Snow making & ski run preparation!

There are 5 snow groomers in operation in the Ehrwalder Alm, 2 of which have cable winches. These are in use every day during the winter season in order to offer guests the best possible conditions on the slopes. Depending on snow and weather conditions, our colleagues prepare the slopes in the evenings after the close of business and otherwise they start work at 4.00am  in the morning!

There are times when guests describe the ski runs as 'bad'. Generally speaking this is not due to bad preparation but rather to outside influences! In spite of very careful work, lumpy slopes, icy tracks und slush influence the preparation work which is also very dependant on snow and weather conditions, particularly the pervading temperatures. In addition to these factors the number of skiers and also their skiing abilities play a very large part! 

Fresh snow falls

 

When fresh snow falls overnight the snow groomers are in operation from 4.00am to ensure that the slopes are properly prepared, however the new snow does not have time to bond with the old snow before the start of business at 8.30am and so the slopes will appear very soft. If snowfall continues during the preparation producing another layer of snow, it can appear as though the slopes have not been prepared!

Ski slopes during long periods of fine weather

In spring the snow can become very soft and heavy during the day due to the high temperatures, and this snow is referred to as "slushy". During the night when temperatures fall below freezing again the snow freezes resulting in icy slopes the following morning. If the slopes then freeze again in the evening, prior to preparation, the much hated lumps produced when the snow groomers drive over the snow appear. So you will appreciate that the weather plays a bigger part in the preparation of the slopes than the experience of our colleagues! 

During the day the slopes are not groomed for safety reasons! If the snow groomers are in operation then it will be because they are transporting goods, or being used to rescue injured skiers.

Snow-making

Snow making serves to secure the ski season from Christmas until Easter. Over the past few years it has become increasingly important as, on average, the winters are getting warmer and there is less snow. We are constantly working on creating high quality artificial snow. To do this water and air are mixed and sprayed onto the slopes under high pressure through the smallest nozzles, producing a very fine spray. In order to create artificial snow, a temperature lower than -3°C is required. 

 
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