MOSCOW, March 21 (R-Sport) – The Alpine skiing resort for the 2014 Winter Olympics is to refrigerate some 450,000 cubic meters of snow over the summer to guarantee the slopes are covered for the Games, Russian officials said Thursday.
The announcement is an attempt to allay fears that insufficient snowfall and balmy temperatures at the Rosa Khutor venue in the mountains above Sochi could spoil Russia's first Winter Games.
"Storing snow from the 2012-2013 season will allow us to avoid the risk of insufficient natural snow quantities or anomalous temperatures next season," a statement from Rosa Khutor said Thursday.
"The 450,000 cubic meters of 'last year's' snow is the volume that will guarantee the necessary covering on the slopes of Rosa Khutor, even in the worst weather conditions," it added.
The snow is to be stored in seven special on-site reservoirs, the largest of which has a capacity of 100,000 cubic meters, the company said, at a cost of 250 million rubles ($8 million).
The weather concerns were compounded this winter with unseasonably warm temperatures forcing the cancellation of several test events including stages of the Cup of Russia Nordic combined event and the slopestyle disciplines of the freestyle World Cup, a new event in the Olympic program.
More than two dozen medal sets are on offer across Alpine skiing and freestyle skiing and snowboard events at Rosa Khutor during the Games, which start February 7.
The Olympic skiing courses will total 20 kilometers in length, while the resort is designed to accommodate 10,000 spectators.