Perfect slope preparation ensures a good skiing experience and also increases safety on the ski slopes.
In our ski areas at Pitztal Glacier & Rifflsee, a total of eight piste machines are in use for an average of eight hours a day. All the machines – they are of the latest generation – run on diesel, which results in considerable CO2 emissions. We are not satisfied with this – we are striving to find an environmentally friendly future solution for decarbonisation in the medium term.
- We test and evaluate alternative solutions. We are constantly monitoring and evaluating the use of renewable or CO2-neutral fuels.
The use of HVO diesel, which is based on hydrogenated vegetable and animal fat waste and, according to the manufacturer, is up to 90% CO2 -neutral in the entire process chain, appears to be effective. However, a changeover is currently extremely unfavourable due to the current situation in Ukraine, both in terms of procurement bottlenecks and the associated price explosion. We are following developments in the background.
- Field trial of the Tyrolean cableways.
We are also keeping an eye on the field trial that the Tyrolean cable car association has just launched in cooperation with the eFuel Alliance Austria. Within the framework of this trial, a snow groomer powered by synthetic, CO2-neutral fuel must first prove itself in high alpine use under extreme external conditions. Ultimately, however, we hope for hydrogen as the most promising solution for the future, after the use of purely battery-powered snow groomers in high alpine terrain has unfortunately proven to be impractical.
- Test run with the Pistenbully 600 E+ from Kässbohrer.
The PistenBully 600 E+ is a pioneer on the way to professional and at the same time sustainable piste preparation. With a durable and low-maintenance diesel-electric drive, the Pistenbully has enormous thrust even in the lower speed range. With up to 20% less fuel consumption, 20% less CO2 emissions and 20% less noise, it is currently the cleanest and quietest snow groomer on the market. On the Kaunertal Glacier, in which we as Pitztaler Gletscherbahn GmbH & Co KG hold a majority stake, the Alpine vehicle is now being put to the daily test.
- Piste management using the SNOWSAT system at Rifflsee.
We have implemented snow depth measurement via the SNOWSAT system – which uses high-precision satellite technology – in the Riffelsee ski area and equipped all piste equipment with it. This high-precision snow depth measurement and the associated snow management enable us to prepare the pistes effectively, which in turn allows us to save resources. Unfortunately, we cannot use the system for our glacier ski areas, as the area there is constantly changing.