SNØ Oslo, Norway, Aug. 23, 2022

Tony Crocker

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In pursuit of a 12 month ski season, Liz and I have lowered ourselves to Patrick's level.

Patrick got this July at New Jersey's Big Snow indoor facility.

Last week we were shocked to learn that Galdhøpiggen, located at 6,070 - 7,200 feet on Scandinavia's highest mountain, had closed when it normally runs continuously May - October. It closed mid August due to a lot of exposed crevasses and gravel making it unsafe even for ski touring.

Liz discovered much to my surprise that Oslo has an indoor ski area. SNØ Oslo is very new, opened Feb. 2021. It's built into a hillside.
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I've always thought was the most sensible way to build such a facility, though many are in areas so flat (Dubai, the Netherlands) that's not possible.

We had our boots and clothing, though it was summer ski clothing so we got a bit chilled at 25F. Lift tickets were $33 and rentals were $37. We were on the snow from about 1:30 - 3:30 with a short thaw break.

The upper section has a basic groomer near the ski lift, rails and jumps/rollers looker's right.
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There were racers set up looker's left when we arrived but they soon quit and I did not get pics of them.

Liz at the bottom of our first run:
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Above the other skiers is part of the cross country ski track.

Looking down on the cross country track from the chairlift:
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There are a few exposed rocks under the lift for decor.
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The sides are decorated with alpine scenery.
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I skied the upper rollers a few times.
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During our thaw break we took the elevator up to the 4th floor, which has the entry to the cross country track.
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The lower skier's right is segregated for bigger park features.
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In the latter two pictures you can see an ice climbing wall behind the airborne skiers/riders.

Just above the big park and top of the cross country track is a mini curling setup.
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So SNØ Oslo is trying to cover many winter sports within one facility.

The far skier's right race area was mostly frozen granular. The rest of the snow was decent packed powder.

We skied 11 runs and 3,070 vertical feet. I was curious how this compares to other indoor ski facilities. The answer is that at least in terms of vertical, at 80 meters it's tied with Anneville, France and Harbin, China for second highest in the world behind Dubai's 85 meters.

Big Snow New Jersey is a modest 36 meters vertical. It's all about quality, Patrick!
 
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jasoncapecod

Active member
Yes it's cool , but indoor skiing does NOT count when it comes to year round skiing...
It's like going to a indoor water park and saying i experienced endless summer:cool:
 

Tony Crocker

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Patrick has defined skiing as “on snow.” Is indoor more marginal than the much shorter vertical that Avila sometimes spreads out for Canada Day?

I would agree that if one made a habit of going to a local indoor joint for the hard case months that would eventually make the ski streak meaningless.

In 2011 a small group of skiers on the Antarctic cruise skied 7 continents in 10 days. They got Asia on a layover in Dubai between New Zealand and Europe.

FYI Australia has a proposed indoor area but it’s in Perth.
 
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EMSC

Well-known member
I've always wondered for indoor snow ski places that are in northern locales - how much do they have to design the roof structure for winter snow loading vs for the lifts/snowmaking/indoor aspects? Or how about - how much heating does such a facility take to keep the ski slope temps UP to a consistent 25F during the winter months?

Just seems like a very ironic aspect of the process/design. Why not allow the real snow in during winter or etc...?

Overall, certainly looks like a much bigger/better facility than NJ has though...
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
certainly looks like a much bigger/better facility than NJ has though
Maybe someone can fact-check this; however, If I'm not mistaken, the NJ facility was planned in the early 00s (and took forever to build and make operational) so it's already an older design that would probably be bigger and better today?

I still have zero interest in going there even though it's only 25 minutes from me.
 

Tony Crocker

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Yes the New Jersey mall developer went bust during the 2008 financial crisis. The project was revived and completed a decade later. There are many indoor ski areas in the world smaller than New Jersey’s so I wouldn’t say it’s outdated. I suspect it’s very expensive to build a 300 vertical indoor ski area on flat land.

Oslo is at sea level. Average January high and low is 27/18. Norway’s climate is moderated by the Gulf Stream. However midwinter daylight hours are short at latitude 60, same as Anchorage. That may induce some indoor winter business.

I’ll defend Argentina. There is some major league skiing down there. The issue is erratic snow conditions which are harder to deal with when traveling that far and almost always planning well in advance.

We are in Scandinavia due to a wedding in Liz’ family 2+ weeks ago. We are making it a month of tourism. Skiing entered into the discussion due to the rare opening day at Mammoth last October. Liz has never had a 12-month season before, but she married a nutcase who had done it in 2005 and 2011 and would surely not deny her the chance.

There are three summer outdoor ski areas here in Norway plus Riksgransen in Sweden. But the quality time is late May to mid-July. The same is true for Timberline and the glacier ski areas in the Alps. This year Hintertux is the only outdoor Northern Hemisphere area still open.

The above observations support my view that monthly ski streaks on a continuous basis are not a wise use of $$$ and vacation time for the vast majority of skiers.

The exceptions are backcountry skiers with accessible snow within drive distance. During the pandemic Patrick discovered Parker Ridge, 600-700 vertical of year round snow a 20 minute hike from the Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Louise frequented by Calgary skiers. Patrick is currently on his 4th trip there. For Aug/Sep 2020 he had to drive there 2,300 miles from Ottawa, occasionally sleeping in his car due to pandemic hotel closures.

In defense of Patrick’s late July New Jersey trip, he had COVID during the first half of July.
 
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Patrick

Active member
The above observations support my view that monthly ski streaks on a continuous basis are not a wise use of $$$ and vacation time for the vast majority of skiers.

The exceptions are backcountry skiers with accessible snow within drive distance. During the pandemic Patrick discovered Parker Ridge, 600-700 vertical of year round snow a 20 minute hike from the Icefields Parkway between Jasper and Louise frequented by Calgary skiers. Patrick is currently on his 4th trip there. For Aug/Sep 2020 he had to drive there 2,300 miles from Ottawa, occasionally sleeping in his car due to pandemic hotel closures.

In defense of Patrick’s late July New Jersey trip, he had COVID during the first half of July.

I'm back... from Calgary. 204 is in the books.

Never slept in my car during that cross country drive in 2020. I didn't stop in Manitoba due to Covid restrictions. You were allowed to drive transit thru the province. I could have flown, but I had never driven across the country, so it was an occasion. Added 12000km on that drive with many sightseeing detours. Driving is definitely more expensive than flying.

July/August 2021: repeated the trip with my wife. We took one week to drive across with sightseeing again (many different spots) and one week in Banff, Jasper and Kananaskis Parks. Wife flew back after as she could only take 2 weeks off work. I drove back with various different detours like Waterton Lake National Park and visiting family in NW Quebec which I haven't been since a wedding back in 1988. Side note on that 1988 trip, this was after my first June skiing trip in Blackcomb.

Patrick has defined skiing as “on snow.” Is indoor more marginal than the much shorter vertical that Avila sometimes spreads out for Canada Day?

I would agree that if one made a habit of going to a local indoor joint for the hard case months that would eventually make the ski streak meaningless.

In 2011 a small group of skiers on the Antarctic cruise skied 7 continents in 10 days. They got Asia on a layover in Dubai between New Zealand and Europe.

FYI Australia has a proposed indoor area but it’s in Perth.

Ski streak:
What count? What doesn't count? I know one skier with multi decade ski streaks counts sand skiing. I don't. If I would include Sand and Grass skiing my ski streak would be 2 months longer. Ski on Lake Erie dunes (TR on FTO) back in August 2005 and tried Frankontour's grass seisin Montreal back in September 2005. Needless to say, I didn't necessarily count on skiing on snow until Wildcat decided to open in late October after hurricane Irene 3 feet dump.

Avila: more a ski camp which isn't really a Canada Day thing (especially in Quebec), but simply a scheduling thing. School year ends one week before. I've gotten turns during the camp days or after on the remains after the camp was over when it was held in late June.

Should indoor skiing count? As long as it isn't a dry slope, I think it should count. Looking at people skating, playing hockey year-round. As a young Canadian, I skated and played hockey numerous times on outdoor rinks. Numerous World Cup ski athletes include indoor skiing in their training.

My skiing includes a ski streak. For example, after skiing at Mammoth on July 1st, 2019, I skied one day at Zermatt via Cervinia later than July. It wasn't ski streak driven,and I had already skied Zermatt twice, but simply ski driven.

In September 2020, I skied 3 times that month. September 1, 4 at Parker Ridge and on entirely new snow on September 7 at Highroad Pass.

Here is my ski streak location breakdown (count is greater than 17 as some year I've skied multiple places in the same month:

June:
Québec (St-Sauveur, Avila, La Réserve) QC: 6 (35%)
Mt. Washington NH: 5 (29%)
California (Mammoth, Palisades): 3 (18%)
Vermont (Killington, Stowe): 3 (18%)
PNW: 1 (6%)

July:
Avila QC: 6 (35%)
Mt. Washington NH: 5 (29%)
California (Mammoth, Palisades): 4 (24%)
Alps (Zermatt): 1 (6%)
PNW: 1 (6%)
Parker Ridge AB: 1 (6%)
Big Snow NJ: 1 (6%)

August/September:
Timberline Mt. Hood PNW: 5 (29%)
Andes: 5 (29%)
Alberta (Parker, Highwood): 3 (18%)
Alps: 2 (12%)
Oceania: 2 (12%)

October:
Northeast (Sunday River, Killington, Wildcat + earned at Whiteface NY, Jay VT): 10 (59%)
Québec (St-Sauveur + earned at Massif, Mégantic): 3 (18%)
Colorado: 2 (12%)
Parker Ridge AB: 1 (6%)
Timberline West Virginia: 1 (6%)

Indoor skiing in Australia.
I believe Australia used to have one of the first indoor ski areas, but has shutdown years ago.
Edit: It was indoor area on an artificial slope. The new indoor area isn't Perth, but Penrith near Sydney.
 
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Tony Crocker

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Driving is definitely more expensive than flying.
For one person, nearly always. Two person cost is generally similar and with 3 or more (families), driving is definitely cheaper.

There's also the relationship between amount of time and miles driven. Once the trips get close to a month long, driving is generally worth the flexibility.
If I would include Sand and Grass skiing
One of those June St. Sauveur videos on Facebook shows Patrick skiing about 1/4 snow and 3/4 grass.

There are gray areas. If someone skied the 5 months June - October indoors, many of us would at least apply an asterisk to that.
 

Patrick

Active member
One of those June St. Sauveur videos on Facebook shows Patrick skiing about 1/4 snow and 3/4 grass.

There are gray areas. If someone skied the 5 months June - October indoors, many of us would at least apply an asterisk to that.

Avila: I was connecting both leftover snow patches. ;)

Gray areas: I would definitely would have personal issues with it myself. Not that it dictates it, but my aim is to combine various ski experiences. I would personally have an issue if I would ski only once a month at Mt. Hood for example. My trips are often more than just skiing, for example on this past trip, we were gone for 7 days, but I only skied twice. Most of my trips to Oregon have combined sidetrips to Portland, Crater Lake, Mt. St.Helen, Mt. Rainier/Seattle, Oregon coast and even one concert.
 

Tony Crocker

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I wouldn't have a problem with any outdoor on snow location being repetitive. I'm sure there's a lot of summer repetition among the PNW backcountry guys, Euros at Hintertux and perhaps the Alberta skiers at Parker Ridge. In 2010-11 I skied 12 consecutive months at Mammoth, though the last 3 were on AT gear since the lifts weren't open.

SNO Oslo was definitely in the category of new experiences and not one I would go out of my way to repeat, especially since most of the other indoor places are even smaller.

I agree with Patrick's point that long distance trips to regions with questionable snow reliability should incorporate other travel objectives. I have only once skied as many as half the days of a Southern Hemisphere trip:
1982: 4/17
1997: 5/22
2005: 7/15
2006: 5/12
2007: 7/18
2010: 4/18
2011: 7/24
2015: 12/16
That last one was two weeks in a cheap Las Lenas apartment when Liz was tied up in NYC.

I'm sort of done with the Southern Hemisphere as a dedicated ski destination. I've had 4 trips after 2015 but 3 were in their summer and in July 2019 we prioritized Australia's Red Centre and Top End, which need to be visited in the dead of winter for reasonable weather.

I'm not saying I'll never ski there again (Liz has never skied Oz or NZ), but it will be incidental to other travel priorities.
 
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Patrick

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I'm sort of done with the Southern Hemisphere as a dedicated ski destination. I've had 4 trips after 2015 but 3 were in their summer and in July 2019 we prioritized Australia's Red Centre and Top End, which need to be visited in the dead of winter for reasonable weather.

I've had 5 in the Andes, I want to repeat NZ for skiing, but also for sightseeing.

Needless to say, if I go skiing in Southern part of Africa, it won't be for the skiing alone. ;)
 

Patrick

Active member
One of those June St. Sauveur videos on Facebook shows Patrick skiing about 1/4 snow and 3/4 grass.
Come to think of it, this was July 2020 when the border was closed and all lifts had stopped in mid-March. Pretty exceptional. Months like these might represent only 1-2% out of the 204 months ski streak.
 

Tony Crocker

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Months like these might represent only 1-2% out of the 204 months ski streak.
??? All of the June/July at Avila (12 days) are probably less than 100 vertical (maybe there were repeat runs). Tuckerman's in July (5) is shorter than what I did in Norway but with a more grueling approach. Parker Ridge snow in Aug/Sep/Oct (7) looks worse than Norway though perhaps vertical was more. That's 24 months, 12% of the streak. That's not counting any eastern Octobers that might have been marginal. There's nothing illegitimate about that 12% but it's extremely marginal quality purely for the sake of the streak. Based upon what I see at Timberline, I'd guess that Parker Ridge in July is decent.
 

Patrick

Active member
??? All of the June/July at Avila (12 days) are probably less than 100 vertical (maybe there were repeat runs).
No, 6 times June turns were done Quebec (St-Sauveur, Avila, La Reserve). It includes June 2019 where MSS was spinning top to bottom. Skied June 1-2 and 8. MSS was skied closed during the lockdown and other years when they closed just prior to June. You forget to take into account that some of Avila skiing is lift served during the Akamp.

Tuckerman's in July (5) is shorter (...) Parker Ridge snow in Aug/Sep/Oct (7) looks worse than Norway though perhaps vertical was more.
Numbers overlap, for example, one July I skied both Avila and Tuckerman... another was Mammoth and Zermatt. Parker Ridge snow was pretty bad for sunups this year, but pretty great in 2020.

That's not counting any eastern Octobers that might have been marginal.
Not many marginal Eastern Octobers. 7 of the 13 of those were lift served at K, MSS, SR and Wildcat... non-liftserved were basically top to bottom or almost Jay, Massif + Whiteface and Mont Mégantic roads.

There's nothing illegitimate about that 12% but it's extremely marginal quality purely for the sake of the streak.
That would be 24 months out of the 204. If you include the Julys I've done in the East, the total is 10.

The following is an example of a normal Avila session.

July 2015.
https://madpatski.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/avila-qc-july-4-2015-akamp-banked-slalom/

October in the East including West Virginia:
Wildcat 2005
Jay 2006
Massif 2008
Sunday River 2009
https://madpatski.wordpress.com/2009/10/17/sunday-river-me-–-october-15-09/
Whiteface Toll Road 2010
Sunday River 2011
West Virginia 2012
Sunday River 2013
 

Tony Crocker

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I did not count any Octobers in that list of 24. Maybe only a handful of the Octobers are marginal but I remain convinced that most of the Junes in the East are. Parker Ridge is worth a day of one’s time plus gas money for Alberta locals but it takes a nutcase to travel 2,000 miles for it four times.
 

Tony Crocker

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Patrick e-mailed me a picture of Parker Ridge.
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This is clearly a case of blown in wind deposition in winter, very similar to Upper Saddle Bowl/Gremlin's at Mammoth and about the same vertical ~700 feet.

That line was continuous in 2020 with less suncupping than this year.
 

Patrick

Active member
I remain convinced that most of the Junes in the East are.

I disagree that most of my Eastern June turns are
Parker Ridge is worth a day of one’s time plus gas money for Alberta locals but it takes a nutcase to travel 2,000 miles for it four times.
Trips weren't about the skiing; if it would be only for the skiing, I would have flown and limited my time there.

2020 (late summer): Trip west via Northern Ontario route and Yellowed Highway. Almost 10 days in the Banff-Jasper, Mt. Robson and Kananaskis Parks. Return via the Trans Canada highway south via Calgary and along Lake Superior. A few other National and Provincials Parks were visited along the way.

2021 (mid summer): One week travelling west via TCan highway with Caroline. Again many stops along the way, but different. One week in the Banff-Jasper and Kananaskis Parks. Wife flew back from Calgary. Drive back via a few detours and Northern Ontario with stop to visit family in Abitibi region of Quebec. A few other National and Provincials Parks were visited along the way; different than the ones seen in 2020.

2021 (early fall): Flew to Calgary. One week in Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. Nice to see the mountains without the heavy veil of smoke.

2022 (late summer): Flew to Calgary. One week in Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. Repeat trip with Caroline as we didn't really get to appreciate the spectacular view so much the smoke was hiding the mountains the previous summer.
 

EMSC

Well-known member
Trips weren't about the skiing; if it would be only for the skiing, I would have flown and limited my time there.
:bs: Constructive criticism ahead:

That's a bit of a tough sell to those of us on these boards. Just happening to have a trip to one of the few places you could 'ski' over multiple years (2x in 2021!). If the ski streak was not a thing I'm pretty sure you would have expanded your horizons and vacationed in other places for multiple of your ski streak trips. The 2021 stuff would be like Tony driving to Florida twice within ~2 months just for the heck of it and claiming some random roadside attraction or view of the gulf of mexico along the way was the real reason he drove back and forth across the country.

Pretty hard to sell us other handful of ski fanatics left on this site that your trips were really about something else. They included other things sure (2 birds with one stone), but the goal remains the ski streak. Or asked another way, if a particular national park had been closed would the trip have been a failure? Or is the trip a failure if/when the ski streak ends due to some unforeseen circumstance. We all know the answer.

That said, I don't know why you don't want to admit the streak is the driver of so many trips that 'just happen' to include iffy 'skiing' and accidentally on perfectly timed monthly dates. I say, just let it be what it is. You're a fanatic for skiing and ski streaks and it is what it is. No other explanation needed. Keep skiing as you see fit.
 
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