Whether you’ve been standing at the edge of the slopes, sitting on the chairlift or standing at the top of a snowy peak - you must have seen a few strange, mysterious and even amazing objects by now … We got you wondering – and now we put you out of your misery!
They’re blasting machines – connected to a shelter that you can also see on the edge of the slope: the Gazex system! When there is a major fall of snow, the slope maintenance team deliberately triggers avalanches with the system, setting off a gaseous explosion and generating a shock wave to destabilise the snowpack. The avalanche triggered by this is controlled and the area secured…
True, it might look a bit like a drag lift with the cable and pylons… but it’s actually a Catex - a cable for transporting explosives. Our avalanche blasting team attaches explosives to the circulating cable to trigger avalanches whenever there is significant snowfall. It’s a very useful system for causing several avalanches at different snow beds… and always with the same aim in mind: making the ski area safe for you!
Introducing the stars of the early ski season – when snow isn’t always a given: the snowmakers. These poles measuring a couple of metres or so (and clad in their orange protective padding) are bi-fluid snowmakers: they operate using high pressure air and water, and there are 694 of them in Courchevel!
It’s a temperature sensor linked to a number of snowmakers to ensure that they start working at a pre-programmed temperature. They are activated automatically as soon as the temperature is low enough!
Some strange creatures have taken up residence on the peaks – a bit of a change to the usual mountain fauna! So the marmots are hibernating? No problem! The artist Orlinski has made good use of the opportunity, replacing them with monumental animal sculptures for the winter – freeing our inner animal! …Giving you a totally original photo opportunity!