Preserved snow has become an important part of the snow infrastructure for Levi Ski Resorts. With the help of preserved snow, we can offer our customers the opening of the skiing and cross-country skiing season as early as October. At the beginning of the season, the Front Slope will serve both skiers and alpine groups, as well as freestyle enthusiasts. The skiing and cross-country skiing season continues all the way to mid-May.
Preserved snow was introduced at Levi in 2016 in order to ensure snow for the Levi World Cup and that the event can be held. The first snow storage piles on the Levi Black slope were made in the spring of 2016 and everything went as expected. A couple of weeks before the race, the preserved snow was spread on the slope and the race was pulled through with great success. The ski resort learned a lot from the first year’s snow preservation. The location of the snow piles on the slope was changed the following year, and at the same time, the study of the protective cover of the snow piles began. What kind of protective cover would prevent the snow from melting even less?
Today, in addition to the Levi World Cup, the ski resort also stores snow at the Font Slops and at the Northeast Slopes for the skiing and cross-country skiing opening, which is at the beginning of October. Preserved snow is also be utilized in June when the Summer Park will serve freestyle skiers at the Gondola Lift.
Snow preservation technology
The snow is made in late January / mid-February with snow cannons when the temperatures are as cold as possible. This minimizes the need for water and energy. After this, the snow is spread on the slope and for safety reasons, a little over the slope, so that no steep walls form on the slope.
After May Day, when the ski resort closes, snow is collected from the slope using snow cats in large piles across the fell. The excavator shapes the sides of the piles to make them faceted, compact packages. After this, the covering starts.
In the early years, snow piles were covered with thick building blankets. White blankets that reflected off the sun were a cost-effective way as they could be reused and were also environmentally friendly. With the development of preservation technology, the ski resort invested in new covers in 2020, which reduced snow loss from just over 30 percent to as little as 5 percent. The new system based on Finnfoam insulation has very significant ecological and economic impacts. With traditional methods used to preserve snow, the loss of snow caused by summer heat is about 20-60%.
When autumn and cool weather come, the covers are removed from the snow piles using an excavator and its blade roller. It takes about half a day to open one pile of preserved snow. The snow covers are stored in rolls to wait until next spring. Snow piles are spread on the slopes and on the cross-country ski track with the help of snow cats. It takes about a week to spread all the preserved snow.
The environmental perspective of snow preservation
Preserving snow is a particularly environmentally friendly act, as utilizing winter snow in the following season will reduce the need for snowmaking in the warmer conditions of the early part of the season. This saves a large amount of both water and energy when snowmaking with snow cannons begins.
Read more about the secret of snow from the new LeviLife magazine, which is now available in the Levi area!
Development of the amount of preserved snow in Levi:
In the spring of 2016, 30,000 cubic meters of snow were stored on the Levi Black slope for the first time for the World Cup Levi.
In the spring of 2017, the ski resort preserved snow of 40,000 cubic meters for the World Cup Levi.
The amount of snow preserved for the 2018/2019 season increased to 70,000 cubic meters when the snow storages were extended to the Front Slopes as well so that the skiing season could start as early as October.
For the 2020/2021 season, 150,000 cubic meters of snow were preserved for the opening of the October skiing and cross-country skiing season and for the World Cup Levi. The snow piles were located on the Levi Black Slope, the Front Slope, and the Northeast Slope.
In the spring of 2022, the volume of the preserved snow was a total of 145,000 m3. The snow piles were located on the Levi Black Slope, the Front Slope, and the Northeast Slope.
Did you know that Levi Ski Resort is the first ski resort in the Nordics to have obtained the ISO 14001 environmental certificate?
The role of stored or farmed snow has become business critical: the women’s alpine skiing world cup will be held at the Levi Ski Resort using the exact same snow as last year. Levi has so far invested almost €0.5 million in snow storage solutions and will invest another €0.5 million in further solutions designed by Finnish pioneering company Snow Secure. Watch the videos how snow is stored and how a snow storage is opened!
A concept created by Levi Ski Resort, Levi World Cup Training Center provides world-class training conditions from October until early May for alpine skiing, snowboarding and freestyle skiing. The road as a professional athlete is demanding and Levi wants to support athletes by providing its core expertise by building the best possible training conditions.
Levi Ski Resort was once again awarded as the best ski resort in Finland in the international World Ski Awards country-specific ski resort category. In addition to Levi, Ruka, Pyhä, Salla, Ylläs and Iso-Syöte again sought the award. At the end of the international voting, the winners of the 9th Annual World Ski Awards were announced on January 17th, 2022. For the second year in a row, Levi Ski Resort was awarded the best ski resort in Finland.
Levi Ski Resort was awarded as the Best Ski Resort in Finland in the international World Ski Awards, the most prestigious awards program within the global ski tourism industry. Competing in the same category were also the Finnish ski resorts Ruka, Pyhä, Salla, Ylläs and Iso-Syöte.
LED slope lighting technology has provided a significant boost to our energy saving efforts. However, at least equally important is the professionalism of the staff in the control rooms. Timely adjustments to slope lighting in accordance with rapidly changing weather conditions is crucial to both slope safety and to energy savings.