Mt Van Hoevenberg Sustainability
Snowmaking efficiency is an ongoing sustainability priority at Mt Van Hoevenberg. We focus on goals that include reducing energy and water use while creating excellent snow surfaces for our cross country skiers. An example of this is using soft starters and variable frequency drives (VFD) for pumps and compressors. VFDs only use the power necessary to meet the demands at that time. Traditional snow guns have been replaced with modernized, high-efficiency guns, which make more snow in less time, using less energy and water. The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system controls much of the equipment associated with snowmaking.
The Pisten Bully 600 E+ – the cleanest, quietest snow groomer on earth! Equipped with a diesel-electric drive designed to maximize efficiency, LED lighting, and precise hydraulics, it is the most efficient, economical, and sustainable of its kind. The 600 E+ shows a 20% reduction in noise and 20% less fuel consumption than traditional grooming tractors. Less fuel consumption reduces the carbon dioxide emissions, promotes a longer range of operation, and reduces fuel costs. You can find these big, green machines grooming your favorite slopes at Whiteface Mountain, Gore Mountain, Belleayre Mountain, and Mt Van Hoevenberg. The system maximizes energy efficiency by calculating the point at which the diesel engine can provide the required output with optimum fuel consumption, assessing variables such as slope gradient, speed, and hydraulic tiller output. Operation always remains at the lowest possible engine speed, combined with high utilization in the optimal speed range. The electric engine component provides high torque, even in low operating speeds. The Diesel-electric drive complies with the most stringent set of emission standards for off-road machinery in the world, the recently implemented European Union (EU) Stage V non-road emission standards, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 standards.
EV Charging Stations have been installed at Mt Van Hoevenberg lot C. These dual-port, Level 2 EV Chargers provide EV owners and patrons with a place to charge while they enjoy our facilities. Since the very first EV chargers were installed at Gore Mountain, our facility’s EV chargers have helped to avoid over 48,000 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions. Mt Van Hoevenberg has nine EV charging stations in Parking Lot C.
Over the past few years, the Olympic Authority has implemented a green heat initiative at all facilities by switching from fuel oil to propane to heat buildings. The benefits of switching are more than just versatility and cost savings. Oil leaks are complicated and expensive to clean. When heating oil is burned, it produces carbon, one of the main greenhouse gases that contributes to global warming. Propane is clean-burning and produces far fewer emissions than oil because of its low carbon content. Propane is also safer for the surrounding environment as it is non-toxic and non-caustic and will not create an environmental hazard if released as a liquid or vapor into the water or soil.
Through all recent building and lighting upgrades at Olympic Authority facilities, previously standard fluorescent and incandescent lighting has been replaced with LED technology. LED technology is highly energy-efficient and uses 75 percent less energy than traditional lighting. It also provides our teams with the ability to control light direction and intensity and thereby reduce light pollution while maximizing efficiency.
Several Olympic Authority Venues have PBS certificates from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for both underground and aboveground fuel storage tanks. The overall goal is to completely phase out, close and remove underground tanks from facilities. Since 2017, a total of 27 tanks have been removed from our facilities. Routine monitoring is required for tanks to ensure lines undergo pressure testing and leak detection monitoring equipment is up to par. The DEC conducts an annual inspection and compliance review of the tanks at each Venue. Mt Van Hoevenberg no longer has any underground tanks storing petroleum in bulk.
The Mountain Pass Lodge offers composting bins in an overall effort to reduce and divert waste from the waste stream. The Venue started providing compost bins in 2022 through a local composting service: Blue Line Compost.
The Mt Van Hoevenberg East Trail is one of the newest trails in the 6 million acres of Adirondack Park, built to the highest standard of sustainability, with bench cuts into the hillside. The trail will avoid erosion and keep you on its path. Naturally shedding water, it has flat, low, rise stone stairs, easy switchbacks, and is well-drained for longevity. Of the thousands of miles of hiking trails in the Adirondack Park, Mt Van Hoevenberg East is a trail that sets the standard for the future of trail building.