Russians Begin Hoarding Snow for Sochi

Stockpiles to be kept under blankets

Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.

Fearing another season of mild temperatures, organizers of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have begun creating massive stockpiles of artificial snow. The Sochi organizers will attempt to defy creation itself in commissioning more than 400 snowmaking cannons to blast streams of pre-fab corduroy around the clock with the goal of amassing 500,000 cubic meters of snow for next year’s games. The mounds of snow will be covered with insulated blankets to protect them from the summer heat.

Organizers fear a repeat of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, where unusually mild temperatures and slushy conditions led to multiple delays. The city of Sochi (pictured), which sits on the Black Sea, is far milder than frigid Vancouver and has an average February temperature of 50 degrees.

While up to half of the stockpiled snow is expected to melt by next Winter, organizers say they could still conduct the events with the remainder even if no natural snow falls.

Filed to:

promo logo