Aside from recent snowmaking expansion projects (linked below), Eaglecrest’s water pipeline is over 40 years old, badly corroded, and relies on gravity-fed pressure from Cropley Lake. We’re now in the process of replacing nearly one mile of old pipeline with steel pipe that’s twice as thick, epoxy coated, and able to withstand mechanized water pressure.
The new pipe will run from the valve center at the top of Log Jam, down to the base of Ptarmigan, and over to the Porcupine Learning Area. In the next couple of years, we’ll add a Log Jam pump house, which will pressurize the pipeline and make Eaglecrest’s entire lower mountain snowmaking efforts incredibly more robust and efficient.
Mountain operations staff are using the deep spring snowpack to transport the pipeline in welded sections from the Ptarmigan base further up the mountain. The snow is an almost frictionless surface that makes the project much easier to accomplish with snowcats while also minimizing impacts on the muskeg and vegetation below.
In each of the last three winters, snowmaking improvements have helped Eaglecrest open earlier, stay open longer, and bridge the snowfall gap between the middle and lower mountain. As always, our goal is to provide affordable and dependable winter operations to the people of Juneau and Southeast Alaska. We are excited to learn, improve, and grow in the years to come!