The Swedish resort Sälen will introduce a new form of ski carpet grown organically from sugar cane. Sälen is a Swedish resort 5.5 hours northwest of Stockholm, owned by Swedish operator SkiStar, which manages several Swedish and Norwegian ski resorts. The ‘SummerSki’ in Sälen will be on 7,000 square meters (roughly 75,000 square feet) of ski carpet and is set to open in summer 2023. The resort is at the Valleberget in Lindvallen, about 350 miles (400km) from Stockholm. The piste ‘Anna’ (11) will be open for summer skiing serviced by the Kråkan lift (and Ugglan lift on demand).
The artificial grass surface is organically grown from sugar cane plastic produced in Sweden. The material is a bioplastic known as polylactic acid (PLA), which is biodegradable and compostable. The surface is used the same way as snow in winter, with regular skis or snowboards.
The SummerSki in Sälen will also feature a rail park designed by Swedish freeskier Jesper Tjäder and features jibs and rails. In addition to skiing, the SummerSki resort will offer a mountain coaster, mountain tube, mountain biking, and a ropes park. The local ski school at Sälen will also be operating in the summer.
Last year operator SkiStar opened a summer ski area in Hammarbybacken in Stockholm with artificial grass by Italian company Neveplast, which is known to simulate real snow conditions very well. Their products are made from 50% renewable plastic and are often used in high-traffic areas, like loading and unloading at ski lifts worldwide. SkiStar was looking for something even more sustainable, and this completely new surface will be trialed for the first time this summer. “The product will look exactly the same as the Neveplast surface,” Petra Hallebrant from SkiStar confirmed. “Sugar cane is completely new and will be launched this summer in Sälen. Protecting the unique mountain environment in which SkiStar operates is a fundamental condition for sustainable development of our business.”
SkiStar is Scandinavia’s leading operator in alpine mountain tourism. The company operates Sälen, Vemdalen, Åre, Trysil, Hemsedal, and Hammarbybacken in Stockholm. This fantastic project is just one example of SkiStar’s efforts in sustainability. Since the 19/20 season, SkiStar has used 100% non-fossil fuels in operations, lifts, and on pistes at SkiStar’s Swedish operations.