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Why Can't They Blow Powder Snow?

Ask Dr. Flake
posted: 11/05/2003

Think about it. If men could create powder, they wouldn't be men anymore. They'd be gods! Pagan idols, at worst. Okay, the brief and (sort of) scientific answer: Resort water is too wet to make dry powder. The liquid at resorts squirts through a hose from pond to snow gun. Whereas Alta's clouds, for example, traverse hundreds of miles of Great Basin desert, all the while drying to five-percent water density. You tell me which is going to produce heavenly dandruff. That said, man-made flakes have improved vastly in the last couple decades: Snow guns now mix water with a bacteria byproduct that speeds crystallization of the droplets, thus producing more snow for a given amount of water, and hence, drier pellets. v

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