Copenhagen’s First Ski Destination

Spectacular and innovative in the true sense of the words

An artificial ski slope and recreational hiking area are set to open in the spring 2019 in Copenhagen, built on top of the new waste management center.

Ski enthusiasts can soon hit the trails on the roof of a waste-treatment plant in Copenhagen. The capital of Denmark is trying to solve the problem of how to cope with a mountain of trash. The city has soon a new attraction, Copenhill (Amager Bakke).

Spectacular and innovative in the true sense of the words, 10 minutes from downtown Copenhagen. Its main facility is a futuristic building with a sloping roof nearly 280 feet high that’s covered in a material called neveplast. It looks just like a ski slope, except it’s colored in vibrant shades of green.

Copenhagen’s First Ski Destination
Copenhill. Pgoto: Niccolo Bertocchi

Related: On Copenhagen’s Amager Island

Not only will the new architectural beacon be visible from most of Copenhagen, a giant chimney way up on top will be blowing giant smoke rings. This sounds like something out of a sci-fi fantasy but will be reality as the power plant opened in 2017 under the name ARC (Amager Ressource Center).

The ski slope forms part of the Copenhill mountain activity center, designed by BIG in collaboration with SLA Architects, which covers the power plant in the Danish capital.

Copenhagen’s First Ski Destination
Copenhill ski lift. Photo: Alexander Vissing

“I think everybody is surprised to start with when they look at it and it’s not snow,” said Christian Ingels, the director at Copenhill. “It’s green dry-slope material. After one or two runs, your mind is automatically adjusting so you feel exactly like skiing.”

Related: Denmark on Ice

Copenhagen’s First Ski Destination
Ski enthusiasts can soon hit the trails on the roof of a waste-treatment plant in Copenhagen

You can bring your own equipment, or you can rent some from the local shop, Steep and Deep, where the experts will be ready to help you. Just like at more traditional ski sport destinations, you can of course finish your day on the slopes with after-ski at Copenhill’s very own café and after-ski bar.

Although only around half of the slope has been installed so far, the company has carried out several test days before the official opening. “It’s a fantastic experience in the middle of a city to be able to do what you do like the most,” said visiting skier Pelle Hansen. “Instead of having to go six, seven, eight or 10 hours to a ski destination, you can be here in 10 minutes.”

Copenhagen’s First Ski Destination
Copenhagen has soon a new attraction, Copenhill or Amager Bakke

When complete, the 400-metre long slope will run from the top of the 90-metre-high building to its base, with a 180-degree turn halfway down the piste.

Related: Active Life in Scandinavia

If you are not much of a skier, you can also try the hiking trail that goes all the way along Copenhill’s roof. At Copenhill, you will also find the world’s highest climbing wall of 85 meters, where certified climbers can test their skills.

Copenhagen’s First Ski Destination
Copenhill is spectacular and innovative in the true sense of the words

“It’s fantastic that one can ski without snow,” said ski slope visitor Tommy Christensen. “It’s a slightly different experience than to skiing in real snow, but it’s my second run and I’ll try it again. It looks promising.”

Copenhagen’s First Ski Destination, written by Tor Kjolberg based on press releases from REUTERS and Visit Denmark.