It's not a scoop, at the end of winter the snow... melts. Unless... you keep it!
There is no question here of equipping ourselves with giant refrigerators to make the white gold last. A 100% natural and regional material is more than enough: by covering the snow with sawdust, it resists heat and can be preserved for many months. This is the technique of "snowfarming" which allows the snow to be used from one winter to the next, isolating it from the ambient air and the summer sun thanks to a clever mixture of sawdust.
In Bessans, between January and March 2022, 16,000 m3 were stored near the biathlon stadium. Chosen for its naturally cold and shaded environment and its proximity to the area to be snowed, this location proved its worth in 2018, a test year for snow storage and the launch of snowfarming. A process for reusing snow that has been under study in Bessans, in Haute Maurienne Vanoise, for over 10 years!
Only store artificial snow!
It compacts more easily to keep better.
- 16 000 m3 : the volume of snow stored in Bessans between February and April 2022
- 30 to 50 cm: the thickness of sawdust covering the snow pile
- 23%: the estimated melt during the storage period
- 1 week: the time needed to remove the sawdust and prepare the track.
- 3.5 km: the planned length of the runway open from November 5, 2022. Depending on weather conditions, the runway length will increase rapidly.