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Russia hoarded 400,000 tons of snow for over a year so it could save the Olympics this week


Quartz

The palm trees lining the boulevards give it away: It can get pretty warm in Sochi. In fact, it hit a high of 61°F (16°C) in the city yesterday, and wasn’t much cooler today. Even higher temperatures are forecast for later this week.

Of course, temperatures are much chillier up in the mountains, and despite some grumbles about the mushiness of the snow, the Olympic alpine events have so far gone off without a hitch. But officials are worried about the mush turning to slush, so they have dipped into vast stockpiles of powder squirreled away over the past two winters, it was reported today.

That’s right: Sochi tapped its strategic snow reserve. Around 710,000 cubic meters (25 million cubic feet) of snow have been hoarded near the skiing and snowboarding venues, shielded from the elements by thick reflective blankets designed to keep the powder intact. These…

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