U.S. Water News Online
YABULI, China -- Man-made snow, as it is commonly used on ski slopes, can also be hand-delivered in a nation like China where there is no shortage of manpower. Faced with a lack of snow in advance of the third Asian Winter Games, this northern Manchurian city that would like to become an international ski resort enlisted the help of several hundred peasant farmers who scooped snow from surrounding valleys and forests into plastic bags and carried it on their backs to the barren slopes.
"This could only happen in China," said a coach of the Lebanese ski team. After no significant snowfall since November, the ski runs at Yabuli were bare earth and rock. Fearing the cancellation of the international ski competition, officials issued a radio announcement for help. Working nonstop for nearly a week before the inaugural ceremony for the games, the snow-encumbered workers were paid about $4 a day to haul their load in sub-zero temperatures.
Even then, there were complaints over conditions of the slopes by skiers, which included a Kuwaiti oil sheik. There were reports that rocks and sticks within the hand-packed snow damaged skis.
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