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Strange, but true...

Swiss innovation: cross-country skiing on plastic rails. (c) Selina Gasparin, facebook

The rising temperatures caused by the climate crisis threaten not only nature, but also winter tourism and sports. What do we do with our skis when no more snow falls? What will then attract tourists to the mountains? One solution would be to recreate the winter, for example using plastic. This is innovation, i.e. creating something new – or preserving something old in new ways. The ground-breaking idea is called Glice. Plastic ice is already used in ice hockey, figure skating and as a winter attraction in shopping malls. In Switzerland, “Graubünden Ferien” has now tested a plastic cross-country skiing trail together with cross-country skier Selina Gasparin (see this Facebook video). It is an image of the future: the sun shines while the athlete, clad in an ice-blue tracksuit, glides along a white plastic rail over a green meadow. She smiles contentedly and reflects on the countless possibilities such as pre-season and summer training, or cross-country skiing parks. The idea could certainly be applied to other areas as well: plastic flowers bloom all year round and plastic fir trees need no needles. But why would tourists go to the mountains just for something like this? The plastic rails could also be laid in the lowlands. But the Alps offer something unique: a wonderful backdrop. And if the colours aren’t right, you can always paint them.

Source: Graubünden Ferien testet Glice als Schneeersatz (de)