Kincaid Park Prepares for Snowmaking
First time for popular cross-country ski area
ANCHORAGE - It's been cold enough for snow this month, but Mother Nature hasn't been delivering.
Now that could be changing.
She may be getting some help in the form of man-made snow at Kincaid Park.
Snowmaking has been a reality for years at Hilltop and Alyeska ski areas. So if the snow didn't fall from the sky you could rely on the manmade variety to get in your turns.
Cross-country skiers haven't been so lucky. They've always had to rely on Mother Nature. But the wait may soon be over.
Discussions on snowmaking in Kincaid Park began in 2003.
“Everybody's been excited about it since we first started talking about it years ago. You know, most years we've had snow by now. You know, weeks before now. So this is the year where it's kind of coming home. If we had snowmaking it would be great. We would be skiing out here,” said Executive Director Diane Moxness of the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage.
The snowmaking project has been headed up by Kincaid Project Group, which hoped to have snowmaking ready to go in 2011, but ran into unforeseen delays.
Things are back on track and the group began finishing up the snowmaking project this June and will begin testing the system this week.
“We won't know at all if everything will work until they test the water line, testing on the air line, all the electrical; they're computerized so the computer programs have to work correctly. And so all of that has to fit together before we put water in the lines to see if those guns will work,” said Dick Mize with the Kincaid Project Group.
Once the system passes all the tests, snow will be blown on a three-kilometer loop in the park as well as on the sledding hill.
This will be a big benefit for the community and the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage, which will run and maintain the system.
“We would be able to put on races… have an assurance that we could put on races. Most of the big national races are held in places that have snowmaking now because there is no guarantee anywhere in the world that you will have snow on any given day,” said Moxness.
The NSAA said this past Saturday’s biathlon race ended up being a running race instead of a skiing one due to the lack of snow.
If the snowmaking system passes all the tests we should be seeing snow in the park by the end of the week.
Besides snowmaking, the Kincaid Project Group also oversaw the creation of the disc golf course, soccer fields, & biathlon range.
The entire project cost just over $12 million.