The handover of the first PistenBully 600 E+ in Finland was celebrated in the uniquely atmospheric winter twilight at the Scandinavian resort of Levi.
There certainly is enough snow in Levi. This World Cup ski resort lies some 170 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle - in the midst of the wild nature of Lapland. Although the season didn't start that well this year, in Levi it normally lasts from November at the latest to the start of May, depending on snow conditions.
Levi meets international standards and is the biggest and most well-known winter sports centre in Finland, having been voted the best Finnish ski resort four times over.
For Alpine regions it may seem surprising that the Levi fell with its "proud" 531 metres is the only peak to be seen and is the ski resort. But it is well-served by lifts from all sides. 27 different transport options mean everyone can find one to suit. There are almost 40 kilometres of well-groomed and signed slopes for both families and advanced skiers, including a World Cup run for slalom. The resort also has a snow park, halfpipe, superpipe and 2 "Streets" for boarders and freestylers. In December and January, the days are very short wherever you are in Finland. Hence the 15 floodlit runs! From mid-April onwards, things are rather different: then the sun shines for up to 16 hours a day. It's wonderful to enjoy hours of winter sport activities under the shining sun!
28 of the 230 kilometres of cross-country tracks, which are laid out for the classic and skate skiing style, are also floodlit. There are also 18 kilometres of snow-shoe hiking trails - and almost 900 kilometres of snowmobile routes around Levi.
There's definitely enough work for the snow groomers. Levi has relied on the red fleet for decades: the resort now has 7 groomers and 6 track-setters from PistenBully, creating the best conditions on the slopes, cross-country tracks and all the trails.
And now the first PistenBully 600 E+ has joined them for the start of the season. As sustainability and protecting the environment are also important issues for Levi, the environmentally-friendly PistenBully 600 E+ with diesel-electric drive was the obvious model of choice. Jouni Palosaari, CEO of the Levi ski resort, emphasises this commitment, giving an enthusiastic report of the handover: "We are very proud to be using the first 600 E+ in Finland. This eco-friendly PistenBully underlines Levi's environmental dedication and strengthens our position all the more."
This statement is supported by SNOWsat: the PistenBully E+ is now the third vehicle in the Levi fleet to be equipped with the SNOWsat system for snow depth measurement. This enables the snow experts to distribute their natural snow perfectly, which means they only need to make use of machine-made snow precisely where it's needed. This saves up to 15 % of water and energy, while also reducing fuel consumption.
The keys to this special PistenBully were presented to the Levi ski resort in an unusual ceremony by Jens Rottmair, CEO of Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG, and Peter Söderholm, the Managing Director of the Finnish PistenBully agency Kessu Oy. And as the icing on the cake, a shaman then drove out evil spirits and invoked success for the venture. So nothing can go wrong now!