Lonely Planet Writer

Could this snow-making machine see us skiing into the summer months?

We all know the disappointment of being in a ski resort where there is insufficient snow, but a new snow-making machine that works at above-zero temperatures could see the traditional ski season being extended for longer, even into the summer months. The Snowfactory machine, which is currently being trialled at Boreal Mountain Resort, a ski resort in California, is being used to form lift-accessed terrain park features, including jumps and rails, for action sports camps at the resort for skiers and snowboarders.

 

According to its makers, The Italian company TechnoAlpin, The Snowfactory is not intended as a substitute for classic snow-making systems but works in addition to conventional snow guns. It claims that as Nordic centres are often situated in areas that are too warm for the snow-making systems, the machine provides greater ability to plan as it can make snow at any temperature. As some resorts struggle to maintain snow cover throughout the season, particularly on lower slopes, it will provide extra coverage and this will be useful for events and races where a level of coverage needs to be assured.

The Snowfactory machine makes snow for ski resorts. Image: TechnoAlpin
The Snowfactory machine makes snow for ski resorts. Image: TechnoAlpin

In its promotional video, the company recommends The Snowfactory as a means of opening ski resorts earlier and enhancing profits for owners. If successful, it may be a way of providing a wider choice of resorts, which will appeal to resorts with lower ski areas who are looking to compete with high altitude resorts with glaciers, who tend to open the earliest at present.

Ski-ing at the Boreal Mountain Resort in California. Image: Boreal Mountain Resort
Ski-ing at the Boreal Mountain Resort in California. Image: Boreal Mountain Resort