Competition slopes

Not all ski slopes are the same. This is especially true of slopes that are used for World Cup races. The higher the level of the athletes, the higher the forces impacting the slopes - and the more challenging are their demands for quality too. The PistenBully PRO ACADEMY is now offering courses on this special topic.

Difference commercial ski slopes - competition slopes
Grooming a competition slope is highly challenging for organisers. During a competition, the slope has to be extremely solid ensure a fair race for all competitors. Then the same slope needs to be available to leisure skiers the day after the competition. A dilemma: you generally need a lot of water to achieve high snow density and harden the snow. This often results in a really icy snow surface. And these icy slopes then have to be laboriously groomed for commercial skiing the next morning.

Basic structure of competition slopes
A proper and even basic structure can minimise the use of water for snow hardening. Less water means fewer icy patches. Thus, the competition slope can be returned to commercial skiing use with less effort after the competition. Positive side-effect: less water costs less money and maintains the natural consistency of the snow!

Various factors affect such an even basic structure for the competition slope:

  • Type of snow being groomed
  • Time and weather conditions when the snow is groomed
  • Quality of the machine-made snow
  • Procedure for distributing the machine-made snow

Many weeks often pass between creation of the basic structure at the start of the season and the competition event. Accordingly, the slope structure has to be checked for consistency again shortly before the competition event. Only then is the slope profi le formed, and obstacles like jumps, mounds, counter slopes, etc. are added, and the top surface is fi nally groomed and compacted. There are various working methods here too depending on the existing snow subsurface: from opening the slope with the blade to compacting the snow with the front-end tiller and the rotary tiller.

Grooming the competition slope shortly before the event
Last-minute snowfall before the races often upsets the organisers' plans. A small amount of fresh snow can be removed from a competition- ready slope relatively easily by the slip crew. It becomes more problematic if the freshly fallen snow is deeper than 10 cm. Snow of that volume can only be handled by groomers: the drivers remove the fresh snow from the hardened racing surface extremely carefully, exposing the competition-ready fi nish underneath without damaging it. If this fresh snow is not removed, potholes or breaks in the slope can occur very easily during the competition.

The snow groomer driver has to consider a great many factors for this task as well, e. g.:

  • Consistency and volume of fallen snow
  • Type, gradient and profi le of the slope section to be groomed
  • Course of the racing line
  • Crossing the racing line with the snow groomer
  • Placement of the winch cable

Professional training in the PRO ACADEMY
Expert creation of the competition slope is everything to a successful competition event. The snow groomer operators plays a crucial role in this. Optimum preparation is guaranteed by training at the PistenBully PRO ACADEMY. In theory and practice participants learn everything there is to know about professional, high-quality and energy-saving construction of competition slopes.

By professionals for professionals!


Photo credits: Nicola Bonora


Florian Profanter

Cellular phone: +39 331 492 67 78
Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG
Kässbohrerstraße 11
88471 Laupheim
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