Snowguns fire at Seven Springs Mountain Resort on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021.

CHAMPION, Pa. – Snow is coming down and a new, faster ski lift will be going up for Seven Springs Mountain Resort’s season debut.

Company officials haven’t announced opening dates for two Somerset County ski resorts – but automated “snowguns” were switched on Monday at 2:15 p.m. at Seven Springs and 3:20 p.m. at Hidden Valley, marketing director Alex Moser said.

“The crews will continue to make snow for as long as conditions allow,” Moser said.

Ski and snowboard enthusiasts will notice a big change at Seven Springs this winter.

In the offseason, a “state-of-the-art” quad chairlift was added to replace the original Avalanche lift.

Built to handle 2,400 people per hour – an almost 35% increase – the New Avalanche will carry passengers faster and further – enabling better access to the Slowe Slope and Trail, Moser said.

It’ll climb 492 vertical feet – traveling a few minutes faster than its predecessor, he said.

But “it also has safety bars,” Moser said.

Seven Springs Director of Mountain Operations Joel Rerko said travel time will be 4 minutes and 21 seconds and, in doing so, mean shorter lines.

“We cannot wait to unveil it on opening day” Rerko said.

Opening dates will be announced “soon,” Moser said.

Snowguns are being used to make artificial powder this week at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, thanks to favorable temperatures in the Laurel Highlands.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.

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