Olympics Winter

Cypress Mountain gets dry ice injection

Vancouver's warm weather has prompted organizers to try a new snow preservation technique on Cypress Mountain. Tubes filled with dry ice have been placed in moguls and into the aerials course to keep snow from breaking down.

Vancouver's warm weather has prompted Olympic organizers to use "dry ice" in a new snow preservation technique on Cypress Mountain.

Tubes filled with dry ice — actually a solid form of carbon dioxide — have been placed in moguls and on the aerials course to keep snow from breaking down.

"Rather than having to use chemicals or use something on the hill to preserve the snow and keep the surface hard, they're using this, which has never been done before," Peter Judge, CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, said at a news conference Monday.

Judge describes the black tubes as like those that are buried around houses for drainage. Pumped full of dry ice and frozen for 12 hours, the cold permeates the snow around it, he explained.

Environment Canada says highs will hover around 3 C this week at Cypress, leading up to the first day of competition Saturday, when there is a 60 per cent chance of rain on the mountain in West Vancouver.

Like a team of surgeons working over an ailing patient, helicopters have been dropping snow while trucks have been moving snow up and down the mountain to prepare the site for training and the first day of freestyle skiing Saturday, when Jennifer Heil of Spruce Grove, Alta., will attempt to defend her title in women's moguls.

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