Snowmakers make magic

Snowmakers make magic

Behind the scenes, nightly efforts make opening day possible
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Rory James surveys the snow guns coating Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort’s Demon ski run with fresh powder. Morning has broken, meaning James’ 12-hour shift is just about over.
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As the early-morning sun starts to warm the slopes, Rory James, left, and Kevin Driscoll disconnect hoses from a sled. Each day snowmakers drain the network of pipes and hoses of water to avoid freezing.
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Ep 121119540
Shifting wind currents during the night force snowmakers to adjust the guns accordingly. “It’s important to take note of the winds so your equipment doesn’t get buried,” McCormack said.
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Ep 121119540
Kevin Driscoll signals to his fellow snowmaker to flush air through a hose to clear it of water. The snowmakers carry radios, but because the machinery is noisy when running, they use hand signals by day – and headlamp signals by night – to communicate instructions.
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Ep 121119540
Some snowmakers only work at DMR for the initial two months. Others, like Rory James, stick around longer. “I make snow in the pre-season, and then come on out later on and help groom and keep the mountain tidy,” he said.
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