Courchevel is the latest resort to announce it is giving snow farming a go – storing snow from one season in order to use it the next.
In Courchevel’s case 20,000m3 of snow is being stored beneath a huge 1,800m2 tarpaulin stretched over the resort’s slalom stadium.
The technique has been used by resorts including Geilo in Norway, Ruka in Finland and Kitzbuhel in Austria in order to open terrain early the following autumn in September or October by spreading the saved snow out over the slopes.
In Courchevel’s case the lift company’s objective is to use the snow for preparation of the Émile-Allais stadium where the Women’s Alpine Skiing World Cup will be staged.
The aim is to spread the snow back out over an area of 60,000m3 this autumn.
A Courchevel statement describes the process as “economical and ecological” however new management at Geilo, which has been opening a run in late September the past few seasons thanks to the technique, say for them it is not that cheap to do and that they’ll be discontinuing snow farming this summer.