Judith Schmuck

Grandpa, grandpa.... it has snowed!!!

It is here. The eagle has landed. Touchdown. Happy landing. All around Ski amadé, snow is floating down from the sky. Our snow! Finally. Great! Yippee! Waiting for the white flakes gets a little bit harder every year. For every year, a few days earlier than the year before, the chocolate Santa’s are on the shelves in the supermarkets, and this means that we get overly excited with all things to do with winter and Christmas.

Children, pack the ski trousers, it really can’t be much longer. As the calendar is only just showing September, we are aware that the local swimming pool has only just announced its closing day in the local paper......ok then, a little bit of patience is still required.

But the time has nearly arrived. Not only have the ginger bread making machines been getting warmed up already, but also so have the snow canons, which Ski amadé has been well equipped with for many years now. They are switched on as soon as the temperatures drop into the minus in order to guarantee the perfect foundations for the forthcoming season. No one here has a fear of technology, and why should they, as it enables millions of hearts to beat faster and to be fresh faced, even when there is a lack of real snow.

Up until now, I have never asked myself, who invented the snow canon and since when have they been used in the capacity of planning the number of seasonal days in winter sports regions. Like a lot of people, I simply accept it as a matter of fact and do not think a lot about its background. Here is a small trip into the history and discovery world of the snow canon:

The snow canon “somehow just happened.“ Already at the end of the 1940’s, a Canadian research team wanted to test the icing of aeroplane jet engines and sprayed water into a wind channel at low temperatures.  This experiment resulted in an unwanted portion of snow. The idea was born! However it took another ten years until three employees of the American ski producers Tey-Manufacturing, developed the first compressed air snow canon and then in 1954 had it patented. The reason for their eagerness was because of a few snow free winters. Following patent litigations and further developments in this field, another decade on, the propeller snow canon developed into the 70’s lance system, which became used more and more, and this is still the case today.

So whoever believes that everything was better in former times, because there was decent snow every winter and no human help was required to keep the slopes ski fit, is mistaken. Even if the dimensions have grown, because in comparison to before, there are now numerous more lift facilities and ski resorts, the artificial snow trick is seemingly old hat! Almost snow from yesterday!

Believe it or not, 4,000 canons can be used to make artificial snow and in the case of an emergency on over 90% of all slopes in Ski amadé. By the way, using clean water and air according to the Austrian purity law. That is a lot of ammunition which can be used. A wild white western. Bang. Skiing schuss suddenly gets a completely different meaning!

Cheers to technology! Nonetheless, dear Mother Nature let a decent amount of snow fall again this year – because only you can make the really good powder!

Judith Schmuck

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