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Edmonton Nordic Ski Club is pleased to announce the completion of our Snowmaking Project!

As part of the approved operational plan, snowmaking could begin as early as November 1, though all snowmaking operations are weather dependent and rely on consistent temperatures below -5°C.

It is anticipated that the time required to make a sufficient snow base is approximately 240 hours. Snowmaking operations may take place at any time that the weather permits, and may start or cease depending on weather conditions except in the areas at the top of bank that are close to the residential area. Operations in these areas will be minimized to daytime and evening hours, with no snowmaking occurring outside park hours.

What you may encounter during snowmaking:

  • Park users may encounter some trail disruption at times after November 1
  • Signs and detours will be posted and any disruptions will be short term
  • Some noise from equipment may be heard during park hours
  • Piles of snow that are waiting to be moved into place

Please keep away from the snowmaking equipment. Keep to designated detour routes and follow posted signage.

The successful completion of the snowmaking project will allow for a solid snow base and potential supplemental snow, ensuring all users of the ski trails have the best possible ski conditions regardless of the seasonal weather conditions.

What is the snowmaking line at Gold Bar Park?

The snowmaking lines are buried utility lines that supply the electricity and water for the snow making machine.

What will the additional making of snow do for the cross country skiing experience?

The project will provide Edmonton residents with consistent, high quality cross country ski trails at Gold Bar Park. The snowmaking infrastructure will allow Edmonton Nordic Ski Club to create a solid snow base earlier in the cross country ski season which will ensure cross country skiing is supported throughout the winter months.

When did the project start and finish?

The Edmonton Nordic Ski Club snow making project has been in progress since 2007. The City worked with Edmonton Nordic on a business case in 2009. The City supported the project in 2012 through a Community Facility Partner Capital Grant ($369,543). Project construction started in the Summer of 2015. A number of delays were experienced by the group, pushing project completion into 2016.

Where is the line located?

There are two lines:

  • The blue line runs along the 50 Street loop ski trail which runs parallel to 109A Ave/43rd Street between 46 Street and 108 Avenue
  • The red line runs parallel to the walking path on the north side of the park from the parking lot to the east side of the lake
What does the equipment include?

Infrastructure includes:

  • One snowmaking machine or “gun”.
  • Two snowmaking lines—buried under the ground
  • Nine hydrants with electrical pedestals—above ground (5 on the blue line, 4 on the red line Booster Pump Station)
When does the trail open and snowmaking begin?

Weather depending, sometime after November 11. Snow can be machine made at temperatures below 0°C; ideal air temperature is below -5°C for several consecutive days.

Snowmaking can only happen as weather permits and will be allowed during park hours (5am-11pm); however, snowmaking in areas above the bank near neighbourhood homes in Areas #B2, B3 , B4 may only happen between the hours of 8am-8pm.

Who makes the snow?

Edmonton Nordic Ski Club trained personnel will be operating the machine.

How does the water line and snow gun work?

A snowmaking machine breaks the water into small particles, cools the water to 0°C and removes the heat of fusion, and nucleates.  

Potable water within the lines is pressurized to about 3 times the normal pressure in the park. The pressurized water is mixed with compressed air through a series of nozzles where it nucleates and creates crystals. A large fan within the “gun” pushes the air water mix into the ambient air, where it falls to the ground in a manner similar to natural snow.

Because the man made snow falls from a shorter distance than natural snow, it contains more water. Therefore, the piles of snow need to sit for a short time before being moved into place.

How much noise does the snow gun make?

Amount of noise is at 76 dB measured 25 feet from the discharge of the machine, which compares to a vacuum cleaner. At 200 feet, 62 dB is measured, which is about the volume of a conversation.

What are the safety procedures to warn trail users?

Emergency preparedness and procedures are outlined in an Operations and Maintenance plan which is part of Edmonton Nordic Ski Club’s Maintenance Agreement for operating the snowmaking system. Pylons and signs will be posted around the snow maker when it is running. Edmonton Nordic Ski Club personnel will be supervising the machine while it is running. Trail signs will be posted warning of snowmaking in the area.

For More Information

Edmonton Nordic Ski Club


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