01.01.2019 White slopes wind their way across brown pastures at the Wasen-Skilift at an altitude of 1,000–1,170 meters in Muggenbrunn, Germany. With the lifts not in use, winter sport enthusiasts mainly do cross-country skiing or sledging on the remaining strip of snow. © Christina Stohn

Let It Snow

Christina Stohn

2019 – Ongoing — Black Forest, Germany

About this series

At an altitude of nearly 1,500m, the Feldberg is the highest mountain in the Black Forest, located in southwest Germany. In 1908 the world’s first ski lift went into operation in Schollach, powered by a local watermill. The evolution of a winter sports industry altered this region into a large recreational area; tourism has become the main source of revenue. Featuring a subalpine climate and favourable snow conditions, the Feldberg has become a popular destination with a dense network of lifts and slopes.
As a consequence of climate change, rising air temperatures reduce snowfall and lead to earlier melting of snow. For skiing and snowboarding as little as 20cm of snow may be sufficient. Responding to a lack of natural snow, resorts worldwide, as well as in the Black Forest, invest in snowmaking facilities to extend the season. Artificial snow consists only of water and cold air. Chemicals in man-made snow are strictly banned in Germany, as they affect vegetation and soil. Despite technological advances, there is still environmental concern because of the huge energy and water consumption.

17.12.2020 A billboard advertising a car and displaying a skier on the lower terminus station at Fahl, Germany. The gates are meant to reduce the number of passengers during the Covid-19 pandemic and to ensure physical distancing. During lockdown, however, all lifts in Germany are closed by administrative order. These restrictions were supposed to ban winter sport enthusiasts from using the slope. ©Christina Stohn
11.12.2020 Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, German ski resorts were forced to keep their ski slopes closed over the 2020/21 season. This was despite an extensive hygiene protection plan and online ticketing system which was worked out by the Feldberg lift network, to avoid long queues at ticket booths. These procedures did not stop winter enthusiasts climbing up the mountain by foot and enjoying a downhill run. © Christina Stohn
24.12.2023 Ski jumping has been included in the Winter Olympics since 1924. The first official competition on the ‘Adlerschanze’ in Hinterzarten, Germany took place in February 1925. Nowadays this stadium is home to international competitions. Its ski-jump ramp is equipped with a snow-making system. However, it can only work with a wet-bulb temperature of less than -2°C. © Christina Stohn
25.11.2023 Before the lifts can open, slopes need to be prepared. It takes some days for natural snow to settle. Therefore, nearly every ski resort relies on artificial snow to boost its base depth. On the Feldberg, employees inspect the snow guns and their components to ensure that they are precisely calibrated. © Christina Stohn
20.12.2020 In the 2020/21 season, tourism in Germany faced another financial setback. The lack of snow in the Black Forest before Christmas, usually a peak time for winter sports, meant that slopes were unusable. Additionally, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ski areas and facilities were forced to remain closed over the entire holiday season. This was not an EU-wide practice, even though ski resorts appeared to have been early coronavirus super-spreaders. © Christina Stohn
11.12.2020 In 2015 an investor fund financed 15 million euros for the construction of the multi-storey car park, at the base of the Feldberg mountain. To avoid waiting times, visitors can secure one of the 1,200 desired parking spaces via an app in advance. Also, it provides features such as heated ski depots. The car park is controversial with environmentalists due to the winter warmth and the lack of water for the ski cannons throughout the Black Forest. They called for an extension of public transport instead. ©Christina Stohn
15.04.2023 At the end of each winter season, snow cannons are collected to be securely stored. During off-season the Black Forest resort transitions: Slopes at the Feldberg are used as pasture for farm animals. Also, trails are popular amongst hikers as well as bikers. © Christina Stohn

Photographer: Christina Stohn
Nationality: German
Based in: Freiburg, Germany
Website: www.christinastohn.com
Instagram: @christinastohn

Christina Stohn trained and worked as a commercial photographer for Gieske Studios, specialising in interior and still life photography. In 2014 she graduated from the University of Westminster with a BA in Photography (First Class Honours). She also completed an MA in Integrated Design (Distinction) which encompassed both photography and book design at the University of the Arts Bremen in 2018.
Christina is based in Freiburg, in southwest Germany. As a freelance photographer, she divides her time between self-initiated projects and working on editorial and commercial assignments. Her personal portfolio focuses on themes of collective identity and specific forms of cultural expression, both in urban and rural environments. Her work has been published and exhibited internationally. As a Visiting Professor, Christina is currently teaching the course ‘Photographing Identity’ at Indiana University in Bloomington, US.