Every skier hopes that next ski season will start early. Normally December is the month when it starts but there are no guarantees. Smaller ski resorts that do not have so much natural snow sometimes need a backup.
When December comes and the ski season is close to its opening time, it is great to have some snow saved. Why is it so and how can it be realized? We will try to explain it for you.
We have been looking at one of some smaller ski resorts in Sweden. It is Ulricehamn, around 400 km north from southern Sweden. Somehow the weather there is not the perfect one. There is often snow but we can never trust that it will be enough. It is not cold enough as in e.g. Branäs, Sälen, Kungsberget, Stöten and Åre so there are no guarantees.
Let us go back to the closing time for a ski season. In Ulricehamn the ski resort employees collect as much as possible remaining snow. They put it on at least one big snow pile. (Around 10 000–20 000 cubic meter) What happens next?
Well, the snow melts when it is warmer than zero degree. It melts faster when it is higher temperature. Therefore, there is one technique that can help preventing this from being too much.
The snow gets covered by sawdust and also some geotextile clothes. When the snow melts below this the water evaporates and creates a cooling effect that contributes slower melting.
Saving snow like this makes it possible to start the coming ski season with a stable and durable ground for new snow that will be used for creating ski pistes.