Olympics resorting to using dry ice on Cypress Mountain

Last week we told you about Cypress Mountain, one of the venues for the Vancouver Winter Olympics which at the time was actually having snow delivered to the mountain. Unseasonably warm weather, and an uncharacteristic lack of of snowfall, had caused Olympic organizers to scramble to prepare the slopes for the snowboarding halfpipe competition, as well as several downhill ski events. But conditions haven’t improved much, and now they’re having to come up with more creative ways for keeping the snow that they trucked in from melting away as well.

Earlier in the week it was reported that dry ice would now be used to artificially cool the snow, particularly on the moguls and aeriels courses. Apparently, black tubes resembling flexible plastic drainage pipes, have been buried under the powder, and the dry ice is being pumped into those tubes. It is then frozen for 12 hours, and later used to help maintain the quality of the snow throughout the day. Officials hope that these efforts will allow them to maintain a steady base of snow throughout the two weeks of competition.

Meanwhile, weather forecasts continue to predict warmer than usual temperatures. For the week ahead, highs are expected to be around 38ºF, with little snow predicted. Workers are also expected to be busy around the clock continuing to deliver snow to the mountain, with helicopters being used to dump it on the slopes themselves. It seems they have an Olympic sized challenge ahead of them as well.

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