With nothing but clear skies in the alpine and persistent valley fog under an inversion this past week, claiming 5cm of new snow seemed at first just typical marketing BS by Red Mountain Resort, or perhaps a new policy to count the results of snow-making into their results. But the weird thing is, there actually is that much new snow all around the base area. I did some research into what might might be going on, and the closest I tell is that we’re experiencing unusually heavy pogonip. The word pogonip is a meteorological term used to describe an uncommon occurrence: frozen fog. The word was coined by Native Americans to describe the frozen fogs of fine ice needles that occur in the mountain valleys of the western United States in December. Interestingly researchers in the UK found that most cases of the frozen fog were linked to some sort of human activity, like a local factory or plant–that released moisture into the freezing sky and that became snow. Given that Red’s snow making guns have been running 24/7 of late, it’s not that much of a stretch to conclude that in these atmospheric conditions, Red’s snow making is seeding the fog and actually producing snowfall across a much wider area than ever intended.