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Snowfactory given green light for CairnGorm just in time for winter season

November 19th, 2017.

CairnGorm Mountain Ltd has now been granted planning permission for the temporary installation of a Snowfactory. This will be the first time this revolutionary technology has been used at a ski resort in Scotland.

TechnoAlpin, the company behind the Snowfactory, has developed pioneering cooling technology that can produce large amounts of snow in virtually any outdoor temperature. This technology is housed in a self-contained unit known as a Snowfactory. CairnGorm Mountain Ltd will install the temporary unit next to the Day Lodge building which will provide easy access for the set up and removal of the Snowfactory during the trial period.

CairnGorm Mountain Ltd will trial the Snowfactory during this winter season, for two months from the end of this month through to the end of January 2018. It will be an opportunity to really understand how the technology performs, review its suitability for the terrain and crucially, gather feedback from skiers and snowboarders. If this trial is successful then the company will explore introducing the technology on a permanent basis at CairnGorm Mountain. Highland Council have granted permission for the snowfactory to remain on site for one-year.

Adam Gough from CairnGorm Mountain Ltd explained: “We are absolutely delighted that The Highland Council have approved our application to house a snowfactory at CairnGorm. After a poor winter season last year in terms of snowfall this new technology could really transform our winter sport offering.

“We have been in discussions with TechnoAlpin for a while and the company also welcomed us for a site visit earlier this year so that we could see the technology in action. Being able to trial the Snowfactory for two months is crucial to understanding whether this is a viable option for the resort in the long term. If successful then we believe it will noticeably enhance the snowsports experience at CairnGorm Mountain.”

The technology behind Snowfactory is revolutionary. It is a containerised, mobile cooling plant which connects to an electricity and water supply. The snow is made from small dry ice flakes after cooling water to freezing point. It is then pumped out through a snow outlet pipe. The Snowfactory is capable of producing 45 tonnes of snow a day which can be pumped and sprayed a distance of 200m. During this trial, the snow generated by the Snowfactory will be used to form a beginners’ area.

Susan Smith, Head of Business Development with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) which owns Cairngorm estate added “This is a very exciting development for Cairngorm Mountain, which plays such an important role in underpinning the wider tourism sector in the Aviemore area. The technology looks set to offer skiers and snowboarders a guarantee of snow being available whenever they want to visit.  For an outdoor business in Scotland, that could be a real game changer.”

Wolfgang Hanni from TechnoAlpin said: “We are very pleased to be trialling the Snowfactory technology at CairnGorm Mountain. We hope this is just the very beginning of our collaboration with the team at Cairngorm Mountain who have worked hard to bring everything together to make this happen.”

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