By

Madeline Pierce

Madeline Pierce won the 2021 Colorado Ski Country USA Double Diamond Award for Snowmaker of the Year. Photo from Copper Mountain Resort

By Antonio Olivero, Summit Daily News

Despite her youth, Madeline Pierce’s passion and dedication for snowmaking helped the 22-year-old Copper Mountain Resort snowmaker win the 2021 Colorado Ski Country Double Diamond Snowmaker of the Year award.

“I’m honored, and I’m really excited, and I think it’s very special because as snowmakers, being behind the scenes, we don’t receive a lot of recognition,” Pierce said.

A native of the tiny town of Piseco in the heart of New York’s Adirondack State Park, Pierce has been drawn to snowmaking since, at the age of 11, she saw the craft for the first time at Oak Mountain Ski Center in Speculator, New York.

It was at Oak Mountain’s family-friendly, 650-vertical drop ski hill where Pierce learned how to ski before working her first volunteer job as a pre-teen helping children put on their ski boots. Just a few years later, she was a part of the ski area’s snowmaking team running and operating snow guns on a property Pierce said was a fiftieth the size of Copper Mountain. But it was a start.

On the recommendation of Oak Mountain owners Matt and Laura O’Brien, Pierce made the move out to Copper to study ski area management and operations at Colorado Mountain College Leadville. Pierce didn’t expect to be signed on to work as a snowmaker at Copper at 18, but she was, thanks in part to her unique snowmaking experience at Oak Mountain. Read more