Making Snow Indoors or Outdoors in Positive Temperatures
A niche market for indoor snow makers and similar has been creating snow for temporary use outdoors in positive temperatures which can be anything up to +50C
There are many variations on this theme…
For example indoor snow centres have, over the years, taken lorry loads of snow from their slopes for special events – for example to make a Christmas dream come true for a child suffering with a terminal illness, or to a zoo as a treat for an Arctic animal, or for a snow event such as a snowboarding demo or contest in an urban environment.
Snowmaking Inside and Out
Many people think of indoor snowing as very much a 21st century phenomena, the best known centre worldwide being Ski Dubai, but in fact people have been skiing and even ski jumping indoors for nearly a century.
There have been very many varieties of indoor skiing over the years – temporary events with snow brought in to large existing buildings, or the use of snow-like chemical mixes to imitate snow. Then there have been the development of the giant, purpose built, refrigerating buildings where snow can be maintained and the evolution of indoor snowmaking techniques so that the quality of indoor snow can be better and better – keeping in mind it has to be manufactured artificially and s used many more times by skiers and boarders sliding over it compared to snow falling at a conventional ski resort.
The History and Future of Indoor Snowmaking
Ski Dubai is the best known indoor snow centre in the world and its operational details are among the best known of any indoor snow centre.
The facility has to operate at high levels of efficiency in order to make snow in a hot desert environment and to maintain the high standard of indoor snow experience expected by its guests.
The highly efficient, insulated building with walls five metres thick operates for 14 hours each day and then has a 10 hour period when the temperature is quickly dropped to around -8 Celcius in order for efficient snow making to take place.
How Do Indoor Snow Centres Work
Just like with air travel, some people have chosen to highlight indoor snow centres, particularly Ski Dubai, as major contributors to climate change.
In both cases it’s perhaps doubly ironic that flying to the mountains or going indoors to find snow can both be attributed to causing the greenhouse gasses that are killing off natural snow.
No unbiased person is going to suggest that neither air travel, nor indoor snow making, do not each require a lot of power and thus generate greenhouse gasses. However, as in many issues connected with CO2 emissions, it is reasonable to try to look at the full picture before making a final conclusion.
Indoor Snow Centres: The Environmental Issues
A 2013 study by Snow24 Ltd sought to locate every country on earth where skiing and boarding downhill is possible.
The study found that 100 countries on seven continents had some sort of skiable surface, in most cases snow, but the study also included artificial surface slopes.
A further three countries offered sand skiing on sand dunes taking the total to 100.
The report found that more than 30 countries offered indoor snow or artificial surface skiing and that eight countries are only able to offer snow sports, normally, because of indoor snow centres.
8 Countries Now Offer Skiing Thanks to Indoor Snow
Indoor snow centres have proved a major boon to the world’s conventional ski areas, generating millions of new skiers and boarders to the slopes over the years.
Calculations by Snow365.com, found that more than 10 million people worldwide will have learned to ski on indoor snow since the world’s first indoor snow centres opening in Europe, Australia and Asia in 1987.
“Over the years we have seen more than 80 indoor snow centres open in 30 countries worldwide, of which 60 in 25 countries are currently operational. Most people don’t realise that many of these centres attract between 500,000 and a million skiers and boarders each year and, unlike regular ski areas, they have a 365 day ski season,” said snow365’s publisher, Rachel Gunnells.
10 Million People Have Learned to Ski on Indoor Snow
It is a common mistake to believe that indoor snow centres are only used for a short straight ski run. In fact, having 24 hour, 365 day a year snow in a controlled environment means that, for the first time, means countless ways to have fun playing in or on the snow are possible in every season.
These activities include all kinds of snow sports besides skiing and boarding – think of toboganning, tubing, dog sledding, snowmobiling or just having a good old snowball fight to name a few.
Then there are the serious sport applications – reliable indoor training facilities for national teams with lifts operating whenever you need them without the vagaries of off-season weather or even the arrival of nighttime to worry about.
50 Things to Do at an Indoor Snow Centre
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Indoor Snow Record Holders
See a complete list of every indoor snow centre ever built including those that have closed beginning in 1927. More than 100 domes have been built in over 30 countries around the world.
Chronology of Indoor Snow Centres
A long time criticism of indoor-snow centres, albeit one disputed by fans of the facilities, is that their scope for snow sports is, well, limited.
Although the longest indoor runs are now more than 600m in length, successfully staging World Cup events and housing full scale super pipes in some facilities, the majority only provide a few seconds of downhill enjoyment for experienced skiers and boarders.
So it was that by the late 1990s, individuals in three of the countries mostly closely associated with the evolution of indoor skiing – Australia, the Netherlands and the UK began imaging a next step, and indoor slope that was not limited by the length of the building that housed it, a slope that provided a challenge for experienced skiers, a slope that moved.