February 26, 2002 People will do almost anything to get their turns in. At least that's what the designers and executives at the Australian-based Ski-Trac International hope. They have recently unveiled plans for the first-ever indoor, continuously revolving, lift-less ski slope, ostensibly allowing skiers runs as long as 12 miles.
Ski-Trac International's Web page, http://www.ski-trac.com
, explains that skiers ski counter-clock-wise down a 160-foot-wide circular ski run that rotates clockwise at speeds varying from three to 19 miles per hour. Fresh snow -— up to eight inches at a time—is made in a cold-room, hidden under—what else?—an artificial mountain range. The ski run continuously passes in and out of the snow chamber, where temperatures will be kept at five degrees Fahrenheit, allowing skiers to experience fresh powder.
The entire complex is 13 stories tall and the diameter of the rotating snowfield is 570 feet. There is a small section in the very middle of the circle which will not rotate -— a "beginner's area" where the terrain is not only stationary, but also flat.
The snow deck will "float" on an electromagnetic field without any need for wheels, allowing for frictionless, vibrationless, and silent rotation. Depending on the rotating speed of the snow deck, the run can be from 1,200 feet long (three-mph) to 12 miles (19 mph).
Ski-Trac hopes to build one of it's first rotating slopes near Snowdonia National Park in Wales