The Gran Risa is one of the most popular and suggestive slopes in Italy, immersed in the woods of Alta Badia and surrounded by the Dolomites.
Technically, it is one of the most challenging slopes of the Ski World Cup, with more than one km of downhill track, a gradient of 60 degree, many bends, apparently flat grounds and the so-called “cat humps”. The Gran Risa is the place where the biggest champions have won and where every ski fan wants to try to ski at least one time in his life. It is exciting and thrilling!
The preparation of the slope with injection pipes is essential in world-class competitions such as the giant slalom and the parallel giant slalom, because the snow cover is put under a heavy stress. During this process, high pressure water is injected into the first layer of snow, in order to increase its specific weight. When water comes into contact with air, it turns into a cluster of snow and ice that increases the compactness and hardness of the surface of the slope. For the race it is necessary to achieve a specific weight of about 550 kg/m3 which must be the same for the whole snow cover. The minimum height of the snow cover is 40 cm, in order to hold the poles.
In the past, the slope was wettened with a hydrant, but this solution is not effective and only leads to the creation of a thin layer of very hard snow, similar to ice, which could easily crack under the ski edges.