Recycling snow in northern Finland for October skiers

Snowfarming preserves snow from the previous season. (Ensio Karjalainen / Yle )

Some slopes in Ruka are opening this coming weekend — with help from last winter’s snow.

Ruka, situated in Kuusamo, Northern Ostrobothnia, aims to open three slopes for downhill skiers at the end of this week — even though the first flakes have yet to stick to the ground.

This is why Ruka Ski Centre is busy spreading out snow saved from last season. It’s using frozen white stuff it has stored all summer to blanket slopes ahead of schools’ autumn breaks this month.

“At the beginning of the summer we had stored 140,000 cubic meters of snow, but around a third of that melted so we have 90,000 cubic meters left,” explained Matti Parviainen of Ruka Ski Centre.

The centre’s slope manager, Anssi Lakela, said workers use white gauze and sawdust to keep the snow insulated during warmer months.

Ruka’s slopes generally stay open until Mother’s Day in May.

The Levi Ski Centre in Kittilä, Finnish Lapland, is also set to start its winter season next weekend.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Warm weather increases risk of avalanche in northwestern Canada, CBC News

Finland: Finland’s ‘official’ first snow of winter falls in Lapland, Yle News

Iceland: Arctic tourism in the age of Instagram, Eye on the Arctic special report

United States: Heli-skiing proposal in southcentral Alaska under review, Alaska Public Media

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