Passion with a Little Spice or Somethin': The Life of a Snowmaker

Snowmaking is crucial to making those early season turns happen but what really goes into it? Snowmaking Foreman Michael Ostrout tells us in the latest edition of our Faces of Copper series.

Impatience is a good word to describe the feeling many of us have had the last few months. Summer 2012 was a long one for Colorado and across the nation. With soaring temperatures and little rain, it seemed like it was never ending.  It’s been pretty hard not to dream of the white fluffy goodness that makes us grin ear to ear. Well my friends, those dreams are now a reality. Snowmaking is in full force here at Copper Mountain!

When it comes to the guys and gals making the stuff, snowmaking is more than just laying the foundation for great early season conditions. I had the chance to sit down with Michael Ostrout, Snowmaking Foreman here at Copper Mountain. Before I could even ask him what his official title was, he was smiling so big that the Sun was envious of his brightness. Fresh off the hill with a thin layer of frozen snow on his uniform, Michael told me about how much he loves what he does:

 

 “"My favorite part of the job is the excitement. Being able to ski first, knowing that I made it. Opening trails for the public, being here opening day as a snowmaker, opening Main Vein. The people are so happy and my friends and I are the ones that put it together: the groomers, the snowmakers. It's a really great feeling."”

 

It was quite easy to get lost in his incredible stories of his 9 years on the job and what his position really entails. It’s a whole lot more than moving around guns and checking snow depth:

 

“"It is never the same so I don't know what I'm going to walk into day in and day out, it can be different. Snowmaking is go 1000% from the beginning to the end. There are hiccups in the middle but with those hiccups, we still have to find a solution. That's exciting. We're always trying to bring it all out."”

 

Giving it 1000% all day every day requires some serious dedication and dedication is something that Michael and his crew aren’t lacking.  They are “really extreme people” as he puts it. There’s no arguing there: They work through the tough elements of nature for 12 hours at a time to turn our mountain into a winter wonderland. Thanks to the crew and their tremendous efforts, we are proudly able to say our Opening Day was on November 2nd.

 Fully melted and ready to get back out to tend to the guns, Michael finished up by telling me some things people may not know about snowmakers.  Yes, they are extreme on and off the job but people “might think snowmakers are just regular people but they do have something in them. A little spice or somethin’.”  

For the full rundown on Michael and snowmaking here at Copper, check out this incredible new installment in our Faces of Copper series. Click here for our latest job openings.

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