Time For Some Fake Snow

from the who-needs-the-real-thing? dept

I have two experiences with skiing when there’s no snow whatsoever around (once actually skiing, once just watching). When I was a kid, I once went “grass skiing”. It was during the summer at a ski resort that (clearly) had no snow in the summertime. Instead, they had these funky modified skis that included tank-like treads on the bottom. The experience was… different, to say the least. Another time, I was in Lake Placid NY during the summer and got to see the US ski jump team training. They had huge plastic sheets laid down to simulate snow – but it didn’t appear to do a very good job – and seeing someone wipe out looked especially painful. However, it appears that people will go to great lengths to allow skiing in places where there’s no snow at all. Indoor ski domes are nothing new at all, and while this article talks about a popular one in Spain, the more interesting part is the section on dry skiing, where a special material is placed on a hillside, no matter what the weather. The reporter seems quite surprised that it feels “just like skiing on the real stuff” (though, admittedly, not the best of the real stuff). As per my Lake Placid experience, fake snow on a hillside is nothing new, but the quality of such fake snow has apparently improved greatly. While the stuff used to be referred to as “death mesh” for its ability to snare and seriously injure skiers, the newer Snowflex, sounds pretty impressive. Still, on the whole, people seem to prefer the real thing, so I still think that the summertime snow machines sound like a better bet.

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Comments on “Time For Some Fake Snow”

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1 Comment
DV Henkel-Wallace says:

The other kind of fake snow

Anybody in the south bay should go check out San Jose’s “winter” setup for the holidays (probably goes up this week end in fact). It’s downtown in front of the Fairmont.

They put up fake plastic snowmen and such, but the best is that they cover up the park’s grass with a thin white shiny plastic sheet. I can tell it’s supposed to be some kind of post-deconstructionist denotation of snow, but what do the kids think? It’s expecially weird on a warm day: the kids take off their shirts and play in the fountain!

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