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Strange but true!

Hagerbach test tunnel (c) Per Walker, wikimedia.org

A “vision,” an innovative “lighthouse project” with “international appeal” – while countless cannons provide the necessary snow in other Alpine regions, eastern Switzerland is planning something really big: an indoor snow sports facility in a mountain tunnel in Flums. What is already possible on Dubai’s indoor ski slope, namely weather-independent winter sports, is to become a reality in eastern Switzerland by 2030.

In the Hagerbach test tunnel, where the secret army known as P-26 trained during the Cold War and today fire departments practise their deployment for emergencies, or new materials for tunnel construction are tested, cross-country skiers can in future complete their training. However, the facility is intended not only for top-class sports but also for popular sports. The advantage, according to “Sportvision Ost”, is that the same conditions prevail underground all year round. The facility should nevertheless be capable of simulating different weather situations. Light image projections on the cave walls could provide the appropriate ambience.
No one knows yet exactly how much this will cost. Some cite a ballpark figure of 65 million, while one tunnel expert reckons with investments in the triple-digit millions. This is because the required length and inclination of the tunnels would first have to be drilled. The canton is now investing a quarter of a million francs in a feasibility study, and then it will be seen what happens next.

 

Sources and further information:

www.srf.ch/sendungen/10vor10/die-idee-unterirdische-wintersport-anlage (de), www.tagblatt.ch/ostschweiz/technisch-machbar-was-ein-tunnelbauer-zur-idee-einer-unterirdischen-schneesportanlage-im-sarganserland-sagt-ld.1279395?reduced=true (de)