Installation for cross-country skiing trails
The snow is made layer by layer, compacted and insulated. Insulation can be implemented in the same way as on ski slopes, or by combining snow storage covers and wood chips. Small snow storages piles in flat areas can be insulated without the use of machinery.
In flat areas, we recommend combining Snow Secure snow storage covers and wood chips if the wood chips are easily accessible. This allows the snow storage covers to be installed over the entire length of the pile, while the ends are protected by wood chips. A PE film is spread across the top and ends of the pile in one pull to protect the snow from water vapour. The shape of the pile is used to direct rainwater towards the ends of the pile. Geotextile can be used as additional protection over the PE film if necessary.
Hybrid storage: wood chips and snow storage covers. On the left: A test at Ruka, Finland 2017. On the right: Tampere, Finland 2021.
By combining snow storage covers and wood chips, a lot of clean snow can be preserved, and the amount of snow preserved is much greater than when using traditional wood chip protection. Wood chip logistics also become simpler when combining technologies, and the storage area is easier to keep tidy.
To create a good first snow track, the insulation of the bottom of the track plays a significant role in ensuring that the snow does not melt away once it is spread out. During mild winters, and especially if the early winter phase becomes prolonged, artificial trail snow tends to melt, both on top and at the bottom of the track, because it is significantly affected by the heat from the frost-free ground. The Finnfoam INFRA insulation boards block the heat transfer from the ground to the snow layer of the trail, which significantly slows down the melting of the snow even in non-freezing temperatures, without any cooling equipment and energy consumption. The Finnfoam insulation also acts as a ground frost insulation layer in the structure, preventing frost damage to the surface structure if a roller ski trail is built on top.
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Insulating roller ski trails and first snow trails
Sports venues as well as first snow tracks are often built in areas where the soil has poor carrying capacity. With the help of Finnfoam INFRA insulation boards, it is possible to minimize soil replacement needs and create a frost damage-free and load-bearing area for the large work machines that are often used in these areas. This is also the most cost-effective way to create a roller ski tracks that doubles as the perfect base for a first snow track.
Finnfoam INFRA boards as the saviour of the snow track
With the help of Finnfoam INFRA boards, winter sports venues, such as ski tarcks and ice rinks, can be opened significantly earlier and maintained in good condition throughout the winter. During mild winters, and especially if the early winter phase becomes prolonged, artificial trail snow tends to melt, both on top and at the bottom of the trail, because it is significantly affected by the heat from the frost-free ground. The Finnfoam INFRA insulation boards block the heat transfer from the ground to the snow layer of the track, which significantly slows down the melting of the snow even in non-freezing temperatures, without any cooling equipment and energy consumption. The snow-melting effect of the heat from the non-frozen warm ground below is even greater than the melting effect of non-freezing air temperatures on the surface of the snow. In addition, the Finnfoam INFRA boards prevent the trail from becoming “mushy” during mild and wet weather, which can prevent the need for maintenance during a prolonged mild period.
Tested in practice
In recent years, Finnfoam's INFRA panels have been tested, with good results, in several ski resorts in Southern Finland. For example, after a week-long heatwave and torrential rains, there was still about 40 cm of cannon snow left in the area insulated using 50 mm thick Finnfoam INFRA boards, while there was only 5–15 cm of ice/sludge left in the uninsulated area.