China Peak may soon be open to skiers from Thanksgiving

The ski season at China Peak ends on Easter Sunday.

It's been an extra-long ski season, which started before Christmas.

And a big project costing the company millions will soon be underway to get the slopes open even earlier every year.

It's a new snow-making system, John Hodges, the director of mountain operations, explains.

"We are going to be creating more snow, we are looking to make snow on 155 acres of open terrain everywhere from beginner, to advanced runs."

The key to doing that will be installing thousands of feet of new pipe to carry water to nearly all of the slopes. The water is then shot through these machines, mixed with compressed air and if it's cold and dry enough outside, it will come down as snow.

In the first phase of the multimillion-dollar project, the water to make the snow will initially come from a creek. It's possible later phases may draw some water from nearby Huntington Lake.

"The good thing about it too, is we are pulling water out of our source here, but more than 85% of that water is going to end back up in our local spots, our local creek, our local lake. We aren't actually taking it, we are just borrowing it," says Hodges.

Installation of the additional pumps and piping is expected to start this summer. The project will increase the current snowmaking coverage by at least ten times. The goal is to give skiers and snowboarders more time to hit the slopes.
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