The first non-glacial resorts in the northern hemisphere will open 90 days

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Ruka, Finland. Credit: Ruka Facebook

We are at the peak of summer. Heat waves are punishing us as temperatures soar into triple digits and beyond. The days may be getting shorter, but they are not getting colder.

But “winter is coming”. At least in Finland. Levi, the largest ski area in the country, and Ruka, another of the largest. The two plan to open on October 7, 2022, the first non-glacial stations in the Northern Hemisphere to do so. It’s in less than three months.

In order to open earlier, the “both resorts are practicing snowmaking, saving piles of snow collected last spring under insulating blankets”. This process protects the snow from the summer heat, which slows the melting. Once October rolled around, resorts spilled what was left onto the slopes as temperatures began to drop. Cooler temperatures, combined with snowy agriculture and an earlier onset of winter given Finland’s position in the northern part of the globe.

Whistler and other resorts in Europe began using snow farming or glacier cover in order to prolong, or in this case, provide an early start. As resorts are affected by climate change, drier seasons and earlier closing dates, nations and their ski areas will need to get more creative. The same technique is now used by Courchevel in France and Kitzbühel in the Austrian Tyrol, which is normally the first site in the Alps to open without a glacier.

So get ready. Do your snow dances and keep an eye on the sky. North America will not be far behind…

snow culture
Snow farming can help start winter early…Credit: Courchevel


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