L’Alpe d’Huez is a renowned ski resort located in Isère, France, 59 km (36 miles) from Grenoble. If the resort village culminates at 1860 meters (6102 feet) altitude, it is at 2,750 meters (9022 feet) that the big dig of a retention reservoir in Herpie is under works. Nearly thirty workers are about to complete this huge artificial lake with a capacity of 165,000 m3 (5,8M cubic feet) to produce enough snow to cover the 16 km (10 mile) long Sarenne trail.
This large scale project has reached a total cost of 7.5 million euros. The project was followed in part by the Research Institute of Science and Technology for the environment, and the services of the DREAL Rhône-Alpes to ensure that melted water reprocessed into artificial snow would protect the glacier.
However, beyond the environmental approach, the primary goal of this project is financial as it will directly benefit the ski resort of Alpe d’Huez to open almost 140 days per season. Artificial snow making should reach a capacity of 70 to 100 000 m3 through 72 snowmaking cannons covering 70% of the trail.