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Area development

Reduction of the slope area in favor of more quality and nature conservation

The number of ski slopes has not been growing for a long time. The number of ski resorts reached its peak in the 1960s/70s. Driven by the unusually snowy 60s, ski resorts sprang up across the entire Rothaar ridge. In the course of the snow-poor 80s and 90s, many of the small ski resorts, mostly in the remote middle altitudes, gave up their existence again.

The area used for winter sports has been declining for years. 34 ski areas with formerly 42 lifts and 64 hectares of pistes have ceased operations. The actual slope area has decreased by 13.7 percent.

Growth of the season days - reduction of the slope area

The Wintersport Arena Master Plan, developed in the 1990s, came into use in the early 2000s. It ensured a leap in the development of slope quality, lift comfort, snow reliability and thus the number of operating days. However, an expansion of the ski slope area did not take place in the course of this.

Instead, since the 1980s, the area of slopes used for winter sports has been reduced. This was clearly done in favor of more quality as well as in favor of nature conservation. This is because most of the redeveloped areas are now under nature conservation. Large parts of the still active ski areas are also under nature protection

  • These ski resorts, among others, have ceased operations since the 1990s:
  • o Schliprüthen
  • o Harbecke
  • o Grimmelift
  • o Attenberg
  • o At the Tüppel
  • o Hardenberg
  • o Neuenrade
  • o Medebach-Düdinghausen
  • o Plettenberg
  • o Walpersdorf
  • o Hemer
  • o Rückershausen.

Concentration in a small area

Almost 90 percent of the entire piste area is concentrated within a radius of five kilometers around the Kahler Asten. But even here, nature lovers can experience vast stretches of land untouched by winter sports. The reduction in the number of areas used for winter sports has not only improved the quality of the winter sports on offer. The concentration has also relieved the pressure on nature. The vast majority of the forests are almost untouched by human activity in winter and are a safe refuge for native animals that need special peace and quiet in winter.

The current ski slope area of the Sauerland winter sports arena is 248 hectares. In total, the ski slope area accounts for 0.067% of the total area of the Hochsauerland district . This contrasts with 40,000 kilometers of hiking trails in the Sauerland alone, some of which are very dense. Only a very small proportion (parking lots, buildings for slope catering, etc.) are sealed surfaces. Meadows make up by far the largest proportion.

Around 159 hectares are covered with snow , i.e. around two thirds of the total slope area, or 0.034 (no longer true) percent of the Sauerland. Ski slopes are not monotonous sports areas and certainly not sealed surfaces. On the contrary: most of them are high-quality natural areas that have been preserved precisely because they are used as ski slopes. 18.5 percent of the ski slope areas in Sauerland/Siegerland are either FFH areas or nature reserves. In the Willingen ski area, the figure is as high as 42 percent. Most of these protected areas have been designated in ski resorts that have existed for a long time.