In an effort to try to preserve ecosystems and protect the environment, many ski resorts have launched their own green initiatives. But the Danish have decided to really twist the concept of ecological ski resort with the construction of an artificial ski slope on the roof of a non-recyclable waste processing plant that converts waste into energy by incineration.
This urban ski slope, known as Copenhill, is located just above the Amager Bakke power plant, in the middle of Copenhagen. This new and modern plant, which manages the waste of 550,000 Danish homes and 45,000 businesses, is capable of producing heating for around 160,000 homes and electricity for more than 60,000 without emitting CO2. The project is part of Copenhagen’s goal of becoming the first carbon-neutral city by 2025 and, with this plant, the emission of 100,000 tons of CO2 per year is avoided.
As for the characteristics of this particular ski area, instead of snow, Copenhill has a surface made with a green material that imitates it. The slope is 600 meters long (1,960 feet long) and, in addition, there are trails to reach the top, a mechanical lift and an 85-meter-tall climbing wall (279 ft), which is actually the largest artificial climbing wall in the world. For freestyle skiers and snowboarders, the slope also has numerous obstacles. Just like the more traditional resorts, Copenhill has its own place to rent equipment, as well as a café and bar for après-ski.
Amager Bakke / Copenhill is located in a central area of Copenhagen, by the sea. And to complete the particular aspect of this modern and strange green ski slope, the plant emits huge rings of water vapor. The total investment of the project has been of 660 million dollars and it is expected that the slope will be visited by about 65,000 skiers a year.
Although the center works since 2017, Copenhill will open to the public this summer. But, in the meantime, you can get an idea of how it is by watching this video of freestyle star Jesper Tjäder testing the slope:
Video: Euronews (en español) via Youtube