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Cold snowmaking nights and sunny snow-covered slopes

February 2, 2024


THOMPSONVILLE, Mich. (February 2, 2024) – Although Michigan is currently experiencing unseasonable temperatures, the slopes are open at Crystal Mountain for skiing and snowboarding. In fact, for those who don’t love brutally cold temperatures, these spring-like skiing and riding conditions are perfect.

“In the month of January alone we received more than four feet of snow and were able to fire our robust snowmaking system for more than 200 hours,” said Karyn Thorr, Crystal Mountain COO. “It was the perfect setup for these warmer temperatures we’re seeing because our base is holding up and the conditions are great.”

While people across the region are experiencing warmer temperatures during the day, there are multiple nights cold enough for snowmaking. When the sun and blue skies are out, it sets up for a cold and clear night which is great for snowmaking opportunities.

“Whenever temperatures dive below 28 degrees, Michigan ski areas are busy making snow,” said Mickey MacWilliams, executive director of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA). “It sets up for nice firm corduroy in the morning with conditions slowly softening throughout the day.”

MacWilliams reminds people to check the live cameras.

“Most Michigan ski areas, including Crystal Mountain, have web cams pointed at their slopes. A quick check of their website shows exactly what’s happening on the slopes, in real time. Plus, the daily snow reports tell you which runs and lifts are open.”

“Even if there is no snow in your backyard, we’ve got it on the slopes,” Thorr adds. “For people who are concerned about the softer conditions – come out in the morning. And if you’re a beginner skier or snowboarder, you don’t have to worry as much about falling on hard conditions or bundling up for cold temperatures. It’s comfortable!”

Here are some snowmaking facts, provided by MSIA:

  • 28˚F is the “magic number” for snowmaking.  When the temperatures drop below this mark, you can be sure Michigan ski areas are making snow.
  • 10 inches of natural snow, when packed, usually adds only one inch of snow to the ski slope’s base while 10 inches of man-made snow adds seven inches of base.  Man-made snow is denser and more durable.
  • For every 10-degree temperature drop, snowmakers can double the output of machine-made snow.
  • Humidity is a factor as well.  The lower the humidity, the better for making snow.  If you add the temperature plus the humidity, that sum should equal less than 100 for favorable snowmaking weather. 

Crystal Mountain has 59 downhill runs (27 lit for night skiing), six chairlifts, two magic carpets (surface lifts) and three terrain park areas including the Pumping Service Pump Track.

Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA) was formed in 1991 as the trade association for the ski and snowboard industry in Michigan. The main purpose is to increase awareness of snowsports such as skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing in Michigan and to introduce new individuals to the sport.

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About Crystal Mountain:

Established in 1956, Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, four-season resort destination located 28 miles southwest of Traverse City and a short drive from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The 1,500-acre resort features lodging, dining, downhill and cross-country skiing, two championship golf courses, shopping, award-winning Crystal Spa, Michigan’s only alpine slide, Peak Fitness, the Park at Water’s Edge, Michigan Legacy Art Park, weddings, a conference center, and real estate options.

Media Contact:

Brittney Primeau
Director of Communications
D: 231.378.2091
BrittneyPrimeau@CrystalMountain.com

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