You don't normally think of ice as something that increases safety, but SKI magazine explains how it does just that for alpine racers. The ruts caused by snowcats clearing the course can be dangerous for skiers, launching them off-course, so water is actually injected into the snow on the course to make it harder. Techs work in 8-inch increments, painstakingly covering the entire course. They need to be careful about how much water they inject though -- too much, and the skiers go sliding.
-- Lisa Lombardi