During the Sochi Winter Olympics, Wall Street Journal dubbed Mikko Martikainen, the founder of Snow Secure, as the Snow whisperer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW9mmyxsg1c
Mikko’s love story with snow began in the early 1960s, when he was a little boy. Skiing in the summer at the Jostedal Glacier in Norway in 1978 sparked the idea of snow combined with plus degrees. The idea stayed with Mikko, and it became a passion. Eventually he came up with a preliminary plan on how snow could be stored for summer and over the summer.
Mikko skiing in the summer for the first time, as a teenage boy in 1977. On the right: The world’s first test snow storage pile in Ruka in September 2000. After the interview, the snow was ready to be spread out.
The idea lived, developed and finally materialized in 2000, when the world's first researched snow storage pile was built in Ruka under the leadership of Martikainen. All of today’s snow storage sites around the world are the fruits of this pioneering work. In four decades, the dreams of a little boy have come true; the Snow Secure concept has emerged, allowing ski resorts to provide their customers with a snow guarantee and significantly extended ski season.
The world’s first summer snow slope in Ruka in 2001. 350 metres above sea level. On the right: A snow groomer testing a snow compactor under Mikko’s guidance.
Snow consulting, which began as a one-man business in the early 2000s, attracted widespread interest. The most significant project in the company’s history has been the snow guarantee for the Sochi Olympics. For the Sochi Olympics, nearly one million cubic metres of snow were stored. In 2017, instead of consulting, Snow Secure decided to focus its resources on developing an industrial snow storage system that could be used around the world and in a variety of climatic conditions.
The first international patent obtained by Snow Secure is for the various uses of insulation used in snow storage. Panels used as snow insulation in the summer are suitable for temporary use in the winter, for example to improve slope safety. More patents are being applied for.
In the summer of 2019, we partnered with Finnfoam Oy, whose innovative CEO Henri Nieminen brought an additional boost to our operations and opened up new opportunities. The partnership made it possible for Snow Secure to be reborn as a company producing snow storage products and services. Finnfoam is one of Europe's largest manufacturers of insulation panels. In addition to Finland, the Group has factories in Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Spain. www.finnfoam.fi
Sochi 2013. ABC News interviewing. Yanging/Peking 2017, world record snow storage test. Snow was stored for 220 days in an average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. In the background, you can see the remains of the snow storage pile.
At the moment, nine customers are using Snow Secure’s concept. The southernmost location is an island in the sea, where skiing conditions would be really short and uncertain without snow storage. The northernmost locations are in the fells of Lapland, where, thanks to snow storage, entire tourist areas can announce the exact start date of the coming winter season already in the spring!
Snow Secure has improved the system even further for the 2021–2022 period. In the coming ski season, we will also get our first foreign customers and new customers from Finland. The product is also ready for licensing in the North American and Asian markets. Snow Secure wants to provide its customers with the world's most effective snow storage concept!
Snow Secure has patented various methods and product details. Thanks to continuous development work, both the summer use (snow pile insulation) and winter uses (secondary use of the insulation) of the products are developing from year to year.