Snow & Ice

1.) Preparation of artificial ice for ice rinks

One technical application according to Schauberger’s ideas has been realized in Sweden: the Vortex Generator. It has been developed by “Watreco” in Malmö.

The Vortex Process Technology (inside the generator) has borrowed its working principle from the flow of natural water. The final result of the system is vortex-treated and de-gassed water, which offers several advantages, i.e. in the preparation of artificial ice.

It is more economical and friendlier to the environment (no chemicals) than traditional ice production.

The system is called “REALice” and gives a much higher quality of ice: fewer tendencies to crack, more durable and faster to skate upon.

Ice arenas are often big consumers of energy. By using vortex-treated water the ice freezes faster so that the energy consumption can be enormously reduced.

Final result: a better ice quality, lower operational costs and less energy consumption.

For more details see

2.) Preparation of ski slopes

These days, ski slopes must meet higher requirements, especially in alpine ski racing. There are also more demands in recreational areas because of the use of modern ski technology like “carving” or the extreme development of snowboarding.

Up to now, the snow base has been covered with a layer of water. Here, the most uneven water in the snow base is pushed up and the icing begins from the top. A thin layer of weak ice develops which is not suitable for the “normal” skier.

In the past (and sometimes even now) so called “snow cement” was used in ski-racing, which was supposed to help icing through the use of chemical reactions. But these methods lead to breakage after a certain amount of runs on the slope, so that the thin ice layer in the area around the gate poles is scraped of, and/or completely cut open from the sharp metal edges. The soft snow surfaces and deep troughs form. Racers with high start numbers have no chance to achieve acceptable run times. Also, the excessive use of chemical additives (similar to fertilizer) damages the ground underneath the slope, the micro life within it, and therefore the ground and spring water. This is a contradiction to the efforts of organic working mountain farmers in the regions where the slopes are prepared.

The Austrian inventor Christian Steinbach from Oberndorf (near Kitzbühel) has developed a new and environmentally friendly method to prepare slopes. This method uses pipes (he calls “Balken” or bars), which are, through hose lines, connected either to hydrants or the water supply for the snow cannons. The water is spun in the pipes according to Viktor Schauberger’s principals. It then comes out of small nozzles spaced only centimeters apart on the bars in which the water is, in an unconventional way, whirled again. The bars, with an average of 50 nozzles on its lower surface, have only to be set on the unprepared slope. The water that comes out of the nozzles screws itself into the snow, up to 30 centimeters, like a drill. Because of the capillary effect of the snow, it slowly moves up. The small channels that are made through the injected water function similarly to a chimney, and support evaporation and thus the development of cold evaporation. So, contrary to the method of watering the top layer of the slope, the injection bar system hardens the slope from the bottom to the top and thus, evenly on all parts of the slope. However the surface of the slope stays mostly dry and therefore, does not freeze.

Parameters like snow and outside temperature or snow and air humidity are considered. From this information, one can for example, find out with how much pressure the water should be injected into the slope. Then, one can determine the desired hardness of the slope.

There is no additional treatment needed before or after using the injection bar system and accordingly, costs will be reduced by at least 50%. The slope will also be more resistant to the higher mechanical demand of carver skis (it won’t “break”), and is more resistant to weather factors such as extreme temperature increase or exposure to sun or rain.

Another advantage is that, after months, one can see by the “burnt” grass strips exactly where, in winter, chemicals had been used to prepare the slopes. Where the injection bars were used, there is a deep-green band. This is an indication that the Steinbach-Method does not harm the environment but rather supports it.

The advantages of this method are also achieved in summer employments with a similarly conceived injection bar from Christian Steinbach, in the treatment of lawns in sport arenas or golf courses where, among other things, additional so-called micro-organisms can be put into the ground.

For details please visit:

Strip Carpet for Downhill Mountain

Article from the daily news before the 2006 Winter Olympic Games
From Josef Metzger, published in the Vienna newspaper “Die Presse” on 07.02.2006

SESTRIERE. Who are the most important people in the Olympic Ski-Resort, which Gianni Agnelli once put on the mountains? An Agnelli heir? Tomba, who commentated the Olympics on RAI? Rocca, Miller, Maier or other red-white-red slope-artists? Not at all. Although, they are Austrians, even Tiroler from the region around Kitzbühel. One of them is Christian Steinbach and the other Matthaeus „Hois“ Werlberger. One is an inventor nicknamed „Duesentrieb“ (or Gyro Gearloose), who invented the injection bar. The other is a small building contractor who, at this time, is a foreman on the Olympic downhill mountain Banchetta. Hois is in command of 30 Alpine slopes that are being prepared with the Steinbach injection bar, including the start area (300 to 400m) and the Curva Aqua Minerale, a key area. There, Hois is in charge of the steep slope, the icy area, which is a bumpy ride for everyone. So, this year, Maier and Walchhofer will triumph.

Altogether, 20 injection bars will be used, continuing after heavy snow fall so that finally, the previously bald summit will remain covered. The injection bar, from which water will be sprayed into the snow, is an ingenious and revolutionary method to transform the downhill runs into “crisp slopes”.

…and another article, appearing 06.02.2006 in the “KURIER”, Vienna, ­ written by Wolfgang Winheim

SESTRIERE. The alpine slopes have been worked on for days by the Austrian, Christian Steinbach, whose “injection bar system” has offered even competitors with high start numbers good conditions. Steinbach and his professional crew from Kitzbühl are momentarily the only ones the strict Italian police allow on the Olympic slopes of Sestriere.