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Winter sports have a future: new chairlift, energy efficiency, resource conservation

Ski resorts and cross-country ski areas improve quality and sustainability

A village ski area gets a chairlift. A natural snow ski area gets a new piste roller. Replacing old snow guns with new, more energy-efficient ones. This and many other activities centred around the major topic of sustainability are intended to make winter sports even more exciting and climate-friendly in the coming winter months.

Village ski area with chairlift

The top investment of the season, totalling 4 million euros, is taking place in the Altastenberg ski carousel. The purchase of the new four-seater chairlift is the biggest leap in quality in the history of the ski area. Two old drag lifts will be dismantled and the main slope, the Kapellenhang, will be extended to 700 metres. This will create a safe, family-friendly, easy descent with a beautiful panoramic view. The Altastenberg ski carousel had already invested 2.5 million euros in the two previous winters. This was used to optimise snow safety and purchase a new, state-of-the-art piste roller in order to improve the quality of the slopes and ensure predictability and consistency throughout the season. With these measures, the operators want to show that winter sports have a future.

The latest investment enhances the region's entire winter sports offering. Wintersport Arena Card holders can choose between eight ski areas. If you have a Skiliftkaurssell+ ticket, you can use it in Winterberg, Neuastenberg and Altastenberg. Both tickets include free use of the shuttle bus that runs between Winterberg, Neuastenberg, Sahnehang and Altastenberg.

The main focus is usually on the acquisitions of the large ski areas. This makes the news that the Eschenberg lifts near Winterberg Niedersfeld have received a new piste roller all the more pleasing. The Pistenbully is on its way from the Mölltal Glacier to Winterberg-Niedersfeld. The 300 Polar model is a powerful all-rounder that will ensure the best possible conditions on the snow-covered toboggan run and the area's unsnowed ski slopes in future.

The Mein Homberg ski area in Winterberg-Züschen will be using natural snow in future. In the spirit of sustainability, the conveyor belt, practice lift 1 and tubing run will open when there is sufficient snowfall. With or without snow, the hut is open Thursdays to Sundays and during the holidays for hikers, skiers and tubing guests.

 

Sustainability

In the Willingen ski resort and the Winterberg ski lift carousel, the operators rely on new, more energy-efficient snow guns. Such an exchange is constantly taking place in the ski resorts, as technology is developing rapidly. Today, snow cannons are twice as efficient as they were twenty years ago. Snow lances even produce three times as much snow as the models of 15 years ago. This technical progress is continuing.

Most of the Co2 emissions in the ski area are caused by snow groomers. By using the new fuel HVO (hydrogenated vegetable oil) instead of conventional diesel, Co2 emissions can be reduced by up to 90 per cent. Tests have already been successfully completed. Lift operators are currently waiting for offers. If, unlike in previous years, sufficient biodiesel is now available on the market, the first companies will switch over.

The Sauerland can be certified as a sustainable holiday destination. The Sauerland winter sports arena would like to support this. The first ski resorts have already shown interest in joining this process.

Resource conservation

Nordic winter sports are inherently close to nature and sustainable. No lifts, predominantly reliant on natural snow and also inexpensive. The roof of the Wunderthausen ski club's hut in the cross-country ski area at Pastorenwiese will in future be fitted with a photovoltaic system. This will also make the ski break a whole lot more resource-friendly.

Snow is a valuable resource that needs to be treated with care. This is why alpine ski resorts are buying more and more winch rollers whose tracks dig less deeply into the snow. Cross-country skiing also favours the careful use of snow. After the cross-country ski areas of Girkhausen and Westfeld have already equipped their cross-country trackers with rubber tracks, the Winterberg tourist office is now following suit. A quad bike with rubber tracks is in use in Wunderthausen. Rubber tracks are more gentle on the snow and ground than metal tracks. This means that the trackers can prepare cross-country ski trails even when the snow depth is low, without churning up the ground.

Promoting young talent

Skiing is fun and one of the few outdoor sports available in the cold season. In order to introduce the next generation to skiing, the Winterberg ski lift carousel has entered into a co-operation with Winterberg schools. Children and young people receive tickets at special prices. The Willingen ski resort shows its heart for little ski bunnies and reduced the children's season ticket to 99 euros two years ago. Demand is very good. That is why this offer will remain in place next winter despite the general price increase. The Sauerland Winter Sports Arena is also planning another initiative of this kind. School classes from the Sauerland region and beyond will soon be able to take part in a competition to win a trip to the snow.

The Neuastenberg ski village has been offering school classes and local children greatly reduced prices on lift tickets for over 20 years. This offer is also being maintained this winter. Reduced prices for schoolchildren and students are available in Neuastenberg and Altastenberg with reduced tickets for students.

 

Affordable skiing

Prices for day tickets in the Sauerland winter sports arena range from 25 to 48 euros. If you want to ski cheaply, you should take a look at the smaller ski resorts, as they are much cheaper to visit than the larger ones. Skiing in the off-season can also be worthwhile. The Neuastenberg ski village is the first ski resort to introduce a flexible price category. In the low season, before Christmas, in January and after the Dutch crocus holidays, day tickets on weekdays are around 25 per cent cheaper.  Many years of experience have shown this: The best snow usually falls in March.

Event calendar

11 November WOK WM in Winterberg

2 and 3 December CONTINENTAL World Cup Youth A in Winterberg

15 December European Cup Skeleton in Winterberg

30 December Torchlight hike in the Willingen ski area (Ettelsberg cable car)

31 December New Year's Eve floodlit skiing in Neuastenberg

6 and 7 January EBERSPÄCHER Luge World Cup with Team Relay presented by BMW in Winterberg

10-14 January Upland winter hiking day in Willingen

12 and 13 January Junior World Cup Luge in Winterberg

20 January Intersport Voswinkel floodlight evening in Neuastenberg

24 January Youth trains for the Olympics, cross-country skiing centre Westfeld

27 - 28 January Continental Cup Ski Jumping in Willingen

2-4 February FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Willingen

10-11 February The Takeover - Snowpark Event in the Winterberg ski lift carousel on the Kappe

19 February to 3 March BMW IBSF World Championships Bobsleigh and Skeleton in Winterberg

9 to 10 March Snowboard World Cup at Poppenberg in the Winterberg ski lift carousel