“Too many negative myths” around snow cannons

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A snow cannon is a red rag for many, but it has long been impossible to imagine ski resorts without it. Critics point to water, vegetation and energy use. Researcher Günther Aigner wants to set the record straight.

From the point of view of many critics, the snow cannons on the local slopes are symbolic of all the harmful things they accuse the cable car operators of. But winter sports are almost unthinkable without snow cannons.

“In the eighties you could wait for the snow. Society’s demands are higher today,” says the internationally active ski tourism researcher Günther Aigner (Platform “Zukunft Skisport”). He refutes the mostly negative myths with facts.

  • Keyword water: Aigner refers to his hometown of Waidring. About 1800 millimeters of precipitation falls here annually. “A water volume of 115 million m³. So the annual rainfall in the village could fill the four reservoirs 570 times.” Even more important: “Water consumption” is not correct at all, snow returns to the cycle after it has melted.
  • Keyword vegetation: “Everyone seems to know that snow cannons have a destructive effect,” laments Aigner. He refers to ecologists such as Helmut Wittmann, who found that the influence of fertilization and mowing behavior is dominant. Factors such as artificial snow or the type of slope preparation are not measurable.
  • Example energy: “The discussion gives the impression that snow cannons run from Christmas to Easter.” In reality, this is an average of 155 hours per year – that’s one week.

More information on this subject at: www.zukunft-skisport.at

Source: Krone

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