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Cannons for Snow?

Cannons for Snow?
Cannons for Snow?

More and more ski resorts suffer from lack of snow but none of them is going to give up. New snow cannons are being installed in Engelberg, Switzerland to provide more snow for one of the longest pistes in the Alps.

Snow cannons are machines that make artificial snow from water. They spread small droplets of water at high pressure into cold air where then they turn into snow. The quality of manmade snow differs from the original one as it is not so soft but in any case it is better then nothing. Snow cannons provide ski resorts with snow when the weather conditions are poor or at the very beginning of the season when there is lack of snow.

From the one hand, the cannons are really good for ski resorts as they give them the second life, but from the other hand they do an irreparable harm to the ecology of the mountains. Snow cannons work on water from mountains resources and then need large quantities of electricity. Let’s take Tignes as an example. There are more than 300 snow cannons there that use 3 million kilo watts of energy to produce 900,000 cubic metres of snow.

So, there is still a problem open to discussion how to make snow without doing harm to the environment and be able to ski and snowboard every winter.

Date: 26/08/2007

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