Too much skiing threatens CopenHill closure

23rd August 2021, by Abi Butcher

CopenHill is an artificial ski slope atop the world cleanest waste-to-energy powerplant

CopenHill is an artificial ski slope atop the world cleanest waste-to-energy powerplant

The surface on Copenhagen’s famous artificial ski slope, CopenHill, has deteriorated so fast that it may be closed this autumn — until 2024.

Copenhill opened in Denmark in the autumn of 2019 to critical acclaim: it is an artificial ski slope and recreational facility built atop the cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world. The rooftop slopes of the power plant (Amager Bakke) have a 41,000m2 skiable area with a maximum of only 100 skiers are allowed on them at any one time, along with tree-lined hiking trails and the tallest artificial climbing wall in the world on its façade.

The facility’s designer Bjarke Ingels hailed it as “a crystal clear example of hedonistic sustainability — that a sustainable city is not only better for the environment – it is also more enjoyable for the lives of its citizens”.

But unexpected wear and tear has caused the ski slope to deteriorate “alarmingly quickly” and a further 9.5 million kroner is required to repair the damage. But who is to blame for the fast deterioration is under dispute, between the Amager Bakke Foundation and the insurance company Tryg, with whom the facility holds liability insurance.

“Wear and tear has accelerated in recent seasons and the hill is now in such a poor condition that it will soon not be suitable for skiing and may pose a safety risk,” wrote the Amager Bakke Foundation in June.

“However there is no agreement between the parties on the cause of damage and ultimate liability. Tryg has rejected the notification of the damage.”

If the insurance company is not forced to pay our, CopenHill may be forced to closer permanently — unless extra funding to repair the ski slope can be found from the municipalities within Copenhagen, all of whom use Amager Bakke for their waste incineration.

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