Up until this year, 2014, we have had a lack of snow each winter in Maryland. Of course, the year I move to California, Maryland receives more snow than it has had in over a decade. The last time we had a significant snowing was in 2010 when we had a couple of storms that brought us around 24+ inches. There was also enough cold days this year (2014) for me to build an entire park in my backyard.
I’m sure you are wondering, “What is this guy talking about…? Build a park?”. I will elaborate. I wasn’t always able to make it to the slopes with my younger brothers, so I wanted a way to bring the slopes to us. One of my loves that I share with them is Snowboarding. Working full-time and going to school full-time never allowed me to really take a full day to go to the slopes, so I found a way to make our own snow, since it rarely was snowing for us back east or when it did snow there was only enough to glaze over the yard.
I found plans online on how to make a snow-maker at a reasonable price. You have got to love the internet! The nozzles were cheap. The most expensive part was the water pressure washer, which was about $300. It also required an air compressor. I found a decent one for about $200. Everyone pitched in, which made it reasonable.
We also built a box to slide on and a drop in for speed since we didn’t live on a hill with a steep grade. Overall, it was a great investment and we had tons of fun building with it and riding it when the conditions were good.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take many pictures, but I do have some video. In this video we had about an inch of snow the night before, so we started to build onto it from early that morning since it was cold enough outside.
We ran it until that evening. It gave us about a good 2-3 inch packed cover over 50 x 25 yards, just enough for our purposes. Here is a short video of us testing it out that evening.
Too bad this will remain a thing of the past, but for those that have questions on how to replicate this, I would be more than happy to answer any questions. There were a few obstacles that we ran into, such as ensuring you have the correct air / water (mist) mixture to form good snow.
www.snowathome.com/free_plans.php – Here is the link to the plans I found to make the snow-maker’s head nozzle. I made the SG2 Combo snowmaker, but with a higher pressure range on both the pressure washer and the air compressor to have a higher output of snow.
www.snowathome.com/snowmaking_weather_tools.php – This tool is very helpful. Since the conditions have to be just right, we kept an eye on our area with email alerts through this tool.