Sierra Nevada Ski News

Sierra Nevada Ski News 2023/4

The Sierra Nevada opens its 2023/4 ski season on 2nd December. 

Four New Ski Lifts
This season there are four new ski lifts  to compliment the two new Chair lifts last year. These are the Al Ándalus gondola two new chairlifts between Loma de Dílar and El Río, and an new moving carpet at Borreguiles.   All four will come into operation mid December.

The new Al Ándalus replaces the 1990 one of the same name required an investment of 16.7 million euros. The new gondola lift  which links the same points  Pradollano and Borreguiles is faster, more comfortable and more energy efficient. It has  77 cabins with a capacity of 10 people per cabin at a speed of up to 6 metres per second giving and a travel time for the 2.5km route of 8.5.  minutes. 19 towers replace the 25 of the old ones.

Two new new ski lifts El Puente I and II will serve the ski areas Víbora, Montebajo, Villén and El Puente slopes.  

At Borreguiles the new Dauro II moving walkway for skiers  (magic carpet) will cross the Borreguiles plain diagonally and marks the start of the remodeling of the beginners' area to creating a semi-enclosed area for beginners.  The new twin-direction moving walkway carpet is 179 metres long with a capacity of 1,500 skiers per hour.

New Competition Area
The Sierra Nevada training and competition area is transferred to the El Puente area,  and a competition stadium will be constructed. Competitors will have priority use on the new El Puente I and II lifts.

Snow  production 
The a 5-year renovation of snow cannon system in Sierra Nevada was completed in the summer 2023. In addition to the incorporation of 32 new high and low pressure cannons, 40-year old compressors and water pumps have been replace with more efficient ones. The so-called compressor building has been completely refurbished and the compressed air generators will be distributed by zones.

Snow Grooming Machines
This season, Sierra Nevada incorporates 4 new hybrid snow grooming machines, making 8 in total. Four older machine are being retired.    A snow groomer is a machine to pack snow and improve skiing and snowboarding. The resulting pattern on the snow is known as corduroy, and is widely regarded as a good surface on which to ski or ride.

The 4 new Pisten Bully 600 E+ machines  are hybrid diesel and electric propulsion, which reduce energy consumption and produce 20% less CO2 emissions, as well as being quieter.   The refueling interval of the hybrid machines is greater than that of the conventional Pisten Bully 600. 

The Sierra Nevada also has 22 treadmill machines; two of them will test HVO bio-diesel  fuel during the 23/24 season.

Themed Slopes
For the 2023/4 season the Sierra Nevada has 4 new themed slopes to make the skiing day more fun for children.  The new figures and ski circuits have been added to the El Mar slope, which features elements of the seabed, and a shark's mouth, which is the icons of the El Mar slope.

In the beginners' area, there is the the Kids Fun Trail where the youngest skiers will be able to see with forest and mountain animals and descend a skills circuit.

In the Montebajo area is the Family Fun Trail, where families go down the slopes passing interactive elements and in the  Cauchiles area there is a  route with an Iberia fauna theme.

Mud Flood
A river of mud covered several pistes in the Sierra Nevada ski resort at 13.00 hrs on Monday 12 February 2024.

Due to warm temperatures and heavy rainfall over the previous few hours, a drainage pipe overflowed and a torrent of dark mud and snow flooded the lower parts of the resort, affecting several pistes and the Mirlo Blanco non-skiing area.  There were no casualties as the resort was closed at the time due to bad weather.  It was necessary to evacuate visitors who were in the recreation area, including about a hundred children. The resort reopened, but only in the higher areas above the Borreguiles ski station. 

Staff and snowmobiles worked hard on Monday evening and overnight. The first task was to remove the mud and water, the second was to collect the snow from the area between the Alacranes and El Río slopes and spread it with the machines on the El Río slopes. The third task was to compact the snow on the slopes. Amazingly, the 23 pistes totaling 16km and 10 lifts were open by 11.15am on Tuesday. The work can be seen in the video below.
 

 

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