Snowmaking for Scottish ski resort

6th December 2017, by Abi Butcher

CairnGorm Mountain is trialling the revolutionary Snowfactory technology this winter

CairnGorm Mountain is trialling the revolutionary Snowfactory technology this winter

CairnGorm Mountain in Scotland will be using artificial snowmaking this winter — but snowmaking with a revolutionary difference, that can be used at almost any outdoor temperature.

A temporary “Snowfactory”, unit housing snowmaking technology by South Tyrol company TechnoAlpin, is this week being installed next to the Day Lodge building at CairnGorm Mountain. The snowmaking technology will be trialled for two months, and if successful then CairnGorm will look at installing it permanently. Highland Council have granted permission for the Snowfactory to remain on site for one year.

Snowmaking technology usually requires cold temperatures. The system used in Val d’Isère, one of Europe’s largest snowmaking operations, cannot be put into action until temperatures hit -2c, and even then it will not produce optimal amounts of snow because the water used in the cannons will not freeze properly. Temperatures of -6c are optimal.

But TechnoAlpin Snowfactory technology can produce 45 tons of snow a day at virtually any outdoor temperature and should vastly improve CairnGorm’s forecast for this winter. Over the 2016/17 season the Scottish ski resort was open for only 32 ski days.

Adam Gough from CairnGorm Mountain Ltd explained: “After a poor winter season last year in terms of snowfall this new technology could really transform our winter sport offering.
“We have been in discussions with TechnoAlpin for a while and the company also welcomed us for a site visit earlier this year so that we could see the technology in action. Being able to trial the Snowfactory for two months is crucial to understanding whether this is a viable option for the resort in the long term.”

Earlier this year the Scottish ski resort of Glencoe successfully crowdfunded to purchase a Snowfactory.


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