Golden Peak

Vail, Colorado

Objectives and Solutions

Vail Mountain teamed up with experts from SMI and Torrent Engineering & Equipment to design and construct an extensive automated snowmaking upgrade that brought outstanding early-season coverage to the alpine race-course.

Results were so positive that the Golden Peak race training area was in use even before the general mountain opening, allowing Olympic racers such as Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn to train early and often. Getting a head start on building the terrain park and Golden Peak half-pipe also allowed the area to be one of just a handful of U.S. resorts that had a fully open half-pipe before Christmas.

m3/hr auto pump station
m3/h4 water cooling
auto Super PoleCats
SMI Snowflake


  • a 460 m3/hr (2,000 gpm) fully automated Torrent VFD pumping station
  • water cooling towers with 230 m3/hr (1,000 gpm) capacity that helped lower early season water temperatures from around 7.8 °C to 1.1 °C (46 F to 34 F)
  • a prefabricated pump building
  • two electrical transformers
SMI Snowflake


  • powered by SMI’s proprietary SmartSnow software
  • controlled via radio communication
SMI Snowflake


  • 27 fully automated Super PoleCats installed
  • more than 1,067 meters (3,500 feet) of water pipe to feed the new snowmaking network

"Our collaboration with SMI has delivered the snowmaking performance we needed, and also brought the benefits of energy efficiency, quiet operation and environmental stewardship."