Young Austrian invents a way to create your own winter wonderland

A young Austrian has invented a way to create snow for your garden when winter temperatures just aren’t cold enough to provide natural snowfall.

Young Austrian invents a way to create your own winter wonderland
Christopher Hölzl in his self-made snow castle. Photo: ORF

Using water from a garden hose and technical equipment costing just a few hundred euros, you can have a snow-clad lawn, or make your own igloo. 

So far, Austria hasn’t seen much snow this winter. But 25-year-old Christopher Hölzl, from the mountainous state of Tyrol, has managed to create a six metre high snow feature with his new snow apparatus.

He started working on the idea a couple of years ago, whilst studying to be a mechanical engineer. He put in around 500 hours, coming up with a design for a fully functional snow cannon that can be made at home. However, he discovered through trials that a snow cannon isn't ideal for home use, and changed his design to a snow lance – a vertically inclined aluminium tube and nozzle attached to a garden hose – which he says is better for using in a small space.

Using water from a garden hose, a compressor, and a high-pressure cleaner, Hölzl managed to create a six-metre high snow castle on his grandfather’s farm in Kolsass, Tyrol.

In the middle of the snow castle he’s created a circular party room, with benches and an ice bar for cooling champagne, where he entertains friends. He says people are amazed when they see the snow structure, and thinks it should survive without melting until at least the end of February. 

The snow lance in action. Photo:

He built the snow castle over nine cold nights, and it also features a slide for children, a lookout tower, and interior lighting. 

Hölzl has now produced 60 snow lances and plans to sell the model online, via his newly founded company snow4home. He thinks there’s a market for his design, particularly among families who want to make snow castles and igloos for their gardens to entertain their children, as well as pubs and hotels which want to provide a wintery ambience for their guests.