Technical snow-making

Artificial snow is made from nothing but water and air.

To make snow, water is not consumed – it is only transformed.

In order to protect the natural water reserves, reservoirs are built to carefully and sustainably collect melt water and rain throughout the year. Large quantities of melt water and rain accumulate mainly in spring and summer. This water is then re-used later in the year, meaning that most of the melt water of the skiing resort is recycled.

When the snow melts, the reservoirs reduce a process called water drainage, helping to prevent floods and mudflows. The water collected in the reservoirs is also used for fire-fighting and soil irrigation.

The technicians operating a snow gun or cannon are true snow experts: They are in complete charge of the technical equipment and ensure that the snow-making machines run smoothly 24/7.

Snow-makers "spray" (pulverise or nebulise) airborne water droplets at a pressure of 20 to 80 bar. However, the water does not freeze immediately: Just like in nature, a snow core (nucleus) needs to form first. These nuclei then turn into snow crystals. To read more about this process, check out the Snowflakes section. Snow makers mix the air and very fine water droplets under great pressure. When they enter into contact with the cold air, these particles become solid and transform into snowflakes.

To make technical snow, the air temperature must be between -2° and -12°C, and the humidity level must be at about 20%.

Thanks to technical snow-making, ski resorts can guarantee plenty of snow and beautiful slopes.

Information provided by TechnoAlpin
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