Snow welcome! Gurschen glacier re-emerges
As soon as snow was forecast, the work on the Gurschen glacier started: eight people removed the fleece covering from the glacier and the snow deposits to ensure the mountain is ready for the season. This is because on 31 October, the weekend operations will kick off on the Gemsstock.
Removing the covering from a glacier is hard work. The partly snow-covered fleece tracks located on the glacier and deposits weigh up to 800 kg. In recent weeks, eight people removed the fleece, for the most part manually. Helicopters transported the heavy fleece rolls to the valley. The Gemsstock terrain is now ready for the first heavy snowfall.
About a hectare of the Gurschen glacier was covered with fleece during the summer to prevent melting. The glacier above Andermatt has been protected with fleece in spring for 16 years. This involves rolling out tracks of the material, sewed together by large industrial sewing machines and weighed down on the sides by sandbags and full water hoses of the snow-making systems.
Because ski operations had to end earlier than planned in spring 2020, large amounts of technically produced snow were left behind. A large portion of this snow could be conserved for the winter season using a technique known as "snow-farming". The snow was pushed together and covered with fleece. A total of ten such deposits were created between Gurschenalp and Gemsstock. Thanks to this, there is now a good basis for this year's slopes.
Facts and figures about the glacier covering and snow deposits 2019/2020
|All snow deposits combined|
about 175,000 m3
|Large fleece||about 36,150 m2|
|Dry fleece weight||about 200 kg per track|
|Fleece weight with snow||about 600 to 800 kg per track|
|Sandbags for weighing down||865|
|Full water hoses for weighing down||about 500 m|
|Number of man-hours per deposit||36|
|Snow preserved over summer||about 130,000 m3 (approx. 75 %)|