Via Larry Brown Sports:
Ski resorts around the world rely on temperature and weather conditions in order for their businesses to survive, but that cannot be the case with the Winter Olympics. Simply put, there has to be snow. Without snow, the show will not go on.
According to the Russian website Ria Novosti, the Alpine skiing resort for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is preparing to refrigerate roughly 450,000 cubic feet of snow over the summer to assure that there is plenty of coverage on the mountain when the Games begin next February. Storing snow will help alleviate some of the concerns surrounding temperatures not being cold enough to bring natural snow when needed next year.
“Storing snow from the 2012-2013 season will allow us to avoid the risk of insufficient natural snow quantities or anomalous temperatures next season,” Rosa Khutor (the resort) said in a statement on Thursday. “The 450,000 cubic meters of ‘last year’s’ snow is the volume that will guarantee the necessary covering on the slopes of Rosa Khutor, even in the worst weather conditions.”
How the heck do you refrigerate 450,000 cubic feet of snow? Seven on-site reservoirs will reportedly be used, each with the ability to store 100,000 cubic meters of snow. If you thought keeping a gallon of milk cold on a hot summer day caused your electric bill to spike, try spending $8 million to refrigerate an extraordinary amount of snow.
Kudos to Russia for thinking ahead and preparing for any potential issues the weather might cause. As we learned over the summer during the London Olympics, extreme elements can create all kinds of problems and prevent operations from running smoothly.