Finland has Vuokatti (and more), Sweden has Torsby. Russia has Toksovo and Germany has Oberhof.
See which nation is strangely missing on that list of ski tunnels?
Well, no more.
At the beggining of June the Norway’s first ski tunnel has opened its doors at Lørenskog, just outside Oslo.
Snø is different from the other tunnels – it is based on a completely different concept. Oberhof, Torsby etc. are pure sporting facilities, located far from cities’ hustle & bustle.
Snø is a proper entertainment center – restaurants, shops, even its own hotel to open soon. And it is probably aimed more at the slalom / snowboard crowd.
Which doesn’t mean it’s not a proper training spot for a serious crosscountry ski fan or even a pro. “1-kilometre skating and classic tracks on a mezzanine hanging from the roof, and another 600 metres that will be prepared at certain times during the day/week.” as per press-release.
And Snø got something other ski tunnels don’t: two reigning world champions as tireless promoters. Both Sjur Rothe and Hans Christer Holund are Oslo-dwellers and, therefore, potential active users of the new facility.
…Oslo along with Moscow are the two world capitals that do have xcsking in their genetic code – people were skiing for generations and would gladly continue. But demands and expectations have grown. Urbanites demand fancier facilities for everything they do for recreation. Snø won’t satisfy a demand for year-around skiing for a million dwellers of the Norwegian capital – but it’s a great step in the right direction.