It’s a sad commentary on the weather, but the Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center had to continue making skiing out of nothing last week when it held the Super Tour Finals and national distance championship cross-country ski races, virtually all of it without natural (real) snow. They did it with a three-story pile of manmade snow, an excavator, 500 dump-truck loads, big ski groomers and the skilled workers and volunteers who spread the snow nearly two-feet thick along a 3.5-kilometer ribbon of winter winding through the otherwise snowless woods. It not only saved the event, but skiers said the conditions were excellent. Next winter? Who knows?
It takes a lot of energy to make and move the snow, although Craftsbury works to reduce the environmental impact as much as possible, including capturing heat from the big generator that powers the snowmaking equipment and using it to heat its buildings.
These photos show some of what it looked like, some of how Craftsbury did it and a bit of the racing. Click here for a very full gallery from all four days of racing.