The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup already starts mid-November (Qualification: Nov. 17; Team event: Nov. 18; Individual: Nov. 19) this year. This time not in the far north, where the ski jumpers usually have to go to jump this time of year, but in Wisla (POL).
And that although the town of Wisla, with its 11 000 inhabitants, lies on the 50th degree of latitude, this is about the latitude of Prague and Frankfurt/Main. Wisla is also not located in the mountains, but only at about 430 m above sea level. But still, the organizers already announced: Snow on the HS 134 Adam-Malysz-hill? No problem, we guarantee that for the season opener mid-November.
Snow production at + 30°C
This is made possible by the innovative company Supersnow. This Polish company produces snow, even if the temperatures don't feel like winter at all. Last week there were about + 20°C in Wisla, but still, the snow production started at the hill. "The production of this technical snow is possible with temperatures of up to + 30°C", Rafal Topolski, CEO of Supersnow, explains in an interview with FIS Ski Jumping.
1 cubic meter of water for 1.5 cubic meters of snow
The two containers in which the snow is produced only catch someone's eye because of the two garden hoses for the required water and the pipe for the snow. "In order to cover the hill here in Wisla with the required 30 cm of snow, we need about 1600 cubic meters. This equals about 70 large truckloads. We produce about 150 cubic meters a day (24 hours), so we need 11 days to produce the required snow. But usually, we make about 30 % more than we need, just to be safe. We only need clean and cold water, no chemicals are used. With one cubic meter of water, we produce 1.5 cubic meters of snow.
The snow that we produce with this technology is a lot heavier than normal snow and also heavier than the one produced with snow cannons. This makes it much more resistant to high temperatures and humidity. So we can guarantee that the hill in Wisla will be ready for the World Cup opener and also for the training prior to that", said Rafal Topolski.
Almost no limit to the amount of snow
The required amount of snow to cover the hill in Wisla shall be produced by November 1st. This "technical snow" is produced 24 hours a day, about 1000 cubic meters in the first week - everything goes according to plan. The amount of snow that is produced can be regulated with the capacity of the facility on location.
The snow lands directly in the outrun of the Adam-Malysz-hill in Wisla. The constantly growing snow depot is covered by some kind of thermal mats to make sure that it's not melting again right away due to the currently high temperatures. After the production, the outrun and the landing area of the hill are covered and the Ski Jumping season can start in central Europe mid-November.
New ice-track installed
In addition, the organizers in Wisla also installed a new ice-track this month. When it comes to the hill, the world's best ski jumpers can expect top conditions for the first events of the 2017/18 season. Now only the wind has to play along as well, and that is still an uncertain factor at all venues of the Ski Jumping World Cup.
Opening event sold out
Tickets for the World Cup opener are not available anymore - With four weeks to go, the event is already sold out.
* Supersnow is a Polish company with about 200 employees. The headquarters of Supersnow are located near Zakopane (POL), the core business of the company is the manufacturing of snow cannons. A branch in Austria with 20 employees was opened in 2017.