CHIEMGAU ARENA – Always snow due to the snow reserves
The term “snow farming” first appeared in 2005. The concept originated in Finland and describes the attempt to preserve the snow produced during the winter in a depot so it can last until the following winter to prepare the tracks. The Chiemgau Arena began planning the technicalities for snow farming in 2006 when it was clear that the former snow reliability was becoming less and less certain as compared to former years.
The Chiemgau Arena managers successfully attempted to store 8,000 cubic meters of artificial snow on a gravel surface over the summer. But it snowed so little the following 2007 winter that it was impossible to generate enough snow to store throughout the summer. In preparation for the reconstruction of the Chiemgau Arena for the 2012 Biathlon World Championships, a stable 7 meter high cement depot was constructed. It has a 15,000 cubic meter capacity which is the equivalent of six 50 m swimming pools. It is re-filled by various snow generating sources each winter. Thick Styrofoam plates underneath tarpaulins ensure that the snow pile does not thaw too much. This way, up to 70 % of the original snow mass can actually survive the summer and as of November a 50 cm thick base layer of snow can be spread on the tracks for training on snow for the athletes and for the World Cup for which 30,000 cubic meters of snow are required. Through this new snow storage which permits preparation of the tracks and the stadium in November, Ruhpolding can easily maintain its reputation as a provider of national and international competitions.