We have two revelations to make:
A – in the foreseeable future most of cross country skiing will move indoors. Yes, indoors – into those purpose-built ski tunnels. If you’re optimistic enough to think otherwise – or lucky enough to live in certain areas in the mountains – our compliments. The rest of the humanity, spurred by the (correct) assumption that cross country skiing is the next-to-none cardiovascular and strength-building activity, will have to practice it indoors.
B – skiing in tunnels as a way of receiving pleasure currently sucks.
First ski tunnels were built far away from big cities but close to traditional training centers: Vuokatti, Torsby and Oberhof all fit that description. Practical? Check! Convenient? Depends on your idea of convenient, but generally no.
No more. Toksovo is in outskirts of Saint Petersburg, Skidome is located in Gothenburg and the latest gem, Snø is but a fifteen minute drive from Oslo.
Which means a city dweller ( 75% of total population in Europe) now has a semblance of choice: long commute to the real tracks, hoping for a decent ski weather – or short one to the tracks indoors.
With the indoor snow of guaranteed quality and commute becoming bearable, what’s there to wish for?
Well, that , you know, ambiance.
Unless you’re a huge fan of steam-punk – or a pro-skier, who is not meant to care at all – you wouldn’t like skiing for long within gray walls and ceilings with all sorts of piping running above your head.
Well, the solution is totally there – technically, at least. Outdoor, weather-resistant HD panels have become ubiquitous. Including big xcski events
It doesn’t even have to be limited to showing videofeeds
Artificial Sky, a company from Detroit, Michigan, says that the sky is literally the limit for their designs – pairing LED walls and smart processors results in more than passable imitation of weather conditions – any weather conditions!
The issue is, of course, the money. A decent HD all-weather wall panel costs circa 15000 euros – per square meter. You do the math how much would it cost to cover the walls of, say, 1.4km Oberhof ski tunnel.