Item: Optimal preparation of alpine ski runs
Title: Optimal preparation of alpine ski runs
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2004 International Snow Science Workshop, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Authors: Mathieu Fauve, Hansueli Rhyner, Martin Schneebeli, Walter Ammann, WSL Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, CH-7260 Davos, Switzerland
Abstract: The demands on the quality of ski runs have grown with the development of sports equipment. A skiing run must nowadays provide perfect grip, have a certain strength and be durable in order to satisfy the users. The preparation of ski runs involves many snow transformations such as recrystallization, vapor transport, and sintering. These processes strongly depend on the weather conditions that can obviously not be influenced. Therefore, understanding the influences of the various processes involved in grooming is crucial to choose the optimal time and procedure to prepare the runs. Our aim is to optimize the preparation of skiing runs from a technical, economical and ecological point of view. We developed a framework in which the physical and mechanical processes of snow, the weather forecast and type of grooming was taken into account. The influence of snow properties on grooming practice for both, natural and machine-made snow was considered. We propose the best suited grooming method and preparation time for both dry and wet snow in order to obtain high quality and durable runs. Regarding its structural and mechanical properties, machine-made snow constitutes a good snowpack and requires less processing than natural snow for its hardening. By following the proposed scheme the best conditions possible for all skier and riders can be created.
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Keywords: ski run, snow grooming, weather, snow properties, snow sintering, machine-made snow
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