Well, sadly enough, it’s summer. The humidity is in the air. The sweat beads on my forehead are constant. The heat is, more or less, spectacularly suffocating; and worst of all, there is no snow. No white powder to part with my skis. No brisk wind to run through my hair as I fly down the mountain, or is there?
Despite my bemoaning winter’s end, the fact is…winter is still here—if you want it to be anyway. An increasingly noticeable trend of indoor ski slopes are popping up around the world, and they. look. awesome. Year-round fresh powder blankets these man-made rolling hills. Full-size ski lifts give riders a trip to the top of the synthetic mountain and emulate what seems to be a near perfect snow ski experience. These winter arenas are a testament to the potential of man to overcome anything and everything, weather included.
Ski Dubai, as you can probably guess, is located in Dubai. The Middle East’s very first indoor ski slope, it is technically a part of the Mall of Emirates. First opened in 2005, this winter wonderland now boasts some five different terrains and slopes, not to mention a general snow area for those less adrenaline-inclined. Also, it should further be noted that you don’t even need your own gear! In fact, all necessary clothes, skis, and poles are included in the price of admission.
In Bottrop, Germany, one of the most impressive indoor ski slopes in the world reaches the sky with a regal distinction. Boasting a state-of-the-art conveyor belt, the facility is able to transport skiers a full 400 meters from the bottom of the mountain to the top in only five minutes. Just as well, the facility is characterized by lush vegetation that makes one feel as though they never left the slopes to begin with.
Completed relatively recently (in 2011), this is one of the biggest indoor skiing facilities on the planet. Featuring an immense 640-meter outdoor route that actually incorporates the indoor routes as well, skiers are able to travel between the exterior and interior of the arena without ever interrupting their momentum. Yet, this is not even to mention the fabled ‘Air Bag’, a gigantic inflatable pad that enables skiers to test new tricks and have a little bit of fun without risking injury.
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we have to give up on our love for skiing. Luckily, there are those who have already figured it out for the rest of us, and I, for one, could not be more grateful.