This spring with so much rainfall in much of Europe has brought an unexpected gift to lovers of summer skiing and all of us who care about the environment. A quantity of snow like years ago that was not seen in the Alps above 3,000 meters of altitude.
This is good news for glacier preservation and for the tourist summer ski season, the accumulated snow has reached a thickness not seen since the summer of 2013.
A level of 12 meters of snow accumulated throughout the winter and spring has been measured on the Les 2 Alpes glacier in Isère this Friday, June 12. A level unprecedented since the summer of 2013, indicates the snow operations manager of the resort Arnaud Guerrand to France3:
“We have 3 meters of compact and compacted snow at that time on the glacier, which is equivalent to 12 meters of fallen snow. With the snow groomers it compacts to better resist summer hazards, such as high temperatures and wind, and avoid it melts so quickly. ” Arnaud Guerrand explains.
“After several years marked by very strong heat waves, this year the snow should continue until mid-August, even in late August,” Guerrand says.
“This snow is good news because it means that the ice underneath is more protected from melting and the sun’s rays.” The Les Deux Alpes glacier is not immune to the declining trend of all Alpine glaciers, “laments Arnaud Guerrand. Therefore,” knowing that the abundant blanket of snow will protect the ice during the summer is good news. ” explained the resort’s snow operations manager Arnaud Guerrand
But these 3 meters of snow did not get there alone. For fifteen years, the person in charge of the snow of the 2 Alps has been working to study and thicken this layer of snow in the best way. By making it more compact, first. But not only:
“We use wooden barriers or grooves in the snow to retain the snow that the wind could carry. In reality, 12 meters did not fall on the glacier, but we have snow storage techniques.”
This spectacular thickness of snow should also delight winter sports professionals, who will be arriving at the resort in the coming weeks.