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The art of storing snow over summe

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Winter-sport regions have, during the past few years, increasingly relied on snow farming to store snow over the summer. This involves piling up massive heaps of snow several meters high towards the end of winter at suitable outdoor sites and covering them with an insulating layer of, e.g., sawdust.  This layer protects the snow beneath it and prevents it from melting. The conserved snow can then be used as a basis in preparing cross-country ski trails, ski slopes or ski jumps at the beginning of the following winter. Researchers at SLF used laser scanning to produce high-resolution images at two snow-farming sites and found that about three-quarters of the snow can be kept over the summer. They have also adapted the computer model SNOWPACK so that it can predict how much snow will be lost. The researchers are now using the model to select, among other things, suitable sites for snow farming. (Martin Heggli, Diagonal 1/17)