Even in winter seasons with heavy snowfall, plenty of artificial snow is needed to make ski trails meet competition standards and to create a durable base that allows for a longer skiing season. The water used for the artificial snow is taken from lake Vesijärvi and valuable groundwater is only needed when using the auxiliary pumping station. The humus-rich lake water is great for producing artificial snow, because freezing snow crystals can build around humus particles.
The snow production system was introduced into use prior to the 2017 World Ski Championships. The amount of snow needed for the championships, approximately 100,000 cubic meters, can be produced in 10-12 days. In the past, the process could take up to three times as long and required a lot more energy. Snow production can be started when the temperature drops to a couple of degrees below 0°C, because in winter the temperature of the lake water is only about 4°C. The temperature cools down to near 0°C as it makes its way through the transfer pipes to the cooling station.
Thanks to the snow production system, the amount of lorry and excavator traffic at Salpausselkä ridges has been reduced. Snow is produced directly at the storage site without transport in between, which also means that the snow can be preserved more effectively. Layers of sawdust and woodchips are used to store snow over summer.
The delicate nature of the Salpausselkä region is also protected during sports events. The terrain is class 1 groundwater area, and salt is only used in the area during major events and with the decision of jury. During sports events, salt is only applied to most affected areas, such as starting and finishing line areas, ascents and steep descent turns.
Sports Service Manager Markku Ahokas, tel. +358 (0)44 416 3629