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Ski-Trac: Indoor-skiing in a snails shell

Winter sports could really become an indoor pleasure, at least in Asia: An Australian has developed an endless piste which doesn't even need a ski lift.

This is how the endless snailshell-piste of the Ski-Trac-Dome in China and Dubai should look like
Picture by Ski-Trac

A neverending pleasure of wedeling, swinging and carving: The city Gimhae in South Korea might be the location of world's first snail-shell for skiers and snowboarders. The Australian Kevin Ferris has developed an indoor piste, which promises almost endless pleasures on snow, and is highly interesting for investors from China and Dubai.

Inside the 13-stores-high Ski-Trac-Dome is a disc with a weight of 2500 tons, that is covered with two metres of snow, and consists of flexible metal links with a diameter of 175 metres. It can be powered up to 30 km/h with the help of magnetic field levitation.

Hobby athletes have to pay between 10 and 20 Euro per hour and can dispose of a 50 metres broad piste, which moves upwards under their feet in an endless spiral. If the skier stops, he will be transported back to the "summit" automatically as if he were using an escalator. As a result the new system is able to do without ski-lifts or long queues.

The concept of Ski-Trac: a disc with the weight of 2500 tons, consisting of flexible metal links with a diameter of 175 metres
Picture by Ski-Trac

The snow is produced at minus 15 degrees in a big climatically closed tunnel under a static artificial mountain hillside with panorama-restaurants and a small mogul piste with snowboard-funpark close-by. When additional snow is required it is applied to the piste-disc that is emerging from underground at this point. This way it is possible to keep the inside temperature of the Ski-Trac-Dome constantly at 8 degrees, which is very convenient for the up to 1000 ski enthusiasts. This is possible because only the snow cover is cooled down to freezing temperatures in the tunnel.

Up to 1000 enthusiasts can visit the Ski-Trac-Dome at the same time for their indoor-holidays
Picture by Ski-Trac

Nevertheless the well known disadvantages of the indoor pleasure stay the same: The mountain panorama has to be imported via large-scale monitors (probably interrupted by various commercials). And the indoor winter sportsmen have to come back from their holiday with aristocratic whiteness from lack of sunshine. To avoid this, not only an Antarctic theme park and an ice-skating rink are offered in the recreational centre close-by, but also a solarium...

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© A report by Tobias Micke (16-11-03) – Contact