Safety First

ConstructionArtificial Snowmaking on the Frozen Lake in St Moritz
Machine-made snow will be used to prepare the polo field for the Snow Polo World Cup St Moritz 2016. In a bid to make the snow field as safe as possible for players and ponies, the management has taken the decision to create the top layer of required snow artificially. The weight of last week’s heavy snowfall has pressed the ice layer into the water, causing water to rise above the ice, mixing with the snow and freezing over. As a result, the natural snow is no longer suited to prepare an ideal top layer for the snow field. This artificially created snow will be compacted and groomed to prepare the playing surface.

With just 9 days to go there is already a stable layer of ice, with a depth of around 35 centimetres, and the infrastructure construction works are making good progress. Over the next few days, additional snow will be made for the polo field that measures some 20,000 square metres. The machine-made snow is made using minimal amounts of water drawn from the lake, and the artificially made snow is made up of nothing but water. Reto Gaudenzi, founder and CEO of the Snow Polo World Cup St Moritz, explains, “Our ponies are our athletes. We will do everything we can to keep our ponies and our players from being hurt. Snow polo cannot be played at a world-class level without a compacted layer of snow.”

Photograph: Construction of the site is well underway on the frozen lake. Courtesy of Snow Polo World Cup St Moritz

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