The Swiss ski resort of Zermatt has invested in a machine,the IDE-Snowmaker, that can make snow even at +20C. The plan is to generate the snow in an 11 meter high building with a 100m2 surface area then transport the snow onto the Trockener (sound like dry?) Steg runs. The machine and building have cost 2 million Swiss francs.
IDE Technologies who make the Snowmaker are an Israeli company that have specialized in desalination plants for over 4 decades. They developed the technology behind the Snowmaker to cool South-African diamond mines. According to Christen Baumann, head of the Zermatt ski runs, the system is like “a giant fridge. An air/water mix is blown in to the hangar, the water vapour evoporates, freezes and falls as snow. For skiers it is like spring snow”. The resort says there is no ecological impact as additives are not used (but there is electricity burned - apparently usage is “very reasonable") and snow can be made at any temperature due to the insultation of the building. Other Swiss resorts are studying the project but none are yet planning similar operations.
thanks to http://www.skitour.fr/actu/ for the heads up on the story.