The snow groomers trek over the pistes at night and ensure optimal snow conditions. The machines operating here are pretty heavy pieces of equipment. At the front there’s a three-piece blade which pushes the snow, then caterpillar tracks with chains which roll the snow flat, and a tiller pulled along at the back which draws fine, regular furrows in the snow.
A bulldozer like this can go up to 20km per hour. Where the pistes are particularly steep (the gradient is around 70 percent in the steepest places), a tow rope makes things easier. The tow rope – an enormous metal cable – takes the weight off the machine so it can move more easily.
Of course, the piste machines don’t drive themselves – they also need to be operated. One of the drivers is Elmar Lechleitner. He steers his snow groomer over the steepest slopes of the Silvretta Arena.