Throughout the world, there are 6,053 ski resorts. Within the thousands of resorts worldwide, there are bound to be some odd ones. With so many to choose from, what are some of the strangest ski resorts in the world?
1. Masikryong, North Korea
The country this resort is located in is unusual, considering North Korea has been under dictatorship rule since October 3rd, 1945. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jung-un, originally labeled this resort as a project to increase foreign tourist numbers. Masikryong is the only ski resort North Korea offers. Once there, the resort features outdoor screens broadcasting the political agenda and the leader, Kim Jong-un. The resort has 70 miles of snow to ski on and features a 120-room hotel. Because of the isolation and motivation behind this resort, it is safe to safe this isn’t a ski resort you see every day.
2. Ski Dubai, Dubai
Similar to Liberty Mountain, Ski Dubai is open year-round. With the lowest average temperature of the year hitting only 58 degrees Fahrenheit according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, how is this year-round resort possible? It’s pretty simple: Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort! This ski resort features real snow all year and is home to 5 runs. Dubai is home to the world’s first indoor black diamond run. Although it may not be traditional, if you find yourself wanting to ski in the Middle East, Ski Dubai is the place to go!
3. Mount Hermon, Israel
Mount Hermon ski resort has always been a controversial topic within the community. The resort falls within “one of the world’s most infamously contested borders,” as stated by Popular Mechanics. Israel is on one side of the mountain, while Syria and Lebanon are on the other side. During the 6 Day War in 1967, Israel originally took ownership of part of the mountain. Then, on October 6, 1973, Syria captured it on the first day of the Yom Kippur War. 2 weeks later, Israel took back control of the mountain, and it has remained under Israel since. The mountain has roots tied to Judeo-Christian Tradition. The mountain is mentioned in the bible under the names Ba’al Hermon, Sion, Sirion, and Senir. Within bible teachings, the mountain is believed to be the “site of Transfiguration.” reaching 9,232 feet, the Israeli mountains park is located on the border between Lebanon and Syria. This historic mountain has an immense amount of history dating back to biblical times.
4. Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre
Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre is a year-round resort located in Liberty University, Virginia. The trick to this resort staying open year-round is its coverage of monofilament fiber which is put into a carrier layer on top of a foam shock pad. To keep the fiber cool, a sprinkler system layers the material with Britonmist, which reduces friction. Because of the unique engineering this hill features, it is the first ski park that doesn’t use snow in North America. The park, which opened in 2009, is home to 500-foot runs. Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre features innovations and is presenting a new type of skiing.
5. Mauna Kea, Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands states that the average daytime winter temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. With weather like this, one would think it would be impossible to maintain a ski mountain. Fortunately, that isn’t the case for Mauna Kea! Mauna Kea isn’t necessarily an established ski resort, but is a great place to go back country skiing. Sitting 13,796 feet in the air, the elevation mountain makes for a cold area equipped for the snowfall it receives between December and February. Mauna Kea translates to “white mountain.” Although the mountain may not have trail maps, lifts, or skiing resort facilities, the mountain is perfectly equipped for backcountry skiing. This hidden gem isn’t like other mountains, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
There are many interesting backstories and conditions for many ski resorts over the world. At the end of the day, tourists can embrace the differentiating features and do what they came to do: ski!