November 08, 2010 – Check out this neat video of Oberhof, Germany’s indoor ski facility that includes a nearly 2km long track and a hill with an 11% grade. The site offers skiers on-snow training opportunities year-round. On the facility’s one-year anniversary, xc-ski.de took it for a test run.
OPEN LETTER: To the towns of Canmore, Banff, Province of Alberta, The Federal Government of Canada and CODA this is the next project necessary to complete the development of the Canmore Training Center in to undeniably the best training center in the world.
First off it would be a huge tourist attraction, would give unlimited usage to thousands of skiers through out the summer and of course would give the National Teams continuous access to on snow training all through the spring, summer, fall right into the winter season.
There are so many reasons for doing this and the biggest is the sharing of the cost between all the agencies listed plus a potential sponsor for the facility.
If for no other reason it should create at least enough interest to initiate a feasibility study. The more you think of it—this should be a piece of cake when you think of all the indoor ice skating facilities there are in Canada. This should be a slam dunk when it comes to the technology and why it should be done.
Hockey use to be an out door sport and still is to a certain level and now it is time to help skiers with their next step to completing the loop.
All sport is continually evolving and with the number of these indoor ski facilities that are popping up all over the world it makes sense for Canada to join the parade.
Let’s see if we can get the ball rolling—give us your support and comment.
Marty is right – we do need something like this in North America. At Hardwood Ski and Bike we have been working towards a ski tunnel since we bought the resort in 2008. We feel that it would be feasible in Eastern Canada to attract the thousands of xc skiers from all of Eastern North American who are within driving distance. Perhaps it would be better in the east than in the west as the western skiers already have access to glaciers and snow sooner and later in the winter.
Our research shows that the cost would be somewhere in the $10 to 15 million range to build a tunnel, not counting the cost of the land. Most of the tunnels in Europe report visits of around 30,000 per year .
Marty is also correct that there are a lot of indoor arenas in Canada. But there are also a lot of people skating – playing hockey or figure skating. Way more than the number that compete in xc skiing or even ski enough to see this as a viable thing to do. The question is – are there enough xc skiers who would do this to make this 30,000 number in the summer and fall?
The other big challenge is environmental. This would take a lot of power to operate – 1 km of covered track cooled 24 hrs a day. It would make more sense to use wind or solar power to do this.
To raise the money to build this will likely take government support at all levels. However, we feel that between the tourism possibilities and the health possibilities that there should be some interest – but is it enough to fund 10 to 15 million for a sport that for most in Canada is seen as a walk in the park and is not seen as a competitive sport?
Here is how i see myself using the ski tunnel—1st off the glacier is not a viable experience for me—too high in elevation, too costly and doesn’t come close to my program for the tunnel.
I would head to Canmore in early to mid-October with my wife—book a hotel/motel for about 10 days and then get my daily routine underway.
Be in the tunnel every morning at 8am for 3 hours of skiing—back to the motel for a nap before lunch, which would be at the golf course, and then 18 holes of golf in a cart. Walking 18 holes would hinder the recovery for the next days ski. Home to the hotel– a nap and then out to dinner—home for some TV and a good nights sleep. Maybe a day off mid-week to look around, do some shopping and ease off as a recovery day. If I got bored with the golf course would do some fishing for a change of pace.
This would be a welcome break from roller skiing— a great mental boost to make it for the next 30 days before we hit snow at home in the Gatineau.
Can you beat that. I hope I’m still skiing when the tunnel is ready to go.
Jeremie—I would think in this day and age that air exchange systems are so good this wouldn’t be a problem—even the beloved hockey arenas have had to deal with these problems.( http://www.mncee.org/pdf/tech_pubs/ice_fact.pdf ) See this study for the kind of steps to be taken to ensure safe ventilation systems and programs.