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Boí Taüll begins to implement future ski resort technology

Published: May 19, 2024
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What will the ski resorts of the future be like? Well, in a current context in which the main problem is the amount of snow that will be available, investment policies are almost always aimed at being able to control what falls and take advantage of the current weather conditions.

 

Technology is helping a lot. Certain processes are no longer left to the staff, but are instructored by computer, data is collected and acted upon. We have seen this, for example, in snow production. As much as environmentalists insist that a lot of resources are consumed, the reality is that these systems have become so modernized that they are able to produce with much less water and electricity.

 

The slope instructoring system can be controlled from the Boí Taull base.

 

And the fact is that the canyons have not been oblivious to current technology. Most electrical appliances already use much less electricity than 20 or 30 years ago. Neither household appliances consume as much energy, nor industrial appliances.

 

But it is also important that, even if cannons use fewer resources, it is important to avoid using them when they are not needed. And this is where Actius de Montanya S.A. (AMSA), the FGC company that manages the Boi Taüll ski resort, wants to act to be even more efficient.

 

Over the next four years, a series of GPS-located sensors will be deployed throughout the resort, which will detect exactly in which areas the cannons have to be started up and in which conditions do not require more snow. For example, a section of slope that ski passes through a channel where the air blows more frequently is not the same as another part that runs through a wooded area.

 

Nor is it the same for a steeper part where the snow drags more than another flatter part where it ends up accumulating. The same happens with the beginners' areas, where the slopes suffer much more and require more machine passage.

 

These are situations that machine operators know perfectly well. They know where they have to go to look for more snow to cover 'bald spots' in the most punished sections of the slopes. The snow groomers themselves also have sonar to know where there is more snow depth to pass or not; and also GPS, which allows them to read where they are treading and not have to pass again through the same area or not leave any without working.

 

The system includes a management software to know in real time the status of the instructored slopes.

 

Now there will also be data taken live and in real time , which will be available from the operations room at the ski resort. In this way, it will be possible to design more efficient routes for the machine treading. For example, the machine operator will not have to make in situ checks to see if a specific area is usually more punished, because that day maybe not so many people have passed and it is well maintained.

 

Another possibility is to be able to let the skier know in real time through the mobile App of the Boí Taull ski resort, how each slope is at that moment of the day, or if there is any incident.

 

All this will lead to an even greater reduction in the use of water for snowmaking, and therefore also of electricity, as AMSA itself explains in the drafting of the project:

 

"The management of snow, energy and water resources constitutes one of the main operating costs of a ski resort.

In a context of climate change, reduced snow availability and rising costs due to the energy crisis, the transition to more efficient management models will be the key to economic survival. The efficiency and sustainability of snow management and of energy and water resources are essential to make the ski ski area resilient, sustainable and competitive.

In view of this reality, it is necessary to implement a tool that can be integrated with the current maintenance and operation management system, allowing the collection of data on both machines and snow thickness to optimize the snow production strategy and improve the grooming plan.

This will reduce the use of water and energy, as well as the control and management of the work to be carried out."

 

Finally, the company that has been awarded the project is the French company Aten Altitude, part of the Imagina International group. With extensive experience in this field in both ski resorts and other tourism facilities after 20 years in business, it works with large ski areas such as Les 2 Alpes, Val d'Isère and Grandvalira, as well as many others in the French Pyrenees.

 

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