Has Excalibur been open this year? It seems late in the season this one isn't open. Just saying.
Snowmaking power just doesn't seem what it used to be. No good excuses this year - good temps and no energy shortage - yet many hours/days when the guns aren't going. Lots of snow has been made but it just seems like 100% of the snowmaking trails could have been covered by now and have been in other years.
Excalibur was open as a natural trail at the end of 2016. It was a blast. Not sure what is going on with the snowmaking other there.
The trail report stated over the weekend that there have been technical difficulties with the system. I saw them repairing a hydrant on lower chondi line over the weekend. Not sure what else is going on. Previously there was plugging on the water intake line and a blown air line over christmas week. Both times the system came back on within a day.
I had heard that they froze a waterline in Jordan and that was the reasn Excalibur had not seen snowmaking to date. Last Wednesday I saw two of the utility cats parked at the base of Jordan, one having welding equipment on the front. Seems to me every year they freeze up a line either in Jordan or Oz and have to thaw it out. I wonder if they ever get the increased water pump capacity online if that will minimize freeze ups on the west side.
As for the lower chondi line hydrant, that was inadvertantly taken out by a snowcat just before 4am Saturday. The location was such they couldn't isolate it so the air had to be shutdown system wide for the repair. Bummer, as that meant little snowmaking friday night and none going on Saturday until the system recharged around 130pm.
Considering how late it took mother nature to finally provide good snowmaking temps (it was well into December this year before it got consistent), I think they have done a great job. Nothing seems thin and outside of Excalibur, they are pretty much on track for where they usually are. If there is a weakness this year, I think it is in staffing and not the system. I have seen them concentrate more on one section/zone of the mountain than in the past and this would seem to me to reduce the area a smaller snowmaking team has to cover at one time. May not be the case, but most of the large resorts have tons of positions left unfilled this year.
MB, Sirius has me puzzled too. The only thing I can think of is if somehow, that line is a pressure relief for upper Spruce while they are running upper downdraft. If they need to bleed off some pressure that way, might as well run a few guns on sirius and put down hiking snow.