How Lead Snowmaker Ian Newcombe Makes it Snow at Winsport's Canada Olympic Park

Plus, ways to enjoy that snow this season.

Photograph courtesy of WinSport


For 15 winter seasons, Ian Newcombe has made it snow at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, allowing riders to jet down the hill at high velocity. Ninety-nine per cent of the snow at the park is artificial by Newcombe’s estimate, and as soon as the temperature sustains below zero he and his crew mobilize.

“We need 25 periods of 24 hours to make all the snow we need across the hill. We will make snow 24 hours a day, seven days a week if the weather allows us to.

“[The term] ‘artificial snow’ is kind of funny because it is actually real snow; it’s just made out of a machine. We have high-pressure air and water and we pump the water through a snow gun. We add an additive called Snomax — it’s kind of like the nucleus of a snowflake — which then allows us to build real snowflakes. So we break that water down through high-pressure nozzles and the air helps disperse those water particles to make them even smaller. They freeze, and then they drop and make snow.”


Keen on fully embracing that snow? Here are some ways to utilize Winsport Olympic Park's snowy hills this season: 


Acura Tube Park Calgary

No finesse is necessary to enjoy the Tube Park; simply hop on a tube and try to get as much speed as possible as you hurtle down the hill.
Cost: Adults $28; $21 seniors and youth; $10 children five and under. Family rates also available.
Dates: Open Thursdays through Sundays during winter season, times vary.


Winter Season Passes

If you plan to spend a lot of time at the discovery park, the main hill, the terrain park and the Under Armour halfpipe, then consider buying a winter season pass. Passes also allow for discounts on certain WinSport retail merchandise, Snow School lessons and certain food and beverage options.
Cost: Adults $549; youth $389; pre-school children $60; seniors $189; families $1,249.
 Dates: 2017/18 winter season.


WinSport Snow School

If you're a new skier or snowboarder, you may want to book a lesson with the Snow School. Those looking to improve on a base skill set are also welcome at the Snow School. Book in a group or for private lessons.
Cost: Prices vary depending on class.
Dates: Throughout the 2017/18 winter season.

This article appears in the January 2018 issue of Avenue Calgary. Subscribe here. 


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