Grooming the Trails at Yawgoo

Surprisingly, it doesn't matter much to them whether it snows.


Published:

The view from inside the groomer at Yawgoo.

The sun has yet to rise over the Yawgoo Valley, but Clay Hartman is already hard at work.

He’s the maintenance manager at Rhode Island’s only ski park, and he and the staff are scrambling to get the slopes ready for the 1,800 kids who will soon start their five-week skiing and snowboarding program. Each morning, Hartman and another employee clamber into machines called groomers and criss cross the trails, methodically smoothing them out for that day’s skiing and snowboarding.

So far, the weather hasn’t been cooperative this season, says his wife, Tracy, who oversees marketing for Yawgoo. Though they got at least nine inches in the recent storm, natural snow doesn’t last very long, Hartman says.  

“When it’s in people’s yards, it gets them excited to go skiing,” Hartman says. “They don’t realize when we get a snowstorm, it doesn’t affect our product.”

That’s where their fifteen portable snow makers come in. They pump water from a pond to the snow makers, which spray fine particles into the cold air. But the conditions have to be right. The temperature’s got to be below twenty-eight degrees (the colder, the better) so the water can freeze before it hits the ground.  

“Everybody thinks that they make snow,” Hartman says of the red machines. “They just spray water and the air makes the snow.”

Yawgoo’s already open for skiing, but they need to make more a lot more snow to create the chutes for the tubing hill. They’re hoping to open that by next week.

Yawgoo Valley Ski Area and Sports Park, 160 Yawgoo Valley Road, Exeter. For skiing, call 294-3802.


If you’re into this blog wait until you see what’s inside Rhode Island Monthly each month.
Only $1.50 per issue when you sign up for a year. Visit the Subscription Center.


 



 

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

You might enjoy reading...

Winter is Better at Roger Williams Park Zoo

See some photos and a new video of our furry friends at the zoo.

9 Best Audubon Society Photos of 2014

Do you love outdoor creatures? Check out these winning images snapped by amateur photographers on Audubon refuges throughout Rhode Island.

Six Cheap, Fun(ish) Ways to Reduce Your Electricity Bill

You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape Rhode Island’s electricity hike in 2015, compliments of our friends at National Grid.

See the Night Sky in a Whole New Light

This season brings rewards for astronomers – not just more hours to explore the night sky, but also the chance to glimpse the eerie, elusive glow known as the Zodiacal light.

Fall Foliage Walk in Rhode Island: Swan Point Cemetery

Peep before it all turns brown.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Retro Bowling Alley Opens in Pawtucket
    BreakTime Bowl and Bar takes a cue from the past with 1920s duckpin bowling.
  2. Powerful Women
    Thirty Women with Serious Clout in Rhode Island
  3. Meet the Governor and Enjoy Free Food, Drink and Ice Skating Events
    An open house at the State House includes free samples from Rhode Island’s best restaurants and producers, followed by family ice skating.
  4. The Weekly Round-up: Five Can't-Miss Events
    January 8–14.
  5. The Dish: Ogie's Trailer Park Opens in Providence
    We learned the story behind Providence's hottest new retro hangout.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags