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So when can we see ski resorts storing snow for next year?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The Russians are doing it. biggrin.gif

http://en.rsport.ru/olympics/20130321/652504255.html



Sochi to Refrigerate 450,000 Cubic Meters of Olympic Snow



MOSCOW, March 21 (R-Sport) - The Alpine skiing resort for the 2014 Sochi Olympics is to refrigerate some 450,000 cubic meters of snow over the summer to guarantee the slopes are covered for the Winter Games, officials said Thursday.

The announcement is an attempt to allay fears that insufficient snowfall and balmy temperatures at the Rosa Khutor venue in the mountains above Sochi could spoil Russia's first Winter Games.

"Storing snow from the 2012-2013 season will allow us to avoid the risk of insufficient natural snow quantities or anomalous temperatures next season," a statement from Rosa Khutor said Thursday.

"The 450,000 cubic meters of 'last year's' snow is the volume that will guarantee the necessary covering on the slopes of Rosa Khutor, even in the worst weather conditions," it added.

The snow is to be stored in seven special on-site reservoirs, the largest of which has a capacity of 100,000 cubic meters, the company said, at a cost of 250 million rubles ($8 million).

The weather concerns were compounded this winter with unseasonably warm temperatures forcing the cancellation of several test events including stages of the Cup of Russia Nordic combined event and the slopestyle disciplines of the freestyle World Cup, a new event in the Olympic program.

More than two dozen medal sets are on offer across Alpine skiing and freestyle skiing and snowboard events at Rosa Khutor during the Games, which start February 7.

The Olympic skiing courses will total 20 kilometers in length, while the resort is designed to accommodate 10,000 spectators.
post #2 of 12

I wonder how they prevent it from eventually just becoming a big block of ice in the reservoirs.  

post #3 of 12

Pretty crazy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylrwnzl View Post

I wonder how they prevent it from eventually just becoming a big block of ice in the reservoirs.  

 

Probably why it's being stored in a bunch of smaller facilities rather than one huge chunk.  If it's not piled too deeply and the temperature is stable I would think it shouldn't compact too much.

post #4 of 12

I've seen folks toss a truck of bagged ice through a wood chipper to cover a small hill with snow for sledding in the middle of August..

post #5 of 12
I wonder if it wouldn't be more economical to ship snow in from somewhere else, as needed, if needed.
post #6 of 12

It is pretty damn impressive what they have in store to battle mother nature.  Massive snow making system, chemical/warm snow technology, snow storage, cloud seeding.  If the Olympics fails next year it won't be for lack of trying.

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

I've seen folks toss a truck of bagged ice through a wood chipper to cover a small hill with snow for sledding in the middle of August..

450,000 cubic meters would require some majorly industrial sized stump grinders.  

 

The ice-house concept was used by people thousands of years ago.  Same idea, just taken to a grander scale.

post #8 of 12

who pays for that electricity bill?
 

post #9 of 12

Kinda like the french covering the  rognon glacier off the top of the Grands Montets in Chamonix with tarps 2 years ago.

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by core2 View Post

It is pretty damn impressive what they have in store to battle mother nature.  Massive snow making system, chemical/warm snow technology, snow storage, cloud seeding.  If the Olympics fails next year it won't be for lack of trying.

Yup, it will just be for poor venue selection if they are affraid of not having enough snow. I think the fact that they have to do this shows they chose a poor location for a world class event.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ewok View Post


Yup, it will just be for poor venue selection if they are affraid of not having enough snow. I think the fact that they have to do this shows they chose a poor location for a world class event.

It can just be that the weather sucks in a particular year.


Cypress had to truck and fly in a TON of snow for Vancouver 2010. It just happened to be the dryest year in absolutely AGES that year. Doesn't mean it was a bad choice, it just means that the weather wasn't lucky. Russia's probably learning from that experience now and getting ready just in case. Every resort can have a bad year, it's the thing about doing a sport that relies heavily on cooperative weather patterns.

post #12 of 12
I suppose, but most can agree snowfall around whistler is usually not an issue, and from what I've read about Sochi (from the Internets, so taken with a grain of salt) is that it's had quite a few years of less than ideal snow. I wish them well and hope it works out, and must give them an A for effort for saving some snow for next year.
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