The Lenzerheide holiday region opens the cross-country skiing and biathlon season as early as the beginning of November. This is thanks to the investment in the Snowfactory snowmaking system, which allows snowmaking even at warmer temperatures, as well as snowfarming.
In contrast to conventional snowmakers, the so-called "Snowfactory" enables production even at temperatures above zero. The principle of the Snowfactory is simple: using advanced cooling technology, the water in a heat exchanger is cooled to freezing point. The water thus freezes through the generated cold, without any chemical additives. This does not produce snow in the true sense of the word, but small dry ice flakes. The quality of firn snow is achieved through the subsequent mechanical preparation of the trails. The system is therefore ideally suited for smaller sections, but not for the comprehensive snowmaking of entire ski areas.
From the end of September, the system is in continuous operation for about six to eight weeks. The tracks are prepared at the beginning of November so that a 1.5-kilometre-long cross-country track is available. The track will then be extended as soon as possible. The snow guarantee should not only extend the season, but also be a guarantee for the organisation of international competitions. The project is financed by the municipalities of Vaz/Obervaz and Lantsch/Lenz, the Lenzerheide cross-country skiing region and the Biathlon Arena Lenzerheide AG.
This is the third time that snow has been stored over the summer in a project. In addition to the permanently installed Snowfactory, this serves as additional snow security for competitions in winter. If possible, 10,000 to 15,000 m3 of snow will be produced during the current winter season, which will then be covered with a layer of woodchips. The target of a maximum loss of 30% was achieved. The loss of snow over the summer is to be steadily reduced in the coming years.