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FGC prepares a pioneering technique to produce snow using 40% less water

Published: Nov 14, 2023
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Content

1 News for the 2023-2024 season

Snow production at La Molina

 

Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (FGC) is ready to leave opponents of ski resorts with fewer and fewer arguments. If they have now greatly reduced CO2 emissions to a minuscule amount, they are now going after water and electricity consumption, which they also hope to minimize and make totally sustainable.

 

The company, which depends on the Generalitat de Catalunya, will try to make snow with a "pioneering technique" that reduces water consumption by 40% this season, as part of a study that will last three years. This was announced by Toni Santmartí, director of FGC Turisme in the presentation of the winter season of the six ski resorts managed by the Catalan public company.

 

The general opening forecast is December 1, although some slopes could start skiing at the end of November if the weather permits. According to the company, this year's ski season "is covered" despite the drought that has affected the territory because it is still fed by the water reserves from the spring thaw and the rains that have fallen in the Pyrenees during these months.

 

"We have a circular system to reuse the water, the ponds are all full, and we have the necessary water reserves to maintain the snow cover. We have the season covered.

The water reserves of the ski resorts are filled when the previous year's snow melts, that is, last April or May they were already full."

 

The 'Snow Laboratory', the name given to the project to improve efficiency and reduce water consumption, is a collaboration between FGC, the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona ( ICMAB-CSIC) and Technoalpin.

 

"Now it has been tested in the lab and it works, it's time to test it in the field.l The technology in question is pioneering and unique in the world."

 

Under normal conditions, only 75% of the water needed to create snow with cannonsis used. With the new system, however, the freezing point of the water can be increased with a mineral and 100% of the water can be used for snowmaking.

 

During 2022, the resorts have achieved a 25% reduction in water consumption per visitor compared to the previous year.

 

In the presentation, Ferrocarrils representatives defended the economic impact of the mountain resorts of 322 million euros, with an expenditure of 148 million. This year, the Govern has acquired a new 'ecological' snow groomer (hybrid engine that combines combustion with electricity) and about twenty snow production devices, the vast majority of which will be for Vallter.

 

On the other hand, this season the ski resorts owned by the Generalitat will host two international white sport competitions, the Ski World Cup in Boi Taüll on January 27 and 28 with the modalities of mixed sprint relief, with Catalan medal possibilities, and Para-skiing in La Molina from January 12 to 17.

 

In general, the company is committed to selling a mountain experience that is not only focused on skiing and has therefore created a club of exclusive benefits called Club Pirineu 365, which will allow you to receive personalized offers and streamline procedures. Apart from speeding up the purchase of Ski Passes and obtaining bonuses, the aim of the benefits club is, in the future, to bring together all the ski resorts in the Pyrenees in one community.

 

In total, there will be more than 130 events in more than 35 activities in the ski resorts managed by the Generalitat's company. The company has defended that in the last year the resorts have reduced their CO2 emissions by 89%, from 18,000 tons to 1,900 tons throughout the year, which as recalled by the President of FGC; is what is spent in 45 minutes by planes taking off from the airport of El Prat de Llobregat.

 

News for the 2023-2024 season

 

The resort of La Molina, a benchmark in adapted white sport, will host the speed events of the FIS Para Alpine Skiing World Cup from January 12 to 17, with two downhill runs and a supergiant. In the new Lluís Breitfuss stadium of the Pista Barcelona, recently homologated by the FIS for international competitions.

 

In Espot Esquí, the upper part of the Pista Bruseres has been modified, giving it more width and introducing a new panoramic viewpoint at the Creu de l'Eixol. Port Ainé has renovated the signage and freestyle modules in the Snowpark. Boi Taüll will host two ski mountaineering World Cup races on January 27 and 28.

 

Vall de Núria is immersed in the Ecovall Project, with the aim of promoting sustainable practices, and Vallter has completely snowed the Xalet slope, the longest in the resort. It will also open a coworking space in the cafeteria of La Portella, where the space has now been improved for those people who were already using it to telework some winter days.

 

The secretary of Mobility and Infrastructures Marc Sanglas, the councilor Ester Capella; the president of FGC Toni Segarra and the director of FGC Toni Santmartí in the presentation of the winter season.

 

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