On your summer holiday or while hiking in Jasná in the area of Koliesko, under the ski piste of Biela Púť, you will probably be surprised by a huge heap of snow. Read what is hidden inside and why the resort has decided to create it.
It is very common in ski resort abroad but in Slovakia, this is the first experiment of storing snow for the next ski season.
As our resort is organising the Alpine Skiing World Cup on 27th and 28th February 2021, we have decided to test the snow storing method in order to be prepared for all possibilities if we needed snow. There are several different angles that snow storing can be viewed from. As for the ecological aspect, it saves water and electricity that would be needed to produce man-made snow in the following ski season. It enables the resort to get ready for the season already in early winter and to guarantee the best conditions for skiers as it can be helpful in bad weather conditions at the season beginning. And last but not least, snow storing might save the costs related to snow making which is a rather expensive process. The stored amount of snow should be enough to cover the piste of Biela Púť.
Martin Kupčo, the chief of the snow making and piste grooming team in Jasná explained that 5,000 cubic metres of snow had been brought by snow grooming machines from neighbouring pistes to a shaded slope section in April. There is no vegetation, only rocks in shadows where almost no sunrays get through so superfluous water is drained into the surface without causing erosion. The snow layer is about 15 metres big. The giant heap was covered with three protective layers. Geotextile was the first, followed by a special UV plastic film which isolates the snow from rain and the third layer was geotextile fabric again which cools the snow when wet, i.e. serves as a “natural fridge” and helps the snow persist longer. The giant heap of stored snow was injected with water after each 1-meter layer to be better preserved and “conserved”.
The natural fridge area was chosen very carefully. There is no vegetation, only rocks in shadows where almost no sunrays get through and a drainage system had been created in the past there so superfluous water is flowing away into the surface without causing erosion.
“The experiment would be considered successful if at least 50 - 70 % of the stored snow volume was preserved,” added Martin Kupčo.
This is the first time that the natural fridge system has been used in Slovakia but in the world, it has been quite common in ski resorts such as Kitzbűhl, Zagreb or Levi, which are lower located.
Jasná has decided to try the snow storing experiment because of the planned Alpine Skiing World Cup in order to guarantee flawless conditions for the female skiing elite. The World Cup races are scheduled for 27th and 28th February 2021 in Jasná, with slalom and giant slalom again, which is the same combination of disciplines as in March 2016, when Jasná was hosting the world-class event after a long break again.
Photo gallery World Cup Jasná 2016