans stop turning, but the water keeps coming. An extreme example of what happens then is illustrated in the above photo, taken near the top of Sunset Gully. Another day on the mountain…

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