The 7 world wonders of ski sports

11/24/2014 - Selina Sauerland

The classic world wonders known from ancient times were truly extravagant buildings. They were so gigantic that it was hardly believed they could have been built by mankind. However, even today in modern ski areas one can find unbelievable buildings on and asides the pistes. SnowTrex has picked the top 7 world wonders of ski sports.

The world’s largest snow cat – (c) PRINOTH
  1. “Piste BEAST” – The world’s largest snow cat

The model “BEAST“, designed by the globally operating company PRINOTH from South Tyrol, is the largest piste-preparing vehicle in the world. It is almost 10 m long, over 3 m tall, has a 7 m wide work width, and is therefore larger than any of the other snow cats – and it is additionally the strongest of all. With its 527 HP, the 11.5 ton-monster pushes the snow along with its 6 m wide shovel on a total area expanse of 17.5 m² and so can flatten every ever-so-wide piste in near to no time.

  1. Fascination mountain – A Swiss natural world wonder

Hardly any other mountain is as fascinating as the Matterhorn. This Swiss natural landmark with the nearly perfect peak, dominates its surroundings and the adjacent ski resort Zermatt. It can be seen from nearly every point along the valley and from within the ski area and in 2009 it was even on the final list for becoming one of the world’s natural wonders. The association “New7wonders” called an action to the world’s population to nominate 7 natural wonders. A team of experts, under the hand of the former UNESCO director Frederico Mayor, choose the Matterhorn together with 20 further finalists. Even if the mountain did not make it into the top 7 at the end, it remains a geological wonder for all passionate Alpine fans.

  1. A hot ride – Have a sauna in a gondola

In the ski area Ylläs, in Lapland – North Finland, a very special gondola transports its visitors to the mountain peak. The world’s first and only sauna gondola is wooden-clad from the inside, has tinted windows and an infusion grate. Up to four people can enjoy a good sweat in this particular cabin. Within 15 minutes the gondola has reached the mountain station, where showers and changing rooms await the sauna-goers in the “Café Gondel”. Unfortunately, this trend has not yet reached the Alps.

  1. Icy accommodation – The Ice Hotel in Sweden

The mother of all igloo villages can be found in the Swedish resort Jukkasjärvi. The “Ice Hotel Jukkasjärvi” has been reshaped every year anew for the past 25 years by various international ice artists. In November and December 2014 there Ice Hotel #25 is therefore in the making. The mighty building is entirely made of ice: the entrance with thick pillars, the ornately decorated hotel rooms, the beds and furniture within the rooms, the Ice Bar with tables, chairs and even the glasses from which the warmly clothed guests drink. Guests spend the night on cosy furs at around -5 °C. Depending on which comfort level is chosen, a night in a double room can cost between approximately €350 and €950.

  1. Superlative cable car – The world’s largest gondola

The Vanoise Express in the French Alps is the world’s largest, double-decker gondola. On two decks it can fit an unbelievable number of 200 people, including skis, poles and luggage, and then it traverses the 1,824 m long journey in only 4 minutes. Therefore it is not only the largest, but also the fastest cable car in the world. Besides these facts, it offers a further interesting feature: the gondola runs nearly horizontally from one side of the valley to the other. So there are no valley or mountain stations as such. Additionally, it runs along the cable from La Plagne to Les Arcs, without needing any extra supporting pillars.

  1. Desert, camels, skiing – The ski hall in Dubai

Enjoy a day’s skiing right next to camels, the hot sands of a desert and 50 °C outside temperature? In Dubai this actually the case. The “Ski Dubai” is the world’s largest indoor ski facility, offering around 6,000 tons of artificial snow and various fun attractions. Built in 2005, aback then it set a bench mark for indoor skiing. Five pistes, with a total area of 22,500 m² offers fun on the pistes for all levels of difficulty. A 4-person chair lift transports the skiers on to the pistes, which are framed by real trees, and covered by snow. In the fun park freestylers can burn off steam, and ski fitness is trained during Snowrobics. Alongside the pistes, children can roll down the slopes in large plastic bubbles, enjoy a toboggan ride, play in the snow cave in the 3,000 m² snow park, and of course learn to ski in ski school. The highlight of “Ski Dubai” however, are the real penguins, which turn up for a round through the hall at specific times. Children are allowed to touch them and parents can take photos of this great experience. The ski hall is therefore a small zoo at the same time. Until the “Skidome” in Randers (Denmark) come to more than only a technical drawing (opening planned for 2016), “Ski Dubai” remains the largest indoor ski wonder in the world.

  1. Freestyle no end – The world’s longest half-pipe

The snow park “No Name”, located in the Swiss resort Laax, will be this year’s venue for the world’s longest half-pipe. This “super-pipe”, shaped in a perfect semi-circle, is 200 m long and 6.90 m high and therefore reached Olympic standards. The huge pipe is also the main national training venue for the association “Swiss-Ski” for all ski and snowboard freestylers. Contests, such as Europe’s largest snowboard event, the “Burton European Open”, hosts pro-riders in Laax, offering their greatest tricks on this magnificent structure, made entirely of snow.

 

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  • Monday, 24. November 2014
  • author: Selina Sauerland
  • category: Press
  • tag: Laax
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